Connect with us


THE TWELVE: A Grand Pierce-Arrow Motorcar is Headed to Palm Beach

Written by independent automotive journalist David Neyens


As one of the earliest automakers and one that stood throughout its active years at the summit of the fine-car market, Pierce-Arrow remains legendary for its engineering excellence and uncompromising commitment to quality. The grand V12, also known as the “Twelve,” marked the crowning achievement of Pierce-Arrow and one of the final chapters in the company’s saga. Karl Wise, the company’s new chief engineer at the time, headed development, with testing commencing in 1931. Part of the program included speed-record runs on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats, where driver Ab Jenkins smashed 66 AAA-sanctioned speed records in 1933 and set a new world mark of 127 mph over 24 hours in 1934.

Debuted in November 1931 for model year 1932, the Pierce-Arrow V12 was offered in 140- and 150-horsepower tune and introduced revised styling with gracefully flowing bodylines, plus newly available Ride Control driver-adjustable shock absorbers and Startix automatic starting. For 1933, Pierce-Arrow’s model lines were reorganized and redesignated, with the V12 powerplant uprated to 160 horsepower on the 136-inch-wheelbase Model 1236 and uprated to 462ci and 175 horsepower for the 137-inch-wheelbase Model 1242 and 142-inch-wheelbase Model 1247.

Renowned for their commanding power and performance, the majority of 12-cylinder Pierces carried some of the most luxurious and stylish custom coachwork ever devised. While most often reserved for somber sedans and limousines, the larger 12-cylinder Pierce-Arrow Model 1242 and 1247 chassis were also utilized for dashing semi-custom, factory-catalogued bodies crafted by LeBaron. Among them was a beautifully proportioned and appointed Convertible Sedan.

Despite Pierce-Arrow’s characteristic excellence and the seeming logic behind the company’s 1928 merger with Studebaker, it was clear by 1933 that financial results were worsening, resulting in Pierce-Arrow reverting to its former independence. Neither the V12 and its ongoing development, its growing tally of highly publicized speed records, nor the brilliant Silver Arrow show car of 1933 could return the company to long-term sustainability, ultimately resulting in cessation of automobile production in 1938.

This LeBaron-bodied 1933 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible Sedan stands as one of the grandest and most prestigious Full Classic automobiles remaining from the celebrated Classic Era as defined by the CCCA (Classic Car Club of America). One of as few as three examples remaining in existence, according to the current Pierce-Arrow Society Register, this exquisite LeBaron-bodied 1933 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible Sedan was purchased during the 1980s in startlingly well-preserved original condition by Californian Pierce-Arrow collector and historian Pat Craig from the nephew of a man who acquired the Pierce in 1944 and then placed it into long-term storage. A total professional restoration was completed during the 1990s, overseen by Craig.

While an early Hollywood provenance was believed to have been attached to the vehicle in the past, extensive archival research conducted for Craig proved inconclusive. Nonetheless, luxury automobiles like this Pierce-Arrow Twelve were obviously owned when new only by the wealthiest or most famous personalities during the early-1930s trough of the Great Depression, lending credence to the possibility of an early Hollywood connection. A new owner acquired the Twelve in 2004 and, during the latter 2000s, it joined the massive John O’Quinn collection in Houston, followed by purchase by a new European owner in 2010 and repatriation to the United States with the current owner in 2017.

As now offered, the Twelve is a thrilling find at auction that benefits handsomely from caring ownership and maintenance ever since it was restored. The unforgettable LeBaron-built body showcases a visually striking light green paint finish, complemented by light gray-green feature lines, accents and artillery-style wheels. The Twelve’s elegant exterior is contrasted by a unique and exotic-finished tan ostrich leather interior. Period accessories include a pair of Pilot Ray driving lamps and dual side-mounted spares fitted with body-color covers, topped by correct Pierce-Arrow mirrors. A Pierce-Arrow “Kneeling Archer” mascot graces the chrome radiator shell. Beautifully finished woodwork graces the door caps, ashtray covers and dash, while the instrument panel features a full array of restored original instruments. The original 175-horsepower, 462ci V12 engine is finished in the correct

Read More


By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: THE TWELVE: A Grand Pierce-Arrow Motorcar is Headed to Palm Beach
Sourced From:
Published Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2024 15:18:07 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading


Grunter—A Six-Figure Vincent Rapide Headlining Bonhams

1938 vincent rapide 10 745x497 1 jpg

1938 Vincent Series-A Rapide Motorcycle
Countless motorcycle manufacturers popped up in the 1920s and ’30s in Britain, but somehow, none quite as cool as Vincent. High-end speed machines, combining old-school big-displacement twins, monochrome finishes and titillating names like Rapide and Black Shadow, a Vincent V-twin welcomes you into any roundtable of motorcycling, and it’s not hard to see why. A seat rarely opens at the Vincent Owners Club, even more so when you’re talking about an ultra-rare first-series Rapide.

1938 Vincent Series-A Rapide Motorcycle

One of just 79 built, the Series-A Rapide represents Vincent’s first foray into V-twins—an endeavor that established Vincent as the superbike of the day. There are faster Vincents, and on occasion more valuable ones, but the rarity and significance of the Series-A Rapide is hard to overstate. As such, this restored 1938 Rapide highlights Bonhams’ upcoming Spring Stafford Sale with an estimated hammer price of $300,854 to $350,997.

While Vincent didn’t pioneer the V-twin, their execution is at least worthy of an honorable mention. Philip Vincent’s start in motorcycles echoes many of his peers of the era, becoming interested in bikes at a young age and crafting a few ‘specials’ of his own design in the late 1920s. At age 20, Vincent filed a patent for a cantilevered rear suspension design, and with backing from his family, he purchased the financially troubled HRD brand from Howard R Davies in 1928.

1938 Vincent Series-A Rapide MotorcycleRead More


By: Dean Larson
Title: Grunter—A Six-Figure Vincent Rapide Headlining Bonhams
Sourced From:
Published Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2024 17:00:38 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading


Fast Tubes

RACEPRO201307 p1 jpg

1969 Rennmax BN3Photo: Ian Welsh
1969 Rennmax BN3
Photo: Ian WelshIt can’t be denied that the world of motor racing, both contemporary and historic, is saturated with egos. Some would say that it’s all really driven by egos, and that is sometimes directly connected to the size of the wallet. Perhaps without such egos we wouldn’t have motor racing at all.

So egos are certainly important, but there is something else that’s behind so many involved in motor racing and, in particular, historic motor sport. I am referring of course to the passion that many have for the sport. A passion that is so strong in some that it outweighs the need for podium finishes and is certainly far stronger than whatever shekels may influence others.

.memberful-global-teaser-content p:last-child{
-webkit-mask-image: linear-gradient(180deg, #000 0%, transparent);
mask-image: linear-gradient(180deg, #000 0%, transparent);>

Become a Member & Get Ad-Free Access To This Article (& About 6,000+ More)

Access to the full article is limited to paid subscribers only. Our membership removes most ads, lets you enjoy unlimited access to all our premium content, and offers you awesome discounts on partner products. Enjoy our premium content.

Become a member today!

lready a Member?

Sign in to your account hereRefresh this page to access your content!

The post Fast Tubes appeared first on Sports Car Digest.

Read More


By: SportsCarDigest
Title: Fast Tubes
Sourced From:
Published Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2024 06:59:17 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading


Gordon Murray Automotive’s new T.50 production line

Gordon Murray 02 jpg

Premium British vehicle manufacturer Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) has announced a strategic move of its T.50 supercar production to the company’s newly-built Group headquarters at Highams Park, Surrey. The new site has already taken over manufacturing of the GMA T.50 supercar from its previous production facility at Dunsfold Park. This decision will see T.50 manufacturing benefit from a wealth of efficiencies, while enabling the business to streamline carbon fiber monocoque production for T.33 prototypes and future models at Dunsfold Park. Used for development, testing and homologation-related crash testing, the monocoques will now be produced on-site, accelerating the supercar’s pre-production processes.



GMA advances T.50 production to new Highams Park HQ to streamline future model manufacturingMove sees the continuation of T.50 customer car production at new multi-million-pound facilityDecision enables dedicated T.33 prototype monocoque production at GMA’s Dunsfold Park siteHighams Park will continue to build the T.50, ahead of producing the T.50s, T.33, and T.33 Spider

State of the art

Building the new Gordon Murray Group HQ at Highams Park near the village of Windlesham saw investment of more than £50 million, and the creation of a broad range of specialized job roles to support full scale production. The new campus will be the Group’s global headquarters – home to a purpose-built 4,300 square meter Vehicle Production Centre, and the Gordon Murray Heritage collection. The site also features a specially-designed Vehicle Dynamics Test Road, used for final validation and pre-delivery checks of new GMA supercars – all set in 54 acres of beautiful English parkland. For customers opting to take delivery of their cars from Highams Park, the new HQ offers the ideal setting at its dedicated Driving Perfection Customer Centre, where owners can specify, set-up, and take delivery of their GMA supercar.

 GMARead More


By: Rex McAfee
Title: Gordon Murray Automotive’s new T.50 production line
Sourced From:
Published Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2024 15:42:33 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading