Arizona

19 - 20 January 2012

Lot 255

1919 Pierce-Arrow Model 48 Dual-Valve Four-Passenger Roadster

To be auctioned on Friday, January 20, 2012

Sold for $165,000

  • Chassis no. 513088


48 hp, 524 cu. in. dual-valve T-Head six-cylinder engine, four-speed selective sliding-gear manual transmission, I-beam front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, semi-floating rear axle with three-quarter elliptic leaf springs, and rear-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 142"

• Believed one of two surviving Model 48 Dual-Valve Four-Passenger Roadsters known
• Carefully maintained and equipped for touring reliability
• A regular and well-known entry in West Coast classic tours
• Sporting close-coupled body, “New York” headlamps, dual-valve “six”

In contrast to Peerless and Packard, which introduced their new V-8 and “Twin Six” V-12 engines in 1916, Pierce-Arrow held firm to its line of powerful, large-displacement sixes through 1927. In particular, Pierce’s hallmark for many years was its T-head engine layout, produced in several sizes; for most of the teen years, they were available in 38-, 48- and 66-horsepower variants. In 1918, the 38 and 66 were both discontinued and the 48 was redesigned with sophisticated dual-valve cylinder heads providing high efficiency with four valves per cylinder.

The Dual-Valve Six was renowned from the beginning for its remarkable power and near silence, a trait that unexpectedly drew the favor of the era’s more successful bootleggers. Priced from $5,200 for the bare chassis to a commanding $8,200 for the Vestibule Suburban and its variants, the Model 48 was also available in attractively close-coupled Four-Seat Roadster form for $6,400 F.O.B. Buffalo, New York. Revered when new and perhaps even more so today, the Model 48 remains a mighty car, capable of carrying the most imposing coachwork and covering great distances with ease.

This example from 1919 is particularly rare and believed to be one of two 1919 Model 48 Dual-Valve Four-Passenger Roadsters known to exist today. It is equipped with drum-style “New York” headlights, unlike the vast majority of Pierces built after 1913 with Herbert Dawley’s patented fender-mounted units. During the 1980s and 1990s, this example formed part of the Raymond Brown Collection, and during that time it received a show-quality cosmetic restoration performed by Fred Hoch in New Jersey. Following the passing of Mr. Brown, the car was sold in 1999 and acquired by Stuart Laidlaw, later passing to the McBride collection of the Pacific Northwest, under whom a mechanical refurbishment was performed by California’s Gold Country Restoration.

In 2008, the current owner, who is an active vintage touring enthusiast, acquired the car, and in his ownership it has been maintained to be ready for long-distance classic rallies and touring events, becoming a well-known entry in Brass and Nickel events in the western United States, including the Paso Robles and Pebble Beach tours. Hundreds of hours of mechanical work have ensured its drivability and performance, with the work including recent attention paid to the car’s braking, chassis lubrication, clutch, cooling and starting systems. Improvements to the car’s cooling system, fuel pump and oil filtration provide increased touring reliability on longer-distance touring events, and all instruments reportedly work well, including the speedometer and eight-day clock. Handsomely presented and professionally maintained, this exceedingly rare Model 48 Four-Passenger Roadster can be enjoyed and shown with equal levels of confidence.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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+49 (0) 40 441 95 737
Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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+1 954 566 2209
Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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+1 212 894 1301
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Political Science. ... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

mgirardo@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

pgiddings@rmauctions.com

+1 925 831 2048
California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

pblond@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

rmyers@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

vmandzak@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

Jeff Whiteside

jwhiteside@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more