Wed, 27th Apr 2022 13:00

Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

Lot 53

1936 Pierce-Arrow Model 1601 Roadster

Sold for £36,000

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: 834 YUK
Chassis No: 314394
MOT: Exempt

  • 1 of just 787 Pierce-Arrow cars built during the 1936 model year
  • Powered by a 6.3 litre straight-eight engine allied to a three-speed, all synchromesh manual transmission
  • Reconfigured as a soft-top during the 1950s and laid-up during the following decade in California
  • Subject to an extensive restoration over fifteen years or so (the costs were reputedly £100,000 plus)
  • Sympathetically uprated with a full-flow oil filtration system, Kenlowe fan and power steering
  • A rare, imposing and usable post-Vintage thoroughbred

Among America’s great patrician marques, Pierce-Arrow sold cars to the likes of: U.S. Presidents Wm. Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson, King Albert of Belgium, Mrs Andrew Carnegie, Charlie Chaplin, King C. Gillette, Baroness Roland de Graffenreid-Villars, Emperor Hirohito of Japan, J.D. Rockefeller, Ginger Rogers, Babe Ruth, King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, The Shah of Persia, Charles S. Woolworth, Mrs Sarah Winchester and Orville Wright. A merger with Studebaker in 1928 helped the Buffalo, New York-based firm through The Great Depression but a refusal to move downmarket ultimately sealed its demise a decade later. Renowned for its excellent engineering, Pierce-Arrow stuck with separate chassis construction and side-valve engines throughout. Although, such design conservatism did not prevent Ab Jenkins from averaging a record-breaking 117.77mph for 24 hours aboard a Pierce-Arrow Convertible in 1933; the same year that the company standardised hydraulic valve lifters and power-assisted brakes.

Thoroughly revamped for the 1936 model-year, the Pierce-Arrow range sat atop a new ‘super frame’ that boasted no fewer than five crossmembers plus a large cruciform brace. Visually updated with a narrower radiator grille and quad headlamps, the straight-eight and V12 models on offer could be ordered with a choice of wheelbase lengths and open or closed coachwork. Priced at $3,195 which was roughly twice the cost of a Cadillac Series 60 or over five times the cost of a Ford V8, the Pierce-Arrow Model 1601 was powered by a 385 cu in (6.3 litre), 150hp straight-eight engine allied to three-speed synchromesh manual transmission complete with automatic overdrive and freewheeling. Marketed as ‘America’s finest motor car for America’s finest families’, Pierce-Arrow sold just 787 cars during 1936.

According to a handwritten note on file, previous owner James D. Olson maintained that chassis 314394 acquired its current Roadster coachwork during 1956, courtesy of Marmon Automobiles of South Pasadena, California. Reputedly laid-up the following decade, the Pierce-Arrow remained in the Golden State until being imported to the UK during September 2003. A previous keeper, not long thereafter (last but one), is understood to have spent some fifteen years and over £100,000 (including the purchase price) bringing the Model 1601 up to its current condition. As well as reportedly receiving attention to its engine, gearbox, axles, running gear, chassis, electrics and interior trim, ‘834 YUK’ has been sympathetically uprated with a Kenlowe fan, full flow oil filter and power steering. Much of the engine work was carried out by the respected Bedfordshire firm Mass Racing Ltd, while D.S. Thompsett of Cambridgeshire renewed the leather upholstery, weather gear (hood, side screens) and carpets etc. Valued for insurance purposes at £80,000 just last year, this rare post-Vintage thoroughbred is worthy of close inspection. It is offered for sale with V5C Registration Document and a history file.


All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:


Auction: Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Wed, 27th Apr 2022

The Pavilion Gardens
St John's Road
SK17 6BE

About The Pavilion Gardens Buxton

View Catalogue

Tuesday 26th April  2022 from 12 pm to 6 pm
Wednesday 27th April 2022 from 9 am

12.5% (plus VAT @ 20%)


View all lots in this sale

Do you have an item to sell?

If so, contact one of our friendly specialists for your free valuation by completing the form below and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.

If you prefer to speak to humans, don't hesitate to call our office on +44 (0)1925 210035

Contact Us Today!



Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.

Love Affairs With Bentley's Last Decades - Two Much Loved Bentleys Go On Sale
Stunning Classic Cars Achieved A £2.2 Million Record Sale
National Motorcycle Museum - Auction Highlights Video
Vincents Dominate At H&H Classic Bike And Scooter Auction At The National Motorcycle Museum
Pavilion Gardens, Buxton. An Auction Of Classic And Collector Cars, July 27th
An Auction of Classic & Collector Motorcars - Wednesday 27th July 2022 from 1pm
Over 230 Classic Motorcycles and 50 Vintage Scooters Heading To Auction
The Best Suzuki Katana On The Market
Exquisitely Restored Rare WW2 Military Bike Complete With Gasmask
And Now For Something Completely Different. A Homage To The Morgans Of The 1930's
Three Bikes With Stories To Tell
Dozens Of Stunning Classic Cars Are Heading To Auction At 'No Reserve'
Don't Trash That Triumph!
Top Picks For The H&H Classic Bike Sale
Classic 1976 Jaguar XJ-C Sold For £40,000 To Aid The Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal At IWM Auction
H&H June 22nd IWM Duxford Auction Grosses 2.4 Million With Catalogue Cover Ferrari Making £400,000
Imperial War Museum, An auction of classic cars. June 22nd. Watch our preview video here!
The Oldest Surviving Jaguar In The UK Is For Sale With H&H Classics
One Man's Vision Of His Dream Ferrari. 1969 Ferrari 365 GT Rebodied In The Style Of 'Pontoon Fender'
A Century Of Classic & Collector Cars. Catalogue Now Live!
'A True Family Retainer' 1912 Darracq Spent Over A Century With Four Generations Of The Same Family
Take a Closer Look At This Selection Of Classic Motorcars On Our YouTube Channel
Some Like It Hot! 1965 Excalibur SS Series 1 Built For Actor Tony Curtis
A Very Rare RHD Mid-Engined Supercar 1973 Maserati Bora 4.7
Fire Breathing Scooter 1967 World Record Holder 151,936 KM/H Quarter Mile In 0-100 KM/H 7.6 Seconds
The Jewel Of The Next H&H Motorcylce Sale Is This 1976 Kawasaki KH 500 "KH Five" Allen Millard Build
Seeking A Princely Saviour: 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190 Sl-eeping Princess Project
H&H Joining The Classic and Performance Car Spectacular
The Culmination Of Five Le Mans Wins This 1960 Beauty Did 0-60mph In 7.6 Seconds & 140mph Top Speed
It's Genius! A Prince Marries a Guiness and Packs Up the Rolls -Royce for a Life in Africa
Our stunning auction venues, perfect locations for sellers and buyers alike
Collector donates his classic 1976 Jaguar XJ-C 4.2 to aid the Ukrainian war effort
H&H Classics Auction At The Pavilion Gardens, Buxton On April 27th
Open for viewing - Buxton Pavilion Gardens Auction Wednesday 27th April
On The Menu At Buxton – Haute Cuisine Autos With H&H Classics Auction April 27TH 2022
An Auction of Classic & Collector Motorcars - Wednesday 27th April 2022 from 1pm
Looking for a challenge? Rare 1961 Mercedes-Benz Barn Find project
World Boxing Champ Wheels For Sale
Celebrity Scooter Sales at NMM Auction
Vintage, Rare & Unusual Bikes Achieve 80% Sell Rate
'How Vintage Scooters Got the Market In A Buzz'
Volvo P1800 for sale at H&H Pavilion Gardens Auction April 27th
Two-wheeled Maserati for sale at National Motorcycle Museum auction
Over 200 classic motorcycles and scooters available to view, bid on and buy
IWM Duxford Auction Grossed £3.5m In A Sale Dominated By British Marques
An Auction Of Over 100 Classic Motorcars - Wednesday 16th March at 1pm
An Auction of Classic & Collector Motor Cars - IWM Duxford, 16th March