Pierce-Arrow Society Feature Article 

Kids Pierce-Arrow
for 1934

There is youth in the new Pierce-Arrow motors. The Twelve has even more energy than the engine which won 14 world records last Summer.

And there is youth in the looks of the new models. Just as mothers and fathers are now far younger than were their forebears at the same age, so the most sedate of the new Pierce-Arrows have a somewhat younger touch. Still other designs are youthfully smart, with just the right restraint. And still others are as juvenile as a Silver Arrow.

These new Pierce-Arrows are also beautiful in their engineering ...in the perfection of every last detail.

That is why Pierce-Arrows stay young. For years to come, their sleek headlighted fenders will keep on nosing through traffic, and skimming over the highway, with all the elan of youth.

When the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company ran this advertisement in February, 1934, they had little idea the "years to come" would continue 65 years later! In 1934, Pierce-Arrow charged ahead in typical fashion, creating great cars to be enjoyed for generations. Once again an independent company after their relationship with Studebaker was severed in 1933, Pierce-Arrow came out with three new cars for 1934. Before the Spring was over, they added yet another model to the line-up.

1934 Pierce-Arrow 840A Coupe
1934 Pierce-Arrow 840A Coupe

The 1934 cars brought many changes to the traditional Pierce-Arrow design. A more "youthful" look was achieved using rounded body lines. The traditional Pierce-Arrow triple taillight, a standard since the Series 80 and Series 33 of the mid-twenties, was replaced by taillights molded into the rear fenders, mimicking the traditional fender headlights. The radiator shell was painted, with only the grill chromed, and the radiator cap was moved under the hood; the archer ornament permanently attached to the shell. The hood was also restyled to use horizontal doors.

The original line-up for 1934 included three models, the 840A, 1240A, and 1248A. The 840A used a 385 CID straight-eight engine mounted in a 139 or 144 inch wheelbase chassis. Ten body styles were available ranging in price from $2795 to $4995. The 1240A and 1248A cars used a 462 CID V-12 engine. The 1240A was available in nine body styles on a 139 or 144 inch wheelbase chassis. The 1248A used a 148 inch wheelbase chassis. Custom coach work by Brunn was available. Prices for the twelve-cylinder cars ranged from $3195 to $7000.

1934 Pierce-Arrow 1248A EDL
1934 Pierce-Arrow 1248A Enclosed Drive Limo.

In the Spring of 1934, another model was added. The 836A was targeted at a larger audience. Priced from $2195 to $2395, the 836A was available in a two-door Club Brougham or a four-door Sedan. The 836A was powered by a 366 CID straight-eight engine mounted in a 136 inch wheelbase. It also used a different grill design than the other 1934 cars. It did not have the Pierce-Arrow archer on the radiator shell

The Silver Arrow attempted to capitalize on the publicity of the 1933 Silver Arrow show cars. Most of the dramatic features of the show cars were omitted in the production version, but they did feature a "fast back" streamlined design. The production Silver-Arrow used a 144 inch wheelbase chassis and was available with either an eight or twelve cylinder engine.

1934 Pierce-Arrow 840A Silver Arrow
1934 Pierce-Arrow 840A Silver Arrow

Despite the new cars, Pierce-Arrow was bankrupt by August, 1934. Attempts to merge with Auburn and REO failed. Pierce-Arrow president, A.J. Chanter, arranged for loans from The Marine Trust Company and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to keep the company afloat. Conditions of the loans required the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company to reorganize as the Pierce-Arrow Corporation, limited production, and forced the liquidation of all of the factory-owned dealerships. Pierce-Arrows were sold only through independent dealers.

Although a rocky year for the company, the 1934 Pierce-Arrows started a new era at Pierce-Arrow. The traditional style of earlier Pierce-Arrows was replaced with the more modern, rounded designs. Although production was low, several have survived and frequently attend our Annual Meet. To learn more about these cars, we invite you to join the Pierce-Arrow Society!

1934 Pierce-Arrow 1240A Convertible Coupe
1934 Pierce-Arrow 1240A Convertible Coupe
1934 Pierce-Arrow Specifications
Model 836A 840A 1240A 1248A
Engine 8-Cylinder 8-Cylinder 12-Cylinder 12-Cylinder
Displacement (cu.in.) 366 385 462 462
Bore & Stroke (in.) 3.5 x 4.75 3.5 x 5 3.5 x 4 3.5 x 4
Wheelbase (in.) 136 139 & 144 139 & 144 148
Weight (lbs) 4323 - 4940 4817 - 5228 5152 - 5529 5494
Price $2495 - $2695 $2795 - $4995 $3195 - $5395 $4295 - $7000
Est. Production 500 654 287 90