1933 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible Coupe Roadster

Sold For $319,000

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

Lot Location: Hershey, Pennsylvania

RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 8 - 9 OCTOBER 2015
- Offered on Thursday

Engine No.
Body No.
  • One of three surviving 1933 V-12 Convertible Coupe Roadsters
  • Formerly of the Andrew Darling and Dr. Joseph Murphy collections
  • A genuine car with its original engine; 27,260 actual miles
  • Very original, well-known, and respected

Series 1242. 175 bhp, 462 cu. in. side-valve V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptical leaf-spring suspension and ball bearing shackles, and four-wheel Stewart-Warner power-assisted drum brakes. Wheelbase: 137 in.


Please note this title is in transit.

One of only five 1242 convertible coupe roadsters believed to have been built on Pierce-Arrow’s ultimate V-12 chassis in 1933, this car is one of three known to survive today, and it is one of only two of those that have their original engines. The beautiful body was influenced by designs by Derham and LeBaron and featured a convertible top with a rakish low profile when folded, as well as a low windshield and side windows that emphasized the impressive beauty of the body’s lines.

The car was originally sold to George F. Tyler, of Newtown, Pennsylvania, the scion to a prominent banking and investment family that could trace its heritage back to the Mayflower. A fascinating individual, he was married to Stella Elkins Tyler, heiress to a prominent Pennsylvania oil and land development family, and was a prominent banker who served as a director for no less than 15 major American corporations. In his leisure hours, he traveled in Africa on safaris, climbed mountains, and sailed yachts. He brought this Pierce-Arrow to his palatial retirement mansion, a 60-room home in what is today known as Tyler Park, the largest park in Pennsylvania. There it was kept in a 10-car garage with its own turntable, allowing the Pierce-Arrow to be driven in and then turned electrically around so that it could be driven out easily.

The Pierce remained in Mr. Tyler’s ownership until his passing in 1947 and was then sold by his estate to Kathryn Clark Sutton, an antique collector from Bristol, Pennsylvania, who, similarly, kept it for the remainder of her life. It was bequeathed in 1963 to her son, James Jr., who retained it until 1989 and then sold it to well-known enthusiast and longtime CCCA member Edward Perkins, of Guilford, Connecticut.

The car was soon passed to the legendary Minnesota collector Andrew “Smiling Jack” Darling, and it remained part of his famous fleet of automobiles until his passing in 1996. It was then acquired by Dr. Joseph Murphy, then one of the U.S.’s foremost antique car collectors, in whose ownership it was featured in lavish Dennis Adler photographs in the book on the Murphy Collection, In Pursuit of Excellence, in 2000. Shortly thereafter, the Pierce-Arrow was sold to Dave Humbert, a longtime CCCA member from Hanover, Pennsylvania, with whom it remained for 13 years before joining the present owner’s distinguished collection.

In 1933, the Pierce-Arrow Twelve was one of America’s greatest automobiles, and its supreme offering was the 12-cylinder convertible coupe roadster. Only three of these wonderful automobiles survive today, and this car is reportedly one of only two with their original engines. With known history since new and long-term care by renowned, conscientious enthusiasts, it is a rare opportunity not to be missed.

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