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Just Out Of Storage: 1934 Pierce-Arrow 836A Brougham

Prior to seeing a Pierce-Arrow in person, I viewed these cars as just another big pre-war classic, but after seeing one in person at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, I learned how impressive these machines really are. As a matter of fact, the very first classic car to win the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble was Phil Hill’s 1931 Pierce-Arrow. This 1934 example is an 836A Brougham that has been owned by the same family since the 1950s and appears to be in dusty but solid condition. Whether this two-door would be eligible to be a Concours contender, I can’t really say, but I can guarantee it would be an incredible machine to see back on the road! If you’d love to have it, you can find it here on eBay in Chicago, Illinois with a current bid of $19k and a BIN of $30k.

Pierce-Arrow was one of the many American manufacturers to have helped develop the automobile industry only to close their doors and fade into obscurity. The brand started out manufacturing household items, but in the late 1800s started building bicycles and by the early 1900s began offering small cars. By 1904, they began offering larger cars with 4-cylinder engines that proved to be quite durable. After winning the Glidden Tour in 1905, the brand became a popular choice with well-heeled Americans. Over the next 30 years, they would go on to build many beautiful luxury cars, but like most brands of the era, they struggled to survive the Great Depression and by 1938 they were forced to close their doors. After looking this example over, it really is a shame that the company went out of business as they clearly were building high-quality cars.

By the time this car was built, the automobile had become a mainstream item that many Americans could afford to own. While I doubt many people cross-shopped between a Pierce-Arrow and a Ford V8, there’s no doubt that the introduction of more affordable options put pressure on luxury brands to provide even more comfort in their offerings. And as you can see, this 836A is quite luxurious by 1934 standards. You got a full range of gauges, wood grain dash inlays, floor hinge pedals, and a well-appointed interior. While the inline-eight cylinder engine might not seem as sophisticated as Ford’s V8, it’s a smooth running powerhouse that can easily propel this big car to speeds of 60+ mph comfortably. And the suspension design provides an incredibly comfortable ride that also handles far better than you would expect from a large luxury car.

It still amazes me how significant Pierce-Arrow was to the American Automobile industry, yet how little known it is these days. Their cars were loved by Hollywood celebrities, Presidents, and foreign aristocrats, yet most Americans today probably haven’t ever heard of the brand or ever seen one of their magnificent automobiles. Hopefully, this example will find its way to an owner that will get it back on the road and show it off as much as possible! So, if you were going to buy a pre-war classic, would it be this Pierce-Arrow or would try to find a Ford V8 Coupe?

Comments

  1. carman4733

    In the description, it says it’s a 1935, in other places it says 1934.

    Like 1
    • Al

      Well half of it…………………
      or
      The top half of it…………………………….

      Like 1
    • Gerard Frederick

      All things considered, that is actually irrelevant. The most impressive car I have ever seen was a Pierce Arrow of the middle 1930´s at Harrah´s Auto Museum in Reno. It had 2 spare wheels which slid into the front fenders (if memory serves), simply fabulously elegant, even more so than the contemporary Hispano-Suiza. In those days the USA had some cars that were simply mind boggling, outdoing Europe on every level, such as the Dupont, for example.

      Like 4
      • CCFisher

        That would be a 1933 Pierce Silver Arrow. One of the most beautiful and influential cars ever built. Only 5 were crafted.

        Like 1
  2. Bakes

    Beautiful old car, built in Buffalo New York. Some of the factory still stands and has been redeveloped.

    Like 6
  3. George Birth

    Great shape for it’s age. Someone who buys this one will really enjoy it.

    Like 7
  4. John E. Klintz

    Pierce was largely destroyed by Studebaker who sucked them dry of operating cash and left them to die, most unfortunately. They, like Duesenberg and Packard built some of the best cars ever to be produced in the US.

    Like 6
    • Gerard Frederick

      Wow, I never knew that. It sounds like what GM did to Opel in our centuty.

      Like 3
      • John E. Klintz

        Yep; that’s why I can’t get enthused about ANY Studebaker, though admittedly they built some good cars up until about 1953. Their poor management destroyed Packard as well, for which I hold them accountable. Starting in 1953 they began to destroy themselves. They produced some great looking, though antiquated and poorly engineered cars.

        Like 5
  5. sonny Member

    Check out the pricing …. seems to be overpriced. For its unrestored condition, should be selling around $18-20,000. It seems to be a nice example but certainly needs much work from tires, brake lines, gas tank/lines paint……much money to bring it to the standards needed for semi restoration, yet alone a full restoration.

    Like 2
  6. Bob McK

    This appears to be a fine example of a car that could be “fixed” and driven or properly restored. I would love to add it to our collection, but the price is a bit rich for me. But, I bet someone else will buy it and have many years of enjoyment.

    Like 0
  7. Wayne

    I once owned a Pierce-Arrow, so I learned a lot about the brand back then. The 836A line was the smaller and cheaper Pierce offered in 1934, with a 366 cu.in. straight 8 producing 135 hp, and a 136″ wheelbase. The larger Pierces started with 385 cu.in. straight 8 and 140hp, with 139-144 in. wheelbases. The 836A cars ranged in price from $2300-$2500, while the big boys ran from $3300-$7K.
    For perspective, the average home was about $1500.
    This car is the only 836A I’ve ever seen in a 2-dr sedan. It was the entry-level model in the 836A series. They only made 330 with the hood vents so it’s rare.
    This same car was on webeautos.com for $29,995. Sonny is right. It’s too expensive even if nothing goes wrong when it gets put back on the road.

    Like 3
  8. Joe Mildenberger

    Beautiful lines. Love the grill. I wonder, does anyone know who came out with enclosed headlights first? Chrysler Airflow maybe? This would be a fantastic car to restore. I would restored it with period correct engine upgrades. Supercharge it. Though it might blow those babbitt bearings. What a statement of a car.

    Like 0
  9. dick

    does car run ? if not, will engine turn over ?

    Like 0

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