Pierce-Arrow Society Feature Article 

The Noviceís Guide to the Pierce-Arrow
by Linnea Shoberg
Reprinted from the Pierce-Arrow Mascot, published by the Southern California Region of the PAS

Having been around Pierce-Arrows since birth, a love of them has been instilled in me from the beginning. I do not know life without them, nor would I want to. There are certain things you learn about Pierce-Arrows over time. Iíve known some of these things for years. Others I have learned in recent years, since getting behind the wheel for the first time. Most people reading these will recognize them from years of experience. But hopefully, I will reach those of you fresh in our ranks, those new to the Pierce-Arrow experience. There are a few things everyone learns owning and driving one of these lovely beasts. Iím sure I will be missing some things, but hereís a beginnerís course. Call them rules, fundamentals, even truths, whatever. Iíll just number them, you decide.

  1. First and foremost, follow the old Boy Scout motto ďBe Prepared.Ē I know this is basic and even common sense, but Iím not joking. What old car-type person (doesnít have to be a Pierce) hasnít gotten stuck on the side of the road? Bet you wonít find many who havenít at some point. Iím talking cell phone, auto club membership with a hundred miles of towing, fire extinguisher, extra water for overheating, you name it. Yes, I realize folks lived without the cell phones and auto club memberships for many years, but these are good advances and should be taken advantage of. Believe me, when you need them, youíll be happy. Please donít take this to mean that Pierce-Arrows are unreliable, because they are very reliable. But you must remember that the youngest of these cars is hitting 68 this year and most are considerably older then that, so they are bound to have a problem now and again.
  2. Accept that the first time you get behind the wheel of a Pierce-Arrow, the car is very aware of that fact. The car knows youíre a beginner and will want to teach you everything it feels you need to know. The car will test you. You must remember that many of these cars were bred for professional drivers, and desire to treated as such. The first time I drove solo (meaning no father) the car got a flat tire. The first time my sister drove solo, the car refused to start after she drove it only a short distance. But please donít be intimidated. Each time you get behind the wheel, it will give you a bit more control. These cars are willing to work with you. Sort of ďTreat me well, and Iíll return the favor.Ē Listen to what they are teaching you. Respect them and remember, ďWith age, comes wisdom.Ē Let them teach you. They know what they like and theyíll let you know.
  3. Listen to the more experienced. Iím talking human this time. In this club, and most particularly our region, we have a wealth of Pierce-Arrow knowledge. Everything you need to know about these cars is accessible to you in this club. People are often talking about how the age of the members of this club is advancing. For the newbies out there, this is good news. It is years of experience to learn from. Do not be afraid to ask for help. The members in this club love nothing more then to expound on the Pierce-Arrow. Many of these people have had these cars for many, many years and know them inside out. Listen to them.
  4. Donít get over-confident. There is nothing a Pierce-Arrow likes to do better then put a cocky novice in his or her place. For example, when practicing double-clutching and you finally get the car in third, do not yell out, ďYes, I can finally do it.Ē Simply smile demurely and say, ď Let me try again and make sure it wasnít luck.Ē The novice Pierce-Arrow driver should not get over-confident when learning a new driving skill. The car can and does hear those things and will quickly put you in your place. Donít think for second after cocky comments youíll be getting that car in third as easily as you did the first time.
  5. These cars are not mere machines, but members of the family. These cars are not ordinary and should not be treated the same as you Ford pickup or Toyota sedan. Give them a name and a roof over there head. When the Cedar fire was nearing our home in Ramona, did we worry about the house? Not too much. The first thing we did was find a place for the Pierces so that if the fire got any closer they would be safe. Thatís because they are members of the family. Treat them well and theyíll treat you the same.
  6. Many of you will become such fiercely devout Pierce-Arrow enthusiasts that others makes of cars will seem to pale in comparison. Cars once thought on par with Pierce-Arrow will no longer stand up to the heightened standards you acquire after your Pierce-Arrow experience. It is a side effect many people have experienced. It must be said, so as not to offend, that this author harbors no ill will towards other marques and has by no means been influenced by any negative sentiment within the confines of this club.
  7. Thereís probably some mechanical stuff that men will think is important toward the whole beginnerís Pierce-Arrow experience. But the editor (being myself) chose someone to write this who finds more enjoyment getting out in the cars, rather then under them. So if that stuff is important to you, read Eric Rosenauís ďTechnical TipsĒ column in this very publication. (Note: "Technical Tips" is available in the Pierce-Arrow Mascot, published by the Southern California Region of the PAS)

To conclude, knowing the people in this club as I do (and enjoying the company of most of them), Iím sure to expect some feedback on what I hit on and what I missed and may expound upon it in a later issue. Or I may not. Enjoy your cars, and cherish your moments in them. Many (perhaps too many) of the important experiences of my life have included these cars, so if I sound a little biased, I am.