Motor City

30 July 2016

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Lot 139

1934 Pierce-Arrow Eight Silver Arrow

  • Chassis no. 2580001
  • Engine no. 305006
  • Body no. 244-Y-1

Sold for $242,000


Model 840A. 140 bhp, 385 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle, live rear axle, front and rear leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 144 in.

  • The first production Silver Arrow built
  • Former Pebble Beach and Meadow Brook 1st in Class winner
  • One of five known surviving examples
  • Well-maintained Bob Anzalone restoration in original brochure colors
  • Accepted for display at the 2016 Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s


Following the remarkable success of the streamlined Silver Arrow show car at 1933’s auto shows and the Chicago World’s Fair, Pierce-Arrow introduced a production version for the following year. Available on eight- and twelve-cylinder chassis, the production Silver Arrow used a somewhat tamed version of the show car design, but with the same rakish full fastback roofline and silky-smooth aerodynamic lines. It is arguably the most beautiful Pierce-Arrow of the company’s final years and is inarguably the most desirable to enthusiasts.

An even dozen of the production Silver Arrows remain extant. Unusually, it is the eight, not the twelve, which is the rarer car; five of the former and seven of the latter survive. Almost all of them are held within private collections of Pierce-Arrow connoisseurs across the country, and they very seldom appear for sale.

THE FIRST PRODUCTION SILVER ARROW

The car offered here is chassis number 2580001, the first production Silver Arrow, built in 1934. Built on the first eight-cylinder chassis, it is clearly identified as the first production model by its body number, 244-Y-1, and is powered by one of the first 1934 eight-cylinder engines, which is almost certainly the original unit for this car.

The Pierce’s earliest known owner was the late Peter Petri, a longtime resident of Pierce-Arrow’s hometown of Buffalo, New York; his mother had worked at the factory, and he was a longtime enthusiast of the company’s cars. Mr. Petri began restoring the car but was unable to complete the work. Subsequently, the Silver Arrow was sold to John Lebold of Perrysburg, Ohio, who commissioned the award-winning and well-known restorer, Bob Anzalone of Newport, Michigan, to perform a “no-holds-barred” restoration of the car to its original condition.

In removing paint from the car, areas of the original finish were discovered, which happened to match the colors in the drawing depicted in the Silver Arrow showroom sales brochure: two shades of green with persimmon striping and wheels. It became clear that this first production Silver Arrow had been the basis of the rendition in the sales brochure. Accordingly, the car was restored in those exceptionally exciting colors, chosen decades ago to draw passersby into Pierce-Arrow showrooms—and no less arresting on modern show fields!

Mechanical restoration, including a full engine rebuild, was completed by well-known master mechanic Brian Joseph of Classic & Exotic Service in Troy, Michigan, while the interior was tailored by James Roll of New Philadelphia, Ohio, in Banker’s Green leather with correct bound carpeting, surrounded by fabulous wood-grained dashboard trim and bright, clear gauges. The finest details were attended to in order to make the Silver Arrow a showstopper.

The restored Silver Arrow won some of the hobby’s most significant honors, including Best in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, Best of Show at the Glenmoor Gathering, two 1st in Class honors at Pierce-Arrow Society National Meets, and two 100-point scores in CCCA judging (leading to Senior Premier status). It was photographed by Dennis Adler and appeared in both Car Collector magazine and his book, Speed & Luxury: The Great Cars.

Following several years of show success and proud ownership, Mr. Lebold passed his Pierce-Arrow on; it subsequently resided in Ethel Lanaux’s collection in New Orleans, and in the renowned Ralph Marano stable in New Jersey, before its acquisition by the current owner. In his ownership it has been meticulously looked after while also enjoying careful and considerate use, clocking over 3,000 tour and CARavan miles all over North America while being sympathetically maintained and improved for regular driving enjoyment. Much attention has been paid to mechanical service and preparation on the Silver Arrow, and the Pierce-Arrow is described by the consignor as being fully sorted and tour-ready.

It can safely be said that the historic first production Silver Arrow is today both an incredible beauty, with its well-preserved Anzalone restoration, and a fit tourer ready for continued show stopping with a proud new owner. For the dedicated Pierce-Arrow enthusiast, its offering today is a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

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

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+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