Hershey | Lot 266
1934 Pierce-Arrow Model 840A Convertible Sedan
$330,000 USD | Sold
| Hershey, Pennsylvania
8 October 2021
- Offered from the Collection of Charles Gillet
- The only example known with this coachwork in 1934
- Meticulous, outstanding concours-quality restoration
- Well-known history; highly respected in Pierce-Arrow circles
- Two-time Pierce-Arrow Society Best in Show winner; numerous honors
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Any Pierce-Arrow automobile from the company’s later years is a wonderful rarity—but especially so are the genuinely one-off examples. Counted among these is this 1934 model built on the 840A Deluxe Eight chassis, with handsome four-passenger convertible sedan bodywork. Similar to a factory-catalogued design that had been offered by Pierce-Arrow in 1932 and 1933, this is believed to have been a unique creation for 1934.
The car’s history is traced in Pierce-Arrow Society records back to original owner Alexander Peacock, whose grandfather and namesake had amassed a $15 million fortune working as an executive in the steel industry for Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Peacock received the Pierce as a graduation gift from his mother, the former Jean Rolston, and retained it until 1949. It has continuously been in the care of PAS members since the early 1960s, with only a handful of owners. Among the most prominent was Ted Case, in whose ownership the car was originally restored by Ed McGrath of Tinney Cadillac in Pierce-Arrow’s hometown of Buffalo. Following this restoration, the Pierce received the Vanderveer Trophy for Best of Show at the PAS National Meet in Indianapolis in 1973.
Subsequent owners included Mike Stewart and W.A. Quering, both of Colorado. In 2013 the car was acquired by Charles Gillet as the final automobile to be purchased for his collection, and was soon submitted to Al Prueitt and Sons of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, where it underwent a complete fresh nut-and-bolt, frame-off restoration in Thessalon Green and Black with complimentary leather interior.
Following completion of the restoration, the car became one of the true prides of the Gillet Collection, winning the Weis Trophy for Most Authentic Restoration (Best of Show) at the PAS National Meet, Best of Show at Radnor Hunt and St. Michael’s, the Don Gilmore Award at the CCCA Museum Experience, and both an AACA First Junior Award and national President’s Cup all in 2015—a remarkable season, indeed!
The car appeared at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2016. In 2017 it received its Primary First Prize with 99.50 points at the CCCA National Grand Classic at Auburn, Indiana, followed by a Senior First Prize with the same score at the Delaware Valley Grand Classic in 2018. In 2019, at one of Mr. Gillet’s final concours appearances, the car won its class at the Misselwood Concours d’Elegance; it was also nominated that year for the AACA’s top honor, the Zenith Award, at the annual Grand National Meet. Undoubtedly this long roster of successes was very satisfying to a man, then in his early 90s, who since the 1980s had found immense joy in his concours "campaigns," and capped a lifetime of enthusiasm.
In sum, this may well be one of the winningest eight-cylinder Pierce-Arrows in the world—a unique car, handsomely designed and superbly presented, that is in the first rank of its marque. It would be welcomed to any number of additional concours events or back to AACA, CCCA, and, certainly, Pierce-Arrow Society meets in the years to come.