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1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car

1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car

1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car - Over 10,000 classic, collector and current cars and trucks at RemarkableCars.com

1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car

1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car
AUCTION RESULTS: Car was Sold at a price of $308,000

66hp, 824.7 cu. in. T-head six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with 3/4 -elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes.

George N. Pierce was a bicycle manufacturer. His industrial experience, however, was far more diverse, beginning as a partner in Heintz, Pierce and Munschauer, a Buffalo, New York company that made bird cages. As the nineteenth century progressed, the firm branched out into ice boxes and bath tubs. After Pierce bought out his partners in 1872 he renamed the company for himself and embarked on pedal-powered transportation. Taking notice of the interest in self-propelled vehicles, he built a steam car in 1900.

That November, a gasoline-powered car was operating, and in 1901 manufacture of a De Dion-engined "Motorette" began. A defining moment in the evolution of the Pierce automobile came in 1904, with the introduction of the four-cylinder Great Arrow. Pierce's son Percy drove one in the inaugural 1905 Glidden Tour, winning the reliability contest hands down. Pierces took the Glidden trophy for the next four events. "Pierce" and "Arrow" became so linked in the public eye that both car and company were renamed Pierce-Arrow in 1909. By then, Pierce-Arrows, which sold for $3,050 to $7,200, had joined Packard and Peerless in comprising the "Three Ps" of luxury American motor manufacture.

The early Pierce cars were principally the work of David Fergusson, a British-born engineer of Scots ancestry. Fergusson had designed a car for the E.C. Stearns Company of Syracuse, a short-lived concern unrelated to the Cleveland luxury automaker. He joined Pierce in 1901, and laid out the design for the company's Motorette and Arrow models. In 1905, as Chief Engineer, he toured Europe with manufacturing vice-president Henry May. They visited all the British and Continental automobile factories, looking at design trends and manufacturing methods. In particular they noted the move to larger cars with six-cylinder engines. This would set the pattern for Pierce cars for the next 15 years.

While Fergusson was the mechanical genius behind what we now call the "Big Pierces," their striking appearance is the work of Herbert Dawley. In April 1905, the Pierce company held a design contest, advertising in magazines for aspiring artists and designers to submit designs for open and limousine bodies and color schemes for these concepts. Prizes totaling $1,000 were offered. The winner, young Dawley, was immediately offered a position at Pierce. Upon joining the firm he was furnished with offices and the services of a draftsman and a secretary.

Dawley began by re-designing the Pierce body hardware. Enamored of the hexagon, he used its shape extensively, applying it to hub caps, interior appointments and the cross section of handles. It was Dawley who devised the fender-mounted headlamps that became a Pierce hallmark in 1913.

The first six-cylinder Pierce was the Model 65-Q, introduced in 1907. Like the fours that preceded it, the new powerplant was of T-head configuration, displacing an impressive 648 cubic inches. Built on a 135-inch wheelbase, nearly a foot longer than the largest four-cylinder model, the 65-Q weighed in at slightly more than 4,000 pounds. About 100 were built, as opposed to 900 fours, but the tide was turning. A smaller, 40 horsepower six, the 40-S, was added in 1908, and another, derived from the 24 horsepower four-cylinder 24-T before the year was out. The last Pierce fours were built in 1909. For 1910, there were three sixes, the 36-UU, on wheelbases of 119 and 125 inches, the 48-SS with 128- and 134-inch chassis, and the 133- or 140-inch 66-QQ, which was basically the 65-Q with a quarter-inch larger bore. The model numbers were derived from the cars' rated horsepower, which was calculated solely from the bore and number of cylinders. Successive models of 38, 48 and 66 horsepower would comprise the Pierce catalog through 1918.

A well-built composite car, this Pierce-Arrow 66 is well-equipped for modern touring. Constructed on a lengthened Pierce Model 48 chassis, it is powered by an authentic 1912 66 horsepower engine. The body is carefully built to the pattern of period Pierce touring cars, and outfitted with appropriate fenders, aprons, hood, top and ancillary items: windshield, coil box, glove boxes and rear-mounted tool box. The car has been fitted with a 12-volt electrical system, including alternator and starter motor, for touring convenience, and a Zenith carburetor and modern distributor for drivability. The brakes have been converted to four-wheel hydraulic discs for safety. It rides on new 27-inch rims with wood wheels and 37 x 5 Lester whitewall tires. Period brass accessories include head and tail lamps, Klaxon horn, Pierce cowl lamps and a Warner Auto Meter with clock.

Constructed prior to 1980, the car's previous history is uncertain; a reference to the Harrah collection has not been verified. Until recently, however, it has been in the collection of Massachusetts collector Howard Fafard. In 1985, not long after acquiring the car, Fafard entered it in the Portland-to-Portland tour organized by Millard Newman. Newman, a Florida cigar manufacturer and Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost aficionado, was a devotee of long-distance touring, and organized biennial events from 1968 until his passing in 2001. The 1985 tour, a 3,500-mile jaunt from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, began in mid-June, and followed a mostly Canadian route through Québec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, before re-entering the United States.

Although still being broken in after an engine rebuild, the car performed magnificently on tour, the only trouble occurring with the rear wheels, which were repaired en route. According to Fafard's co-driver, who piloted the Pierce as far as Thunder Bay, it would "tromp up any hill, pass any car." It was a "real steamroller and lots of fun." The car is painted in white, nicely accented by tan leather upholstery. The undercarriage is done in contrasting dark blue. The wood steering wheel, coil box and floor are nicely varnished, as are the wooden artillery wheels. The whole car presents an excellent appearance. It runs and drives well, and the modern adaptations make it an ideal tour car. A new owner will indeed be able to tromp up any hill, pass any car…

RM Auctions
Automobiles of Amelia Island
March 14, 2009
Website: www.rmauctions.com
Sold at a price of $308,000
Lot #250

1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car Additional Pictures

1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car

1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car

1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car

1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car

1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car

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1912 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-QQ 5-Passenger Touring Car - Over 10,000 classic, collector and current cars and trucks at RemarkableCars.com