Formerly the property of Mr. Phil Hill
1929 PIERCE-ARROW SERIES 143 SEVEN PASSENGER TOURER
Chassis No. 3001416
Engine No. A-6620
Two-tone red with dark red fenders and tan leather interior with a tan canvas top
Engine: L-head, straight eight, pressure feed engine lubrication, 366ci., 125bhp at 3,200rpm; Gearbox: four-speed manual; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear; Brakes: four wheel mechanical drums. Left hand drive.
This handsome Tourer is one of Pierce-Arrow's Series 143 Custom Groups, its top-of-the-line eight cylinder powered cars, built on the long 143" wheelbase chassis. The brackets which support the rear windshield with large wind wings are factory built into the frame of the front seat and suggest it was specially ordered. These fine Customs Group cars are visually distinguished from the shorter Series 133 models by little side doors rather than louvers in the side of the bonnet and the small light illuminating the running board. Customs Group cars could be ordered with any upholstery of the buyer's choosing, at no extra charge. It is interesting that this tourer and other body styles of the Customs Group have a Pierce-Arrow label and not a coachbuilder's. Pierce-Arrow had a strong reputation for both chassis and body construction and it favored offering its own brand of bodies. As 1929 was the last year before Pierce offered full lines of series custom bodies, this grand tourer represents the apogee of that own-label artistry on the long wheelbase chassis.
As of March 4, 1929 the first three of these cars were in production at the Pierce factory. Production was projected to rise to two per day, making this one of the rarest of Pierce's 1929 models. This late production start and the serial number, 3001416, is reflected in the large hubcaps on the car. During the first several months of production, 1929 Pierce-Arrows used a small hubcap similar in size to its 1928 cars. The larger diameter hubs, considered more modern looking, were introduced during the 1929 model year.
These impressive 1929 Pierce-Arrow cars blended the marque's traditions with state-of-the-art technical specifications of the time. The dashboard is an elegant grouping of five Art Deco style chrome-plated instruments on a painted lacquer background. Seen above the rear bumper on the driver's side of the car, Pierce-Arrow's cluster of three drum-shaped lights, for tail, stop and reverse, allows one to recognize the make of the car just by a rear view. The straight eight engine had both competitive performance specifications, reaching 85mph, and special Pierce durability details such as nine main bearings on the crankshaft, own make leaf springs (with 11 leaves on the front spring) and an engine block cooling system characterized by an unusually thorough distribution of water.
This lovely example was purchased from avid Pierce enthusiast Mr. Phil Hill in 1972. After joining the Browning Collection the Pierce underwent a correct and thorough restoration following which it was awarded a First in Class at Pebble Beach in 1975. Now an older restoration, it is showing wear towards the rear of the car as several long cracks are visible. The brightwork appears quite presentable, as does the dark red leather interior. Instrumentation appears correct and in good order and includes a Waltham eight day clock. This Pierce-Arrow Touring Car is both a very well maintained older restoration of a most attractive open model car and a highly usable sporty-style classic. It is correct down to the helmeted archer and the Los Angeles dealer's service tag on the inside of the front door, with the more recent addition of a later year overdrive, a Pilot Ray headlight and a driver's Lorraine controllable spotlamp. It is equally appropriate for show or car club driving events and accordingly would be a welcome addition at any Pierce-Arrow meet or Classic Car Club of America Caravan.