1933 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible Sedan by LeBaron

Sold For $335,000

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 9 MARCH 2018

Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Among the most desirable "semi-custom" styles on the longest V-12 chassis
  • One of just four examples extant; the only one currently available
  • Formerly of the noted Irving Davis and Leonard Urlik collections
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

The most prestigious Pierce-Arrow chassis of 1933 was the 147-inch-wheelbase Model 1247, carrying the superb 80-degree L-head V-12 with cast iron blocks and aluminum heads. It was renowned for its smoothness, power, and reliability - as well as for its success powering record-setters on the Bonneville Salt Flats. With the exception of the Duesenberg, no American luxury car of the time could claim such a high-performance pedigree under the hood.

Among the most desirable offerings on this potent chassis were the factory-catalogued "semi-custom" designs by LeBaron, recognizable for their low rooflines and a subtle straight-through beltline molding. It is believed that at least seven LeBaron convertible sedans were produced on the 1247 chassis in 1933, of which four remain in existence; three of them are housed in long-term private collections from which they are unlikely to soon emerge, while the fourth is that offered here.

Long rumored to have been originally owned by Bethlehem Steel magnate Charles M. Schwab, the car's definitive history is well known for several decades to the Pierce-Arrow Society. Its earliest known caretaker was Thomas C. Berard of Etters, Pennsylvania, after which it moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where it had several owners through the 1970s. It eventually moved to the West Coast, where it was part of the famous California collections of Irving Davis and Leonard Urlik. Mr. Urlik displayed the car for exhibition at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1993.

The current owner purchased the car from Don Connolly of California in 2015 and has maintained it in his private collection since. Its restoration is older but very well maintained, with the Pierce still very crisp in its rich black livery, subtly striped in cream and accented by a lightly patinaed brown leather interior and well-fitted tan canvas top. The handsome solid wood dashboard is in beautiful condition, with clear, fresh gauges. Inspection of the engine and chassis reveals minor signs of aging and use, but the original factory chassis number tag; the engine, too, is believed original to this chassis. The car features its original factory free-wheeling feature on the transmission, as well as correct accessories, including the trademark Pierce "archer" mascot.

This is a wonderful Pierce-Arrow of superb quality, with outstanding provenance and one of the most desirable and attractive "semi-custom" body styles. It is second only to a Silver Arrow in its desirability to the Pierce cognoscenti.

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