7-8 October 2010
1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 43 Sport Phaeton
- Chassis no. 1025208
Sold for $88,000
- From a respected Pierce-Arrow collector
- Sporting open body; very well maintained and equipped
In the wake of the stock market crash of October 1929, Pierce-Arrow managed to increase its share of the American fine car market with its second-highest production totals of 7,670 units during 1930. As was the case with a great many businesses of the era, however, it remains questionable whether or not company management fully understood the gravity of the worsening economic situation.
For 1931, the Pierce-Arrow product catalog included three models, with a return to numerical designations for them. Curiously, the company assigned its model designations inversely, with Model 41 being the largest, on a mammoth 147-inch wheelbase, while the Model 42 was an intermediate model on a 142-inch wheelbase. The Model 43 was now the entry-level model, if that phrase could ever apply to Pierce-Arrow, available with either a 134-inch or a 137-inch wheelbase and powered by the 365.6-cubic inch eight.
Perhaps no other feature characterized the Pierce-Arrow experience better than the company’s renowned quality control measures, which led the American fine car industry long before the concept ever graced a business-management textbook. Among them, Pierce-Arrow engines were dynamometer-tested while stethoscopes were used to detect unwanted sounds. Stainless-steel brackets and fasteners were utilized extensively, and no fewer than 55 body-finishing steps were specified.
A long-time Pierce-Arrow enthusiast currently owns this elegant Model 43 Sport Phaeton. Its sporting open coachwork is enhanced by wire-spoke wheels, dual side-mounted spare tires, a rear luggage trunk and a tan folding top. The car is complete with a rear windshield, side curtains and wind wings. It is also very well equipped for enjoyable touring with overdrive and standard freewheeling. In 2004, this well-preserved Pierce-Arrow reportedly won third-place honors under Pierce-Arrow Society judging.
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