Lot 209

Hershey 2023

1936 Pierce-Arrow Model 1601 Sedan Custom

Offered from the Grand Canyon Collection


$104,500 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
US Title
  • One of only 787 Pierce-Arrows built in 1936
  • Benefits from an extensive and well documented resto-mod-oriented rebuild
  • Equipped with a 502 HO Chevrolet V-8 engine
  • Accompanied by maintenance and restoration documents
  • From the estate of well-regarded American classic car collector Conrad Fletcher

With a storied history and humble beginnings building bird cages, the Pierce-Arrow marque of Buffalo, New York would reach success through manufacturing luxury automobiles. By the early 20th century, being seen in a Pierce-Arrow was a status symbol, with many Hollywood stars, business executives, and royalty alike owning one. Most notably, the William Howard Taft administration ordered two for official state functions in 1909, making it the first official vehicle to be used by a US president.

Guiding its work was a relentless pursuit of luxury that Pierce-Arrow never compromised. The onset of the Great Depression prompted many of its competitors to introduce lower and mid-level offerings to gain or maintain market share while battling with grueling economic conditions. This strategy, however, was not in the plans for Pierce-Arrow, as Buffalo’s grand automaker continued to focus efforts on serving the same ritzy clientele to which it had catered for the past 30 years. Although this eventually led to its demise in 1938, the brand would go on to be regarded as one of the leading American motorcar producers during its time.

During its final years, Pierce-Arrow updated its models to remain competitive and restyled its 1601 Sedan, giving it a more steeply raked and narrowed grill, rounded coachwork, and a built-in trunk. Art Deco touches carried through from the exterior to the interior, with a gorgeous new instrument layout grouped to display the major functional gauges directly ahead of the driver. Despite the upgrades, just 787 examples of the Model 1601 would be sold in 1936, far below the sales needed to achieve a break-even point.

This 1601 Sedan benefits from a no-expense-spared, tasteful refurbishment to elevate the Pierce-Arrow to modern performance standards. The original 385-cubic-inch inline eight-cylinder engine has been swapped for Chevrolet’s impressive big-block 502 HO V-8, good for a claimed 461 horsepower and 558 pound-feet of torque. Along with its new powertrain, this Model 161 boasts new Wildwood brakes, air suspension, and a General Motors 4L80-E automatic transmission. To complement the multitude of mechanical upgrades, bespoke wheels were built and installed to replicate the original set, the exterior received a fresh coat of Cairns Blue paint, and the interior was fully customized with leather upholstery.

For those seeking a thrilling experience behind the wheel, coupled with the elegance of the legendary Pierce-Arrow marque, this rare Model 1601 is ready to add plenty of head-turning excitement on the road and on display.