Pierce-Arrow Society Advertising Gallery 

1918 48-B-5

In "Series Five" a new engine carries Pierce-Arrow quality to new standards of power, comfort, economy and utility.

It is not Pierce-Arrow policy to make changes for changes' sake. Nothing is incorporated into the product which has not withstood the most exacting tests. Therefore, the Dual Valve Six motor has replaced the former efficient power plant only because it discloses unmistakable gains in performance and efficiency.

Housed as this engine is in a car of grace of outline and unequalled comfort of riding qualities, the product embodied in the "Series Five" car maintains the company's traditional policy of building to improved quality rather than reduced costs.

Mechanical product must advance or go back. It cannot stand still. That which is best today may be antedated tomorrow. Yet there is a danger in a progressiveness that borders on hysteria, and often abandons the tried and solid for the experimental and infeasible.

The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company has avoided either extreme. Its engineers have long believed in the six-cylinder type of engine. They continue to hold to that belief, but have expanded and developed the possibilities of the six.

This development is in line with the times.


More and more the public demands utility from a car. Beauty is important, but it is not enough. There must be power, comfort and safety. There must be more mileage per gallon of gasoline.

There must be greater flexibility, so that a car may be handled with facility in traffic. This requisite is the more important, since a depleted man power is compelling an increasing number of motorists to do their own driving.

There must be enough power to reduce gear shifting to a minimum. There must be a speed that will enable a car to cover more territory, so that its owner can double his activities.

Transportation, whether of freight or of passengers, has assumed through war a new importance.

Transportation is being diverted to the highways. As railroads are compelled to increase passenger rates, and as congestion grows more serious, increased distance touring by motor car is assured.

The car of superior performance is, therefore, more needed than ever.

Our engineers have made experiments with all innovations in motor design. The engine now presented proved its supremacy in our tests. It is, therefore, confidently offered to the public as a car worth its price, a car that will give the maximum length of service with minimum inconvenience and smallest outlay for maintenance.

There is nothing complicated about the changes. Dual Valve Six means a six-cylinder engine with two valxes where there was one before, or four valves per cylinder, twenty-four altogether. This means a maximum explosive charge and a thorough cleaning out of the exhaust products with a resultant accession of horse power.


With the additional power gained the "Series Five" car will be a master hill-climber, it will have a new flexibility, it will require a minimum of gear shifting, and on top of all this will present the user with a new economy in gasoline consumption.

Forty per cent has been gained in maximum horse power and thirty per cent in efficiency. There is a twenty per cent greater acceleration from ten to sixty miles per hour, as compared with the previous 48 B-4 model.

Although the maximum speed of the car is eleven per cent greater, it has been found possible to get eleven per cent more mileage per gallon of gasoline.

Pierce-Arrow models age slowly. Engines hold their integrity over the years. Body lines keep their beauty like old furniture, and still carry the message of Pierce-Arrow quality long after they have rendered their normal term of service.

Such a car protects the purchaser. His automobile continues to be an investment. He faces no pronounced depreciation either in style or mechanical capacity.


Despite changing fashions in body designs and occasional extreme styles which hold a brief sway, the same characteristically beautiful lines of the Pierce-Arrow hold their own on every avenue where cars congregate.

Today a Pierce-Arrow body several years old holds its own among the newest designs. The Pierce-Arrow made today will continue for years to be a source of pride to its owner. The primary cost is distributed over years and miles, each year and each mile full of comfort, safety and efficiency.

A quality that justifies the extra cost, a class that never passes, a durability that constitutes a final economy, a safety that means a permanent protection, are Pierce-Arrow characteristics.


The Pierce-Arrow maintains high standards. It maintains those standards year after year with a reasonable outlay for gasoline and tires. True economy rests on quality. The Pierce-Arrow is the car of ultimate economy, a factor to be considered when the elimination of waste is a patriotic obligation.

This company was the leader in abandoning the illogical practice of changing models with the calendar. Pierce-Arrow quality has always known only the motive to produce the best car that money can purchase, and to make immediately any changes calculated to bring that result.

All our ideals are maintained in "Series Five," and growing experience has enabled us to better our past results. These same ideals will continue to be built into the cars. of all succeeding years.

48-B-5 Coupe
MODEL B-5 48 Horse-power,
Six-cylinder Pierce-Arrow Coupe seating three persons

Pierce-Arrow service and Pierce-Arrow product must equal each other.

The ideal which guides the company in building the best possible motor vehicles demands the highest type of service.

Pierce-Arrow service strives to maintain every passenger car and truck at its highest point of efficient and economical operation. It aids an owner to enjoy the maximum benefit from his purchase.

To insure this, we have established a nation-wide chain of service shops. They are manned by carefully selected, specially trained experts. They are equipped with special machinery and tools. They are adequately supplied with Pierce-Arrow parts. Best of all, the organization is permeated with the Pierce-Arrow spirit of service - a spirit born of the desire to serve.

No matter where an owner may be in this country, he is always within reasonable call of a shop which is part of the Pierce-Arrow service system extending from Boston to San Francisco and from Duluth to New Orleans. Service representatives may even be found in England, Canada, France and Japan.

These shops are under direct control of the selling agent. Thus the responsibility of maintaining satisfied owners is fixed on the one person who is familiar with the particular wants of each owner, and with the particular conditions under which the car or truck is operating.


The factory never relinquishes its advisory control, never relaxes its inspirational efforts. And it exercises this advisory control in a very definite manner.

Four staffs of experts are constantly alert.

One, a group of traveling service men, continually visits the various agencies, analyzing problems which may baffle the local service men, advising as to new methods of repair, and watching carefully the quality of service rendered by an agency.

Another, a staff of engineers and Pierce-Arrow experts, is maintained at the factory for the purpose of giving special advice to service stations.

Runabout 4-Pass Roadster
MODEL B-5 48 Horse-power,
Six-cylinder Pierce-Arrow Runabout
with Victoria Top seating three persons
MODEL B-5 48 Horse-power,
Six-cylinder Pierce-Arrow Roadster
seating four persons
Conv. Roadster 5-Passenger Touring Car
MODEL B-5 48 Horse-power,
Six-cylinder Pierce-Arrow Convertible Roadster
seating three persons
MODEL B-5 48 Horse-power,
Six-cylinder Pierce-Arrow Touring Car
seating five persons

French Brougham
MODEL B-5 48 Horse-power,
Six-cylinder Pierce-Arrow French Brougham
MODEL B-5 48 Horse-power,
Six-cylinder Pierce-Arrow Suburban
seating seven persons
Vestibule Suburban
MODEL B-5 48 Horse-power,
Six-cylinder Pierce-Arrow Vestibule Suburban
seating seven persons

A third staff is engaged in the organization of agents' shops and the selection and training of men to fill vacancies.

A fourth is constantly watching and analyzing troubles experienced by owners of cars and reporting to the chief engineers, so that the product may be improved.

All these lines of activity are co-ordinated and harmonized through the medium of conferences held at the factory at regular intervals. Service men, foremen, inspectors and executives of service stations attend these meetings. Latest service problems are solved; standardization of service station operation is effected.


Supplementing this is a system of interchange of information and the maintenance of an elaborate and accurate record of reports. The history of every Pierce-Arrow car thus is known to us.

We strive to maintain these four prime requisites to good service in any shop.

Efficient organization - resulting in the accomplishing of work in an orderly manner, without loss of time or duplication of effort.

Effective personnel - comprising carefully chosen, specially trained men, doing the work for which they are fitted.

Adequate equipment - comprising tools, machinery, supplies and buildings, so that the work can be done in a complete and satisfactory manner.

Spirit of service - resulting from the desire to serve, carefully fostered by the Pierce-Arrow organization.


We have organized every shop along well-defined, standardized lines which experience has proved effective. Each man has definite duties assigned him; there is no overlapping, no duplication.

We have built up a service station personnel from skilled men who are graduated from a course of training at the Pierce-Arrow factory. Service managers, executives, foremen, inspectors and workmen are trained, each according to his needs. It is not enough that these men be experienced for their work; they must have the special training necessary to maintain the uniform Pierce-Arrow quality of work.

The purchase of a car or truck involves the investment of money for future benefit to be derived from the use of the machine. The owner is entitled to this return. And the spirit of Pierce-Arrow service is that no owner shall be deprived of the use of any car or truck for any reason, if it be within the power of the organization to prevent.

Pierce-Arrow service does serve. The initial quality that is built into the car or truck yields the last ounce of performance there is in it under the watchful and intelligent eye of Pierce-Arrow service.


We especially wish to have customers come into personal contact with our Art Department, for it is through this department they are enabled to express the ideas which give their cars the intimate touch of individuality.

Individuality is one of the most appealing features of the Pierce-Arrow car.

Nothing more accentuates this distinctiveness than the use of an exclusive decorative plan. To interpret the individual desires of our customers we have built up our Art Department. From this department our customers obtain guidance in the selection of interior or exterior decorative schemes.

The department's staff of experts is at the service of every customer. Processes perfected by the department enable him to visualize any plan of decoration he may suggest. Every detail is worked out, even to the harmonizing of hardware to the general upholstery and body color scheme, a phase attended to by our Art Plating Department.

No attempt is made to dictate what colors or fabrics are best suited to the customer's taste. The department, however, is glad to give advice regarding the permanency of different color pigments, or the wearing qualities of various cloths.

Our Art Department works in close touch with Pierce-Arrow agents all over the country, enabling them to embody in all Pierce-Arrow cars the newest and best ideas and to maintain approved standards of good taste.

Inlet Side of Motor
Exhaust Side of Motor

The "Series Five" Pierce-Arrow chassis is built in one size only, the 48 horse-power size, known as the 48 B-5.

The engine is of the six-cylinder type, four-cycle, water-cooled.

The cylinders are cast in pairs, with mechanically operated double inlet and exhaust valves, located on opposite sides of the cylinders. The cylinder heads are detachable. Following our practice of many years, the crank shaft is provided with seven bearings. Timing gears are of helical design.

Lubrication is by pressure feed to all crank-shaft and connecting-rod bearings, to timing gears, and to the upper portion of cylinder walls. Other necessary bearings within the engine are lubricated most efficiently by the oil spray thrown off centrifugally from the revolving crank throws. There is absolutely no "splashing" of oil.

Two absolutely independent ignition systems are provided, using separate spark plugs, cables and distributors. This design insures continuous running of the engine when even minor repairs might prove of great inconvenience. It also greatly facilitates engine adjustments and timing.

Cooling is by centrifugal pump and large radiator and water jackets. The cooling system is fitted with a thermostat, permitting the engine to warm up rapidly in cold weather. The carbureter is of special Pierce-Arrow design and manufacture. The 48 B-5 engine is of 4 1/2 inch bore by 5 1/2 inch stroke.

The electric starting and lighting systems are both wired with a single-wire system and the starting motor is entirely independent from the generator.

The clutch is of the cone type, faced with carefully selected and treated leather. Beneath the leather are inserted a number of flat springs and an oil ring, attached to the fly wheel, enables a quantity of neat's-foot oil to be held in contact with the leather. The clutch is very durable, light and accessible, and most flexible in action. This type is the one most generally accepted as good design by European engineers. It embodies light weight, accessibility and flexibility.

The transmission is mounted just back of the clutch and connected to it by a double universal joint amply protected from dust and dirt. Four speeds forward and one reverse are provided, and an interlocking device between clutch and gears prevents damage to the latter through careless operation. An air pump, for inflating tires, is connected by means of a claw clutch to the transmission countershaft. The whole transmission is very light and most accessible.

The propeller shaft, connecting the transmission with the rear axle, is provided with a large universal at both ends, as well as a sliding joint at the rear to compensate for spring motions. A torque rod with a spring cushioned and swivelled front support and pivoted rear connection takes care of all torsion reactions.

The semi-floating rear axle is very strong and, at the same time, unusually light. The light "unsprung" weight of this axle has much to do with the relatively great tire durability characteristic of all Pierce-Arrow cars, while it contributes as well to steadiness and ease of riding and reduces the tendency to "skid." The axle shafts are so made that they can be removed readily without dismounting the axle housing. The wheels run on tapered roller bearings and are made in the Pierce-Arrow factory of most carefully selected, dried and treated wood.

The brakes are of very large area, giving great range of application, smoothness of action, and extreme durability. The smooth and progressive action of these brakes prevents the wheels from being locked inadvertently or through carelessly harsh application. This feature has much to do with the long life of the rear tires.

The steering gear is of the screw and nut type, and all steering connections are very strong and durable.

Many pages could be written descriptive of Pierce-Arrow design and manufacture, but such matter would seem out of place in a book of this character. We believe that the public has sufficient confidence in the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company to make it unnecessary to go into long and tiresome analyses of technical details and reasoning.

Number of CylindersSix, cast in pairs.
Ignition Two complete and separate systems; first, jump spark and storage battery; second, Bosch high-tension magneto.
Battery Equipment One set storage.
Carburetor Pierce-Arrow automatic.
Control Hand throttle and foot accelerator.
Oiling Pressure feed to all crank-shaft and pin bearings, cylinders and pistons.
Transmission Selective, sliding gears, direct on high speed; side lever control, spiral bevel gear drive.
Speeds Four forward and reverse.
Bearings Ball and roller bearings all over except engine.
Springs Front, semi-elliptic; rear, three-quarter elliptic.
Regular Tires Goodrich, "Silvertown" cord front and "Great Safety" rear - straight side tires.
Brakes Equalized foot brakes on inside of drums on hubs, both rear wheels. Equalized hand brakes on outside of drums on hubs, both rear wheels.
Rims Pierce-Arrow demountable (Johnson patent) with quick detachable channels.
Clutch Cone, leather faced, running in oil.
Front Axle Drop-forged, I-beam, special steel, heat treated.
Rear Axle Semi-floating.
Steering Gear Screw and nut.
Cylinder Dimensions 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches.
Revolutions Per Minute 200 to 2500.
Gasoline Capacity All models, 32 gallons.
Wheel Base All models, 142 inches.
Tread 56 inches.
Wheels Wood artillery: all models.
Tire Dimensions All models, front and rear, 35 x 5 - actual 36 5/8 x 5 1/8.
Chassis$5200.00 French Brougham Landaulet$7800.00
2 and 3-passenger Runabouts$6400.00 Suburban - dome or flat$8000.00
4-passenger Touring$6400.00 Landau - dome$8000.00
4-passenger Roadster$6400.00 Suburban Landau - flat$8000.00
5-passenger Touring$6400.00 Vestibule Brougham - dome or flat$8000.00
5-passenger Touring$6400.00 Vestibule Brougham - dome or flat$8000.00
7-passenger Touring$6500.00 Vestibule Brougham Landau - flat$8000.00
2 and 3-passenger Coupe$7500.00 Vestibule Suburban - dome or flat$8200.00
2 and 3-passenger Convertible Roadster$7500.00 Vestibule Landau - dome roof$8200.00
Brougham - dome or flat$7800.00 Vestibule Suburban Landau - flat$8200.00
Brougham Landaulet$7800.00
French Brougham$7800.00

We are the builders of the first American worm-drive truck, and have added seven and one-half years of actual quantity production and varied field experience to five years of experimental work undertaken before we sold a single unit.

Specifications in brief of the Pierce-Arrow 5-ton and 2-ton Motor Trucks

No. of Cylinders Four cast in pairs.
Carburetor Special Pierce-Arrow automatic, gasoline, gravity feed.
ControlHand throttle and foot accelerator.
Oiling Automatic to all crank shaft and pin bearings, cylinders and pistons. Gauge on dash shows supply at all times.
Clutch Cone type.
Transmission Selective, sliding gears, direct on high speeds. Side lever control. Worm gear drive.
Speeds Four forward - one reverse. Three forward - one reverse.
Bearings Ball and roller all over except the motor.
WheelsArtillery type.
BrakesFoot brakes on outside of drum on rear of transmission. Equalized hand brakes on inside of drums on hubs, both rear wheels.
FrameChannel section pressed from special steel and heat treated.
Steering GearNut and screw type.
RadiatorTubular type - vertical tubes.
Rev. per Minute350 to 1300.350 to 950.
IgnitionMagneto and Battery - Dual system.
Tires36 x 4 front, single, 36 x 4 rear, dual. Solid.36 x 5 front, single. 40 x 6 rear, dual, Solid.
Tank CapacitiesGasoline, 15 gallons. Water, 8 gallons. Oil, 1 gallon.Gasoline, 25 gallons. Water, 11 gallons. Oil, 1 gallon.
Wheel Base12 feet 6 inches, standard. Long chassis, 15 feet.14 feet, standard. Long chassis, 17 feet.
Tread60 inches front, 56 1/2 inches rear.68 inches front. 64 inches rear.
Chassis Over All18 feet 6 inches long, 5 feet 6 inches wide, standard. Extra long, 21 feet 6 inches.20 feet long, 7 feet wide. Long chassis, 24 feet long, 7 feet wide.
Platform Dimensions,
Back of Driver's seat
Standard, 10 feet 6 inches long, 6 feet wide. Extra long, 13 feet 6 inches.Length, 12 feet 8 inches; width 7 feet. Long chassis, to specification.
Height of Floor
(From Ground), Loaded
3 feet 6 inches.3 feet 10 inches.
Speed16 miles per hour.14 miles per hour with standard gear.

Chassis equipment includes the running gear, tires and mechanism complete; driver's seat, top and glass front, dash and foot boards, front mud guards, side and tail lamps, odometer, horn, jack and full set of tools, rear wheels skid chains, towing hooks, coil with battery and magneto and gasoline tank. Wood sills clipped to frame for mounting body.

Total admissible load on 2-ton chassis - 5500 pounds. On 5-ton chasses - 12,500 pounds.

Note - The above load figures include both body and paying load.

Pierce-Arrow 2-Ton Worm Drive Truck
Pierce-Arrow 2-ton Worm Drive Truck