1933 PIERCE-ARROW V12 CONVERTIBLE COUPE
STYLED BY LeBARON, BUILT BY PIERCE-ARROW
Serial No. 3100006
Engine No. 355193
Body No. 537P
Pewter and blue with red leather interior
Engine: V12 side valve, 462 ci., 175hp at 3,400rpm; Gearbox: manual three speed; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf springs with ball bearing shackles; Brakes: Stewart-Warner power assisted drums all around. Left hand drive.
In 1904 the George N. Pierce Company secured its niche in the luxury car market with the introduction of a $4,000 motor car named the 'Great Arrow'. In the years to come, the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company would become one of the most important automakers in early America. Its cars featured styling innovations that would pre-date its competitors for years. Indeed the best example is the use of body integrated head lamps, first introduced on a Pierce-Arrow automobile in 1913! The Pierce-Arrow achieved unparalleled success in a wide range of arenas, including five straight wins at the Glidden Tour. The automobiles produced by the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company are considered to be some of the finest cars produced in the world - the silence of their engines is perhaps the greatest challenger to the claims of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
In 1932 Pierce-Arrow introduced its first V12 to the public. To test its new creation, the company sent the inaugural V12 to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to see how it would perform and compare to its competitors. Driven by Ab Jenkins, the stock Pierce-Arrow reached a cruising speed of 112.4mph, one mile per hour shy of the world record set by Marchand in a Voisin at Montlhery. In 1933 Pierce-Arrow sent yet another V12 to the Salt Flats, and this time it was slightly modified with an upgraded engine. Ab Jenkins managed to pilot the modified car to a record-breaking 117.77mph. By the time Jenkins had finished, he had broken 14 FIM and sixty-six AAA records in both class and overall divisions. With the impressive results of Ab Jenkins and the new V12 behind its moniker, Pierce-Arrow looked to re-secure a place among the elite in the swiftly dwindling post-depression automobile world. In order to gain the public's attention, Pierce-Arrow constructed five show cars at their Studebaker facility in South Bend, Indiana. Called the 'Silver Arrows', these exquisitely styled show cars created a stir of public interest for the model line up offered to the public as well. The 'Silver Arrows' served their purpose well, exciting potential Pierce-Arrow buyers and motivating them to purchase one of the new production examples.
The Pierce-Arrow 1242 of 1933 was perhaps one of the company's last gasps at greatness. The V12 ran incredibly quietly and smoothly for a motor capable of 175hp, owing largely to the well engineered self-adjusting tappets. Quality of the appointments and overall construction of the car remained the same, its name unblemished by the effects of the Depression.
In 1933 Pierce-Arrow built five model 1242s styled by LeBaron. It is documented that only three remain in existence, and Mr. Lassiter's is one such original bodied example. The restoration on this striking V12 Pierce Model 1242 was done by Jack Dietz in William Lassiter's shop in 1994. Pictures of the car prior to restoration are available for inspection. Mr. Lassiter's Pierce is attractively finished in a deep pewter color with blue belting. The belting matches the underbody, as well as the wire wheels, giving the Pierce-Arrow an all-together handsome appearance. Some notable exterior highlights include the rare 'suicide doors', dual horns, driving/fog lamps, dual side spares and teardrop style body-integrated head lamps. The black and red leather piped convertible top almost completely disappears when folded down, giving the car a sporty overall appearance.
The interior is lavishly finished in a vibrant red leather with red carpeting all around. The dashboard and instrument gauges appear to be in fine condition throughout. The interior and exterior brightwork both seem to be in excellent condition. The engine compartment and motor appear to have been well maintained and are accordingly both well detailed and clean. The Pierce-Arrow is equipped with a Stromberg carburetor and a twin coil Delco-Remy ignition system. It is also finished with a modern fuel filter system and some aeroquip hoses. This Pierce-Arrow is accepted as a full classic by the Classic Car Club of America and is eligible for all tours and events. In 1995 Mr. Lassiter's Pierce-Arrow was awarded a National First Prize by the Antique Automobile Club of America (no. 19B0630), adding further distinction to this handsome and rare classic. Mr. Lassiter's 1933 Pierce-Arrow V12 Model 1242, with its LeBaron styled body, is the cat's meow, the most desirable Pierce-Arrow of the Classic era.