Motor City

25 July 2015

The Richard & Linda Kughn Collection

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Lot 136

1934 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible Coupe Roadster

  • Engine no. 400219
  • Body no. 338-P-17

Sold for $297,000

Series 1240A. 175 bhp, 462 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine with two-barrel Stromberg carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptical leaf-spring suspension, live rear axle, and vacuum-assisted four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 139 in.

  • Offered from the collection of Richard and Linda Kughn
  • A genuine, authentic example; AACA and CCCA Senior First Prize winner
  • Formerly owned by Harrah’s Automobile Collection
  • Decades of known history; includes a copy of its Harrah’s file

The Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible Coupe Roadster offered here is a genuine example and is one of only six presently listed with the Pierce-Arrow Society. It was acquired in 1960 by the famed Harrah’s Automobile Collection, of Sparks, Nevada, from John E. Kallstrom, of Portland, Oregon.

It is interesting to note that at the time the car had recorded 24,416 miles, which Mr. Harrah’s technicians noted was “original.” Mr. Kallstrom had the car repainted and re-trimmed, and it received a new top, but it was otherwise unrestored. Fascinating materials in the file document and list correct finishes and trim for the model, including differences from 1933 to 1934, detailed technical information, and discussions of nomenclature with Pierce-Arrow Society historian Bernard Weis.

While the car is presently fitted with a newer serial number plate, the Harrah’s file includes a rubbing off of the original plate, verifying the car’s correct original number is that which it still wears today, along with the original engine and body numbers. The body number of 338-P-17 clearly identifies that the car is an original twelve-cylinder convertible coupe roadster.

The car was sold by Harrah’s in 1981 to Henry Candler, of Denver, Colorado, later passing to John C. May, of High Point, North Carolina, in 1989 and then to Leon Garoyan, of Davis, California. Mr. Garoyan began the Pierce’s professional, body-off restoration in 1995, with a variety of respected artisans participating. The engine was rebuilt by the late, great Eric Rosenau; the beautiful Cream and Maroon paint and assembly were carried out by Larry Munson; and correct red leather upholstery was installed by Ken Nemenick. A set of high-speed gears, believed to have been supplied by Mr. Rosenau, were also installed.

The restored Pierce-Arrow was shown by Mr. Garoyan at the Pierce-Arrow Society’s National Meet in San Diego in 1996. It was later acquired by Fred Smith and then by the Kughn Collection, in which it has been properly maintained and still occasionally shown. It received its AACA Senior First Prize at Hershey in 2007 and its CCCA Senior badge (1979S) at the Michigan Grand Classic in 2008. It was again 1st in Class at the PAS National Meet in 2008 and was judged Best in Class at the 2008 Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles.

Beautifully presented, with wonderful documented history in some of America’s finest collections, this is one of the finest Pierce-Arrow Twelves to come to market in recent memory and will undoubtedly be a star in whatever stable of Full Classics is fortunate enough to hold it.


Please note that according to the most recent Pierce-Arrow Society roster, this car is one of six survivors, not three as noted in the printed catalogue.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

Michael Squire

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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