1915 PIERCE-ARROW MODEL 48 B-3 FIVE-PASSENGER TOURING CAR
Chassis No. 13385
Engine No. 3783
Brewster green with black fenders and cream pinstriping with tufted black leather interior and a black Panasote top
Engine: T-head, six cylinders cast in pairs, pressure feed engine lubrication, 4½ x 5½ inch bore and stroke, 525ci., 92hp at 1,600rpm; Gearbox: leather-faced cone clutch, selective transmission with four forward speeds and reverse; Suspension: front semi-elliptic leaf springs with rear three quarter elliptic leaf springs and Hartford shocks at front and rear; Brakes: two-wheel drum on rear wheels with hand brake for rear wheels; front wheel drum brakes subsequently added. Right hand drive.
The smooth contours of this stylish cast aluminum touring car body represent one of Pierce-Arrow's first major steps to more automotive body design; in the early Teens the cars had begun to lose their thick coach-inspired lines in favor of simpler, smoother-looking designs. Metal brightwork was being changed from bright brass to a combination of soft nickel finish and black paint. The distinctive fender-mounted headlights, adopted in 1913, proved their value both in making certain no one would mistake a Pierce-Arrow for another marque and for their better illumination of the road.
The 1915 Pierce-Arrow cars were part of what was termed the Series Three. A vast array of fifty-four models, powered by three different engines, was available. Prices ranged from $4,300 for the smallest runabout to $7,200 for a landau. This particular 48 B-3 touring car was priced at $4,900. The size of the 48 B-3 or 48 cars belie their technical description as the mid-size Pierce line, their long 142 inch wheelbase chassis making them very imposing cars indeed. Introduced in 1914, the Series Three number was incorporated into the numeric-alpha-numeric model identification. This touring car was one of the last of this Series made, in November 1915, and, interestingly, incorporates one of the first engines of the succeeding Series Four model, then just beginning to be built. The Series Four engine is distinguished by rounded-off tops of the cylinder castings creating a neat-looking engine with a horsepower rating identical to the Series Three cars.
This handsome open car was purchased by Mr. Browning in 1979 from Mr. Winfred Pickard. It appears as though the Pierce was restored some time ago however it still remains in quite presentable condition. It is fitted with the correct Motometer radiator cap, Bausch and Lomb headlight lenses and Pierce-Arrow carburetor stamped with the horsepower designation of 48. At some point front wheel drum brakes were added. The engine appears recently redone. Two spare tires are paired on the driver's side of the car. The car includes a wealth of original equipment such as the cluster of original dashboard gauges and two horns, one for city (electric Klaxon) and one for country (bulb) driving. The unique Pierce-Arrow folding windshield has adjustable rain vision and ventilator. There is a 32-gallon gas tank. Some of the lovely more discrete details include pocket flaps in the doors, straps for hats inside the top and a power-driven air pump to inflate tires.
This Pierce-Arrow is an exceptional example of the period luxury automobile in very nice presentable condition. The five-passenger touring car body offers a wonderful vintage driving experience and appears to be a very honest and largely correct example of one of the premier motor cars of the period.