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

AUCTION VENUE
The Pavilion Gardens
St John's Road
Buxton
Derbyshire
SK17 6BE

About The Pavilion Gardens Buxton

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

BUYERS PREMIUM
12.5% (plus VAT @ 20%)

 

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