1901 - 1938

Pierce-Arrow

Information about Pierce-Arrow

Pierce-Arrow, once a beacon of American luxury automotive manufacturing, began its journey in Buffalo, New York, in 1901. Originally crafting high-end bicycles, the company swiftly transitioned into the automobile sector, launching its first car, a single-cylinder Motorette, in 1901. The brand quickly established itself as a purveyor of luxury, with innovations like headlights integrated into the vehicle’s fenders—a design hallmark that lasted until the company’s last model in 1938.

By the 1920s, Pierce-Arrow had cemented its status among the elite, rivaling other luxury manufacturers such as Packard and Peerless—collectively known as the “Three Ps of Motordom.” Its vehicles were symbols of prestige and opulence, with many Hollywood stars and international royalty among its clientele. Despite such high-profile ownership, Pierce-Arrow struggled with financial sustainability, particularly during the economic strains of the Great Depression.

In a bold move to capture a wealthier clientele amid financial turmoil, Pierce-Arrow unveiled the Silver Arrow at the 1933 New York Auto Show. Its futuristic design and exorbitant price tag of $10,000—equivalent to over $200,000 today—were well-received, yet its sales were insufficient to salvage the company’s fortunes. In 1938, unable to compete without a lower-priced model to sustain cash flow, Pierce-Arrow declared insolvency and closed its doors, marking the end of an era for one of America’s most storied automotive brands.

Today, the legacy of Pierce-Arrow is preserved through museums and private collections, where enthusiasts celebrate the innovative spirit and luxurious craftsmanship that defined the brand.

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