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Lot 204

1910 Pierce-Arrow Model 48-SS Demi-Tonneau

  • Chassis no. 7540
  • Engine no. 7540

Sold for $852,500

48 bhp, 525 cu. in. T-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed selective sliding-gear manual transmission, live axle suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and dual contracting band and expanding shoe rear-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 134.5 in.

  • A sporting Brass Era powerhouse
  • Formerly owned by Stewart Cook and Sam and Emily Mann
  • Ideal for HCCA, VMCCA, and Glidden tours

By 1910, the luxury car market in the United States had come to be dominated by what would be known as the Three Ps: Packard, Peerless, and Pierce-Arrow. These marques were set apart not only for the vast price and locomotive-like engineering of their products yet also for the statement they made.

When a buyer took delivery of his Model 48-SS from the George N. Pierce Company’s Buffalo, New York, Works, it was a marker of taste that was conservative but fine. It also displayed an appreciation towards quality and solid design over the modern “flash and dash” exhibited by other, less genteel automakers. Nonetheless, the Pierce offered style and power in abundance. It featured 525 cubic inches in six cylinders and 48 horsepower being run to the ground through a four-speed selective sliding-gear transmission, all of which was mounted onto a wheelbase that stretched over 134 inches and was wrapped in Pierce-Arrow’s innovative cast aluminum coachwork. A Pierce was strong and built to last forever, running at speeds that few roads of the era could accommodate.

As the only Brass Era denizen of the Andrews Collection, one would expect that this automobile, chassis and engine number 7540, would be pretty special, and it is. Reportedly, it is the only 1910 Model 48-SS extant in this body style, the Demi-Tonneau, which is a sportier close-coupled, five-passenger variant of the standard Touring car but with a smaller rear seat arrangement, making it essentially a four-passenger roadster. This body style was light and sporting, and when combined with the very powerful 48-SS engine, it made for a rapid road machine indeed. It is perfectly at home alongside the other cars in the Andrews Collection, sitting amongst those that, like this Pierce-Arrow, were the great performance beasts of their era.

According to the files of a long-time Pierce-Arrow Society historian, this car’s earliest known caretaker was the late Stewart Cook, of Red Bank, New Jersey, with whom it was listed in 1954, 1957, and 1961 rosters of the Antique Automobile Club of America. Mr. Cook still owned the Pierce at the time of his passing in 1966. It later made its way into the ownership of well-known Brass Era automobile enthusiast Don Meyer, also of New Jersey, and then into the California-based collection of Frank Miller. Afterwards, it returned to the East Coast, where it stayed in the long-term ownership of Sam and Emily Mann. The car is well-known to Pierce-Arrow cognoscenti, and it is pictured (but incorrectly identified as a 1909 and as once having been owned by James Melton) on page 82 of Marc Ralston’s Pierce-Arrow: The Golden Age.

The car is correct in all important respects, as it was reportedly restored from an excellent original car, with only its front fenders requiring correct replication. It is equipped with acetylene headlamps and an oil tail lamp, as well as a correct Pierce-Arrow muffler and electric self-starting system, and it has a wonderful charm and patina of age about it. Its brass trim and paint have a rich, deep shine, but the interior is lightly worn and beginning to crack around the edges, while the chassis has a well-used but tidy appearance. Overall, it appears as it is: an automobile that has been enjoyed on tours by its owners for decades and one that is ready for continued travels with the HCCA and VMCCA in events such as the Glidden Tour.

It is an inviting Pierce-Arrow that is begging for a new owner to slip into a duster, take it out for a spin, and enjoy the utterly modern performance of what may well have been America’s finest automobile of its age.

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

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

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 Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

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

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more