1935 PIERCE-ARROW MODEL 1245 SILVER ARROW
Chassis No. Tba
Engine No. Tba
Two-tone Dark red with brown fabric interior. Engine: 80 degree V-12, 462ci., 175bhp at 3,400rpm; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: I-beam axle front and hypoid rear; Brakes: four wheel mechanical power unit. 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 Montlhhry. 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. To do this they constructed five show cars at their Studebaker facility in South Bend, Indiana, designer Phil Wright drawing on all the styling influences of its time, to provide the most avant garde streamlined car of its day. When unveiled at the New York and Chicago Auto Shows that year these 'Silver Arrows' were absolute show stoppers, and they accomplished all that the new sales manager Roy Faulkner had intended. The 'Silver Arrows' served their purpose well, exciting potential Pierce-Arrow buyers and motivating them to purchase one of the new production examples.
In 1934 and '35 only a production Silver Arrow was offered on the Eight and Twelve chassis, with slightly tempered lines to allow for more practicality. Very few of these were built, the Twelve being priced at just under $4,000, this is a rare survivor.
When studied closely today, the eye for detail in design and quality of build shines through. The interior is exquisitely appointed from its broad individual front driving seats, to valve radio with speaker set centrally in the roof panel. From the archer hood ornament to fuel filler cap neatly positioned in the rear fender, every aspect is well thought out. Some of the interior's fine points include twin glove boxes in the dash, one on each side of instruments that were originally faced with convex watch crystal lenses.
Harris Laskey, with his keen eye for styling, detail and interesting livery for his cars, purchased the Silver Arrow in the early 1990s. It was subsequently committed to a full rebuild. On completion of its restoration, the Pierce was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It has since been entered for numerous concours events including Palos Verdes in 1999 when it won a 1st in the Classic Closed class. This car also won "Most Elegant" at the Silverado Concours d'Elegance.
Few classic motor cars match the Pierce-Arrow's technical attributes, the 175hp twelve cylinder power plant is one of the great automobile engines of the 1930s, and the box-girder design of the frame with long semi-elliptic springs of flat camber are the unseen secrets of the car's impressive ride. The combination makes later model Pierce-Arrows such as this 1245 among the best driving classic-era cars and they are favorites for touring. They offer a superb motoring environment. Features such as power brakes make them highly desirable to participate in many car functions.
The Silver Arrow is eligible at Pierce-Arrow Society, AACA, Classic Car Club and VMCCA events.