Luxurious and Rare: 1929 Pierce-Arrow Model 125 Landau Club Sedan

Pierce-Arrow. The name alone conjures up visions of luxurious living, and of owning a car that was more than just a car. It was a status symbol. The company stuck steadfastly to their belief that they would always build the best and most luxurious cars that money could buy. They rejected the option of introducing an entry-level model to generate cash flow. This was at a time when the world was being ravaged by The Great Depression, and their decision ultimately led to a slow and lingering death for a once great marque. This 1929 Model 125 Landau is a car that would make a great restoration project because the “bones” of the car appear to be solid. It is located in Monroe, Michigan, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $12,600, but the reserve hasn’t been met. There is also a BIN option set at $22,000. The owner says that if the reserve is reached, he will be removing the BIN button, so the car will then be going to the highest bidder.

Overall, the condition of this Pierce-Arrow look to be extremely good. There’s no sign of any real rust issues, and the owner says that the doors open and shut smoothly. The paint is a bit tired in spots, but it looks like the car is complete, with no obvious signs of missing trim items. One feature that catches my eye is the distinctive headlight treatment on the car. The faired-in design was something that was introduced in 1914 and remained a feature of every car produced by the company right through until its closure in 1938. It was possible to order a car from Pierce-Arrow with the traditional headlight styling, but cars with that feature are extraordinarily rare.

If someone wanted to return the Pierce-Arrow to the road in a hurry, there is no reason why the car couldn’t be used with the interior as it is. A full restoration would see most of the upholstery replaced, but there are a lot of items that look to be in good condition. Chief among them is the dash with that extraordinary gauge cluster. That really is a work of art and is a great indication that this is a car that was built with cost as the lowest priority, and with style and quality being paramount.

That’s a big engine, and for its day, it was also a pretty lively one as well. This is a 365ci straight-eight engine, which produces an impressive (for the day) 125hp. Backing this is a 3-speed manual transmission. As with so much of this car so far, the news here is quite good. The car starts and runs, and has good oil pressure. The clutch also works smoothly, and the transmission shifts nicely. The owner says that he has driven it around his property, but advises that it would need new tires before it could hit the open road. Depending on how long it has been since this last happened, a thorough mechanical check might also be advisable.

This Pierce-Arrow comes from a time and a culture that we are unlikely to ever see again. These were cars that were essentially custom-built to suit the new owner’s needs and tastes, and the closest that we would be able to find to this today would be the Rolls-Royce “Bespoke” program. These also aren’t a car that comes onto the market that often, so it may be one of the very limited chances that you have to own one of the most prestigious and exclusive cars of its time.

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Comments

  1. 86_Vette_Convertible

    This is the type car you’d expect to see someone like FDR or financial magnet riding in. Hoping it’s brought back to the quality of car it is and sees the road again. It could be a great parade car.

    Like 11
  2. ken tilly Member

    Absolutely magnificent motor car. Wish I had the wherewithal, garaging and lived in US, to be the next owner.

    Like 11
  3. Howard A Member

    I think one could say, these were the Rolls Royce of America. Costing probably 10 times what a Ford or Chevy cost, during the grips of the depression, it was just a dream for most. Later on, many of these were turned into tow trucks, because they were such beasts, better than most trucks at the time. It’s amazing this one escaped that fate. Think of the stories this car could tell. Heck, could have even been a mob boss gangsters car,,,who knows? Might want to check for bullet holes. Remember “The Untouchables”?

    Like 10
  4. NotSure

    Deep pockets and high enthusiasm will bring this one back. While a concourse restoration would be great it would be just fine with me to keep this as is with the mechanicals fully sorted. I wonder if this would make it under the parking garage clearance at my work?

    Like 7
  5. Sal

    I say this with upmost appreciation for Pierce’s…
    I can’t seem to understand how the collector market prices them.

    I’ll see a well worn original car for sale that were it a Packard or Franklin would be an absolute steal, that ends up not selling. Then I’ll see a poorly restored car that seems overpriced be bought almost instantaneously.

    My only guess has been Pierce Arrow owners buy them because they are a PA; they aren’t in the market for a Packard, Franklin, Peerless, etc. So the buyer being in the right place matters more then price????

    Like 3
    • redwagon

      Just a guess but model may make a significant difference too.

      This is in incredibly nice condition for the age. A pity the right passengers window appears to be cracked as replacing it and attempting to keep it tinted is likely to really stand out when compared to the other 4 windows.

      The adornment on the C pillar is an early sign of ‘broughamtastic’ that we see later on the late 60s Thunderbirds among other marks. Cool car.

      Like 4
      • Andy

        I don’t think that’s tint; I think it’s oxidation of the laminate, very common in early “safety glass.” With all the glass in this car most likely being flat, replacing it all would probably be one of the most straightforward parts of a restoration. In fact I’d replace all the glass even if I weren’t touching the bodywork.

        Like 8
  6. DRV

    This is the same colors and body style of a ’32 my dad had in 1955 as a driver. It was only 23 years old at the time so it’s like me driving my 1996 BMW 318ti right now…kinda…

    Like 8
    • EJM3

      My dad also had a ’31 or ’32 in 1956 and as an 8 year old, the thing I remember most is the yellow tint of the failing laminate glue – you could see bubbles in it. Also, the size was remarkable, too, next to the ’55 Chevy sedan and ’56 Chevy wagon we had

  7. edh

    I am not familiar with these, what’s the deal with the yellow tint on the windows?

    • egads

      Early laminated window material deteriorating.

      Like 4
  8. john

    missing the radiator cap ornament

    • Lance Nord

      That helmeted archer ornament in good condition can cost $800-$1,000.

      Like 2
  9. canadainmarkseh Member

    This interior looks like the mice got in it especially the headliner. It’s tough to keep those little buggers out of a car so I think it’s smart to keep a trap line inside the car and check it regularly. If this were mine I’d do a simpathetic restoration. Redo the interior, touch up the paint, nickel plate the bumpers not chrome so that they aren’t to shiney and go through all the mechanical components. I’d also clean and detail under the hood. Lastly I’d have to build a bigger garage to house this beast it looks bigger than 3/4 ton.

    Like 1
  10. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I remember reading a story once written by a woman telling the story of her dads Woderful Pierce Arrow. It was a well written story that made you want to go look for and buy a Pierce Arrow car.
    God bless America

  11. Rodney - GSM

    A stunning, magnificent automobile. Just clean it up and make it road worthy would be my choice. Anyone can restore a car, but an original, preserved car tells a much better story. By the way, Bentley offers a bespoke program as well as Rolls Royce whenever you feel like being Jay Gatsby.

  12. Steve

    Nice car, but I never found the headlights appealing on these models.

    Like 1
    • Lance

      Steve, Actually for a time Pierce offered to put the headlights inboard if the customer wanted them that way. Most people didn’t because it identified the car as a Pierce.

  13. W9BAG

    When I was about 10, my neighbor “car sat” one of these. I recall it as being a truly magnificent motor car. It was part of a collection, in concours condition. The car was located in Terre Haute, Indiana, and owned by Todd Jortisma.

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