Hershey | Lot 418
1913 Pierce-Arrow Model 48-B-2 Seven-Passenger Touring
$220,000 USD | Sold
| Hershey, Pennsylvania
12 October 2018
- A superb Big Horsepower Pierce-Arrow
- Known ownership history since new; national tour veteran
- Original chassis, engine, and bodywork
This magnificent big-horsepower Pierce was originally delivered to W.H. Coleman of Indianapolis via local dealer the Archey-Atkins Company, equipped with an additional spare tire and special lined top at a final cost of $5,124.04. Mr. Coleman treasured the car, as it was still registered in his name some 14 years after purchase, and the Pierce remained with his family until 1957. At some point, the Coleman family sent the car to New York, and in 1918, it was returned to the Pierce-Arrow factory in Buffalo to have a new “One-Man” top installed, to allow it to fit in the garage better.
The second owner was Walter Benedict, who worked at a service station in New York and fondly remembered the Coleman family chauffeur bringing the magnificent Pierce in for occasional service. Walter was able to buy the car in 1957, in remarkably original and complete condition, with the agreement that he would restore it to its former glory.
Third owner Courtland J. Cross acquired the now-restored Pierce-Arrow in 1972, maintaining and enjoying its incredible performance on numerous tours for the next 25 years. He completed both the Spirit of ’76 Reliability Tour (Seattle to Philadelphia) and the 1985 Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, Transcontinental Reliability Tour. Recent owners have continued to care for the Pierce, with a full engine rebuild with new cast iron pistons performed in 2006.
The Pierce presents very much as it would have when owned by Mr. W.H. Coleman, with the newer-style top and Westinghouse Series 8 Air Springs. Its massive scale is balanced by beautifully styled coachwork, richly detailed with numerous fine-quality nickel fittings, and an upholstered trunk. Royal Maroon paintwork is accented in black, and shows in outstanding condition, particularly for its age. The interior is finished in black leather and carpet, with excellent black linoleum floor panels. The fascia is detailed with original instruments – a mix of Stewart Warner and Westinghouse dials. Controls and switchgear are all presented with excellent plating.
Without a doubt, the centerpiece of this Pierce-Arrow is the mighty 525-cu. in. T-head inline six. Powerful and smooth, the engine produces unrelenting torque, propelling the 2½-ton Model 48 along at a surprising pace. It is highly detailed with beautiful black paintwork, and polished brass and copper fittings. It runs strong, exhibiting the effortless, low-RPM delivery that typifies high-horsepower cars of the era.
The Pierce Model 48-B-2 is easily counted among the most exceptional cars of the period, and this example remains wonderfully suited to both show and touring events. The exquisite quality and imposing presence of this Model 48-B exemplify the caliber of automobile that made Pierce-Arrow one of the most prestigious car companies of all time.