For those of you unfamiliar with the Pierce-Arrow name, we'll let you know that they were likely the finest cars built in America throughout the teens, 20s, and 30s. There were bigger names, but Pierce alone focused on quality above all else, and it shows. Today, cars like this 1934 Pierce-Arrow 836A sedan remain among the best-driving pre-war Classics and there is tangible quality in everything you can see or touch.
The 836 was introduced in the spring of 1934, ostensibly as a "lower cost" Pierce-Arrow, but that's like saying gold is a lower-cost version of platinum. It's as beautifully built as anything Pierce ever offered and with new styling inspired by the stunning Silver Arrow show car, it was as modern as anything else on the road. This car has had just two owners, with the second owner purchasing it six years ago and treating it to a high-quality restoration to return the car to its former glory. Starting with a good original car certainly helps, and you can see just how straight the bodywork is, how deep and glossy the paint is, and it's just exquisitely detailed. The doors close with that legendary solidity that few other cars can offer and sitting on a 136-inch wheelbase, this is a mammoth car. All the chrome was refinished, including the ornate grille, V-shaped bumpers, and archer hood ornament, and a red pinstripe adds a rakish look to the formal sedan. This is a very handsome machine.
The interior was reupholstered in black leather, which probably isn't how it came (leather was considered low-cost and was reserved for open cars that would see wet weather) but it sure looks good. It's probably a better choice for a car that's going to be used and toured, which is exactly what you should do with this handsome Pierce. Beautiful gauges are arrayed in a centrally-mounted instrument panel and monitor all the engine's vitals, plus a bespoke clock that matches the other dials. Pierce used foot pedals hinged at the floor, so they look and feel different than other makes, making driving the Pierce a special experience. New carpets were used throughout, fresh door panels were created to match the seats, and the big steering wheel appears to have been restored. There's plenty of stretch-out room in the cavernous back seat and it appears that all the gauges are working properly. Even the trunk is big enough for a week's worth of touring comfort.
The 836A used Pierce's familiar 366 cubic inch straight-8, which made about 130 horsepower. Now that might not seem like much, but it's the torque that really moves the car. It idles at about 400 RPM and will pull the car from barely a walking speed to 60 MPH in high gear-try that with a modern car! Black engine enamel is correct and most of the original hardware is intact, from the downdraft carburetor to the Delco distributor, to the Startix system, which automatically fires the engine should it stall. The automatic choke was disconnected since it wasn't needed in the warm, sunny south, but otherwise it retains all its original equipment and runs extremely well. The 3-speed manual transmission has synchromesh that makes shifting effortless and the 4-wheel brakes are still mechanical but have a power assist, so you'll be impressed with the stopping power. The chassis is original but has no glaring needs, and the single exhaust has a muted hum that's completely appropriate. Beautiful Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels are painted red to add some flash and are fitted with Lester wide whitewall tires.
This is a rare opportunity to own one of the pinnacle pre-war automobiles at a very reasonable price. Until you've driven a Pierce, you can't understand why they're better, but once you do, we'll wager you won't want to go back to anything else. Call today!