1935 Pierce Arrow Sedan at January Mecum Auction

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    Hemmings Online just posted an ad for this 1935 sedan in the Mecum Auction to be held this January in Kissimmee, FL. Here’s a cut an paste link: http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/carsforsale/pierce_arrow/unspecified/1613170.html


    Typical of auction descriptions of automobiles. They can’t get it right. This is a ’34 836A. The stamped stainless steel grill instead of moveable shutters, and the front bumper are easy clues.



    It looks like a nice car. Most Pierce-Arrow history books don’t even

    recognize that they were produced. Concerning ’35 836A’s, even the

    experts are working on conjecture, as they can’t direct you to written

    proof of what they believe. Perhaps 250 were produced. The vents on the

    hood only appeared on the ’35 model 836A.

    Does anyone know of another 836A with a two tone paint job?


    Here is the serial #1080938 for this P/A


    I’ll ‘conjecture’ that this is an 836A built in ’34. the hood vents were often added because the smooth sided hood often caused overheating problems. The hood sides may not even be original to the car, they could have been added when the last restoration/paint job was done.

    There are no ’35 836A cars in the PAS roster.

    So this car was probably sold and registered in a state that assigned the year of registration to the model year for the car.



    Serial # 1080935 at 3 digits below this car IS listed as a 1934 in our roster. 1934 numbers range from #1080056 through #1080935. If a 1934, it would have been very late in the production year. If a 1935, it would have been no later than the 3rd unit.

    Brooks Brierley writes: “The unvented hood sides proved to be a mistake –

    it created too much heat in the engine compartment – and led to a recall situation to install louvers.”

    Neither Ralston, Brierley, Hendry nor Weis mention any 1935 production of the ill-conceived 836A’s in 1935. I personally don’t recall seeing any 1935 ads for any in either the PAS Library nor the Museum ad displays. This is fun stuff to dig into. When time travel is perfected perhaps this should be one of the Pierce-Arrow Museum’s historical research projects. Meanwhile I’ll go along with Greg’s posit.


    Bernie Weis’ records show the following about P-A #1080938: 1934, 836A, 136-in w/b, S/N: 1080938, E/N: 240934, 135-S-559, Sedan.

    If this is the 1080938 car, these are the details.


    If the ’34 836A was deserving of vents (mine cools beautifully without

    them),why wouldn’t they put 1934 vents on them (840A) instead of 1935

    845 style vents? If they were recalled, why don’t all of them or most

    all of them have vents? One would think that this recall would have

    happened in 1934 and that dealers would have had information on the

    whereabouts of each car sold months prior to the recall.


    Interesting question Mr Costa.



    Quoting from The Arrow, 75-3, an issue largely devoted to the 836A,” Some 836-A Pierces may have been originally licensed as ‘1935’ cars, but the factory considered all of them 1934 models and did not list them in any published 1935 literature.”

    That is a handsome grey and silver Club Brougham even if I do say so myself. Thank you Greg.

    Joe Malone


    Regarding the question of ’34-’35(?) 836A’s, attached is an image of what is labeled a 1935 Pierce Arrow 2 two-door sedan. I believe it is mislabeled and is, in fact, a ’34. Of particular interest is the curious nature of the headlamp housings.

    I queried Bob Sands on this and he graciously offered me the benefit of his experience. Quoting Bob,” I’ve seen two other (earlier) Pierce_Arrows with those “Oldsmobile” headlights- I believe they’re either ’37 or ’38 Olds; maybe ’39? Seems it was the thing to do, for better lighting. Shave off the standard Pierce headlights and attach the ‘sealed beam’ housings. At a PAS meet, possibly 25 years ago, a ’31 convertible showed up with this conversion and the owner said it was a ‘company’ conversion. It didn’t fly- Pierce closed their doors in ’38, GM(?) came out with the sealed beams in ’39.So, you post card shows one of the headlight conversion jobs.”

    Joe Malone


    It’s amazing the stuff that turns up that our members know about. Ed


    I’m in agreement that P-A didn’t publish or list 836A’s in 1935

    literature. If they had, I wouldn’t be writing this letter. My

    problem is that from 1080700(my guess)to the end of production

    (my guess), every 836A left the factory with 1935 style hood vents.

    The reason this is significant is that this was the only major

    styling change(also headlight lenses)between the senior ’34 and ’35

    cars. Name one prestigious company that used the major styling cue

    of their senior cars on the entry level car the year before. Why not

    throw a 840A vented hood on it if there were overheating problems

    ( I would think that they were interchangeable). The 836A was born

    in the left over ’33 parts bins. Why would they tool up for a mid

    year change for a car that they were going to discontinue? Were they

    running out of parts and had 200 more bodies they needed to

    complete? Make them look like the ’35 models to move them out (like

    E L Cord did with the ’25 Auburns)? By the way, if there had been a

    recall, most 836A’s would have vents. That’s not the case (and why

    wouldn’t they use ’34 vents, which they had on hand?).

    Lots of suppositions on my part based on knowledge passed down to

    me by a genuine P-A guru (who will remain nameless to protect the


    Joe, you may have started a styling trend with your “factory” Olds

    headlight “up-grade” photo. There will be a lot of nervous ’37 to

    ’39 Olds owners out there, guarding their headlights with shotguns

    lest a skulking 836A owner will make off with their guiding lights.


    Sometime in the past I was told that mid 34 all the cars came with hood vents. I have seen the salon package on only a few cars but many have the hood doors. It may be a case of using up parts on hand, or plain hoods were a hard sell. I had a 34 836a plain jane with the hood doors. It was a late production car.


    Some photos just for fun….. another barn find. I passed on this one too much money and not enough good parts. Enjoy.




    Last one.



    Given the awkward appearance of the 836A front end on this post card, I think it safe to say that neither Pierce-Arrow nor Oldsmobile owners need lock their barn doors.


    the Canadian 836A club Brougham that you posted, as you probably know, had the headlight housings shaved by an earlier owner- in Vermont I believe- in order, thank heavens, to save another Pierce-Arrow. So this was NOT a matter of headlightus interruptus.


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