47th Annual Meet
Asheville, North Carolina
Submitted by David E. Tyminski
The 47th Annual Meeting of the
Pierce-Arrow Society was held this year in Asheville, North
Carolina. PAS families came from 30 states, Spain and Canada.
About 45 Pierce-Arrows ranging from 1903 to 1936, and a number of
bicycles, participated in the three days of touring followed by
the show on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate. We had the
privilege of talking with President Woodrow Wilson and observing
his 1919 Vestibule Suburban, presented by the Woodrow Wilson
Birthplace Foundation members from Staunton, VA.
About 275 PAS members and friends introduced themselves or
refreshed friendships during the welcoming reception on Tuesday
night. Copious entrees at several stations around the banquet room
provided for a sumptuous feast to kick off the meet.
During the next three days we enjoyed the meet committee's
detailed driving tours to points of interest around Asheville.
The first tour started Wednesday morning. Many cars toured to a
coffee stop at Chimney Rock before continuing on for lunch in
Hendersonville. Carl Sandburg's home was an attraction along the
way. The poolside BBQ was moved inside due to rain, where we were
entertained by two separate dance troops: cloggers and square
dancers. Some PAS members joined the dancers to learn something
new on the dance floor.
The next day the Pierce-Arrows drove west on the Blue Ridge
Parkway to the Wheels Through Time Museum. After a picnic lunch on
the museum grounds, we toured the museum to observe many classic
cars and a large collection of antique motorcycles. We watched a
Pierce 4-cylinder motorcycle being ridden around the grounds. The
evening provided an exchange of parts, pieces and stories in the
Friday's tour included some more of the rain dampened Blue Ridge
Parkway enroute to the Arboretum, Folk Art Center and lunch at the
Pisgoh Inn. Despite the showers, PAS members enjoyed the indoor
exhibit of bonsai trees at the Arboretum and artwork by North
Carolina artisans at the Folk Art Center. The evening's premiere
event was a tour of the Biltmore mansion with photos taken in
front of the chateau. The views within this grand residence, the
maintained and manicured grounds, and Pisgah forest in the
distance are remarkable. Vanderbilt's vision of his residence and
the magnificence of the structure thrill visitors.
The weather cooperated for the Saturday concours held on the
grounds of the Biltmore Estate. The skies cleard and the sun came
out to shine on the Pierce-Arrows. An elegant, catered lunch in
true Biltmore and Pierce-Arrow style was served for lunch. Buses
shuttled PAS members between the show field and the restaurant,
also on the estate grounds. Some PAS members took the opportunity
to continue their tour of the estate grounds from the night
before. The time flew by observing the mansion and immediate
grounds, but there was much more to observe in the arboretum and
its immediate grounds. There were a number of topiaries,
characters or scenes assembled in flowers or bushes, which were
Judging was conducted by several efficient teams, with a focus on
vehicle originality and the criteria of completing one of the
tours. The judging teams worked well into the afternoon to
determine the winners in each class. The
award winners are listed at the bottom of
A growing trend at Pierce-Arrow Society Annual Meets is the
wearing of period clothing on tours and meet events. The scene of
elegantly dressed ladies arriving at the Biltmore mansion in their
Pierce-Arrows will not soon be forgotten! A ladies tea was a new
addition to the Annual Meet this year. Next year, there will be a
workshop on finding and creating period fashions.
On Saturday afternoon, Fay Butler presented an excellent technical
session of the history of aluminum parts. Pierce-Arrow extensively
used aluminum in the early cars, including casting the entire body
until 1921. Aluminum body panels, crankcases, transmission
housings, and cast moldings continued to be made from aluminum
through the 1928 models. Fay reminded us how precious and amazing
aluminum was at the turn of the last century, when Pierce-Arrow
was on the forefront of technology.
Saturday evening brought the awards banquet, where there were more
elegant classic era outfits modeled by our members and friends.
The meal was delicious and the company very social. The table
decorations were glass vases that were etched with the front
fender profile of a teen's Pierce-Arrow. We all had time to
reflect on the events of the week. One member commented that the
Pierce-Arrow Annual Meet is always held on the "shortest week of
the year", or so it seems.
PAS President Arnold Romberg reported that the Pierce-Arrow
Society is in good health, financially stable, and has a growing
membership base. A round of applause was given to meet chairman
Marc Hamburger and his committee for providing us all with an
enjoyable week of activities.
After the awards presentation, Bill and Wilma Morris invited us
all to join him next year in Springfield, Illinois, where we will
Searching for Lincoln. Bill reminded us of the many
historic sites related to Abraham Lincoln in the Springfield area
and also discussed some of the special events planned, including a
tour on historic Route 66. We hope you can join us for the
2005 Pierce-Arrow Society Annual