19-20 January 2017

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Lot 154

1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 41 Convertible Sedan by LeBaron

  • Chassis no. 3050251
  • Engine no. 325820

Sold for $154,000

132 hp, 385 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine with two-barrel updraft Stromberg carburetor, four-speed manual transmission with freewheeling, solid front and live rear axles with semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 147 in.

  • Formerly of the Matt and Barbara Browning collection
  • Restored by Pierce-Arrow specialist Eric Rosenau
  • Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance award-winner
  • Reportedly one of only four examples built in 1931

For its top-of-the-line Model 41 series of 1931, Pierce-Arrow revived the splendor of past days with a majestic 147-inch-wheelbase chassis, carrying a new 132-horsepower straight-eight, the most powerful eight-cylinder engine in its class. A deeper radiator shell and heightened brightwork effectively offset the growing trend to more restrained exterior colors, while further technical innovations to the chassis included free-wheeling, allowing for easy downhill coasting without the need to disengage the transmission or depress the clutch pedal.

Pierce-Arrow offered the Model 41 with a variety of luxe “semi-custom” bodies, produced by the renowned coachbuilders LeBaron. Indications are that only about 25 LeBaron bodies were ordered for the Model 41, in all styles, and only four of those were the four-door convertible sedan. Especially attractive in its subtle design, the convertible sedan bears a striking resemblance to LeBaron’s work on Chrysler and Packard chassis of this same era, including the distinctive beltline molding and very long hoodline, which emphasize its length and power.

The convertible sedan offered here is perhaps the most famous and well-respected example. Its history is known back to the early 1950s, when it was purchased by the late, well-known enthusiast James Weston of California. Mr. Weston subsequently sold the Pierce-Arrow, in excellent original condition, to Matt and Barbara Browning of Ogden, Utah, in 1972. The Brownings were, in their time, the most renowned Pierce-Arrow collectors in the country, building a wonderful private museum that’s depth, breadth, and quality has yet to be surpassed. All of their cars were beautifully, correctly restored or excellent original examples, and they remain some of the finest of their kind, 16 years after the collection was dispersed.

This was the final car restored for the Brownings, and like many of the greatest automobiles in their collection, the work was done by the late Eric Rosenau, the foremost Pierce-Arrow authority on the West Coast, in a wonderful light and dark brown with orange pinstriping. Fresh out of restoration at the time of its sale in 2000, the car was shown by its new owner at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2001, winning a class award. Today the paint, interior, and chassis remain beautiful and well-presented, a testament to the lasting quality of Mr. Rosenau’s renowned workmanship. Further, it is well-equipped with correct accessories, including not only the famous “archer” mascot, but twin side-mounted spares with contoured mirrors, Tilt-Ray headlamps, dual running lights, dual horns, and an Arrowlite taillight. The leather seats are adjustable, and footrests are provided for the rear passengers.

A superb Pierce-Arrow with desirable “semi-custom” coachwork and a wonderful, pure history filled with the best of names, this would be an outstanding addition to any collection of Buffalo’s finest automobile.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more