Clay Green passing….

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    I don’t think Clay was in the Society, but he owned a 1909 Pierce that he toured extensively. He was very active in early car tours, and started one about 15 years back that was Brass in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, it’s now moved to another county still called the BBC tour.

    He also did a lot of work on James Grundy’s cars in his retirement years.

    Rest in Peace, Clay….


    His car, posted on HCCA website for sale….


    A huge loss to the vintage auto hobby! Clay had been a PAS member occasionally. He was a great guy, always friendly and extremely helpful. His obsession was the Brass era cars.

    He felt that PAS didn’t give enough attention to the early cars, an attitude shared by many in the HCCA. We need to work harder to overcome that perception.

    His Pierce is beautiful and reliable. I enjoyed doing several tours with him over the last dozen years.

    Dave Stevens


    Around 1/12 of PA cars in the roster are from the brass era. A fewer % of members own these very rare cars. I would suggest these two low numbers are the root of any perceived issue and not a lack of interest. For the several that arrive at our annual meets, we have always championed right hand drive cars.

    All that said, we would welcome any proposed remedy to this concern. Better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.



    Early Pierces were not the best at everything. They weren’t the fastest or

    best looking. The brakes weren’t the best and some would complain about cone

    clutches. However, if you had too much money and were looking to drive coast

    to coast in 1910, there was no better car than a Pierce. Quality and

    assembly could be compared with the best in the world. I’ve ridden in a 1910

    48 HP Toy Tonneau at over 70MPH and it wasn’t frightening.

    Clay Green’s 1909 P-A 40PP 4 cylinder touring has a 432 cubic inch motor. It

    has a 124 inch wheelbase and cost $4.300 when a new house cost about $1 a

    square foot. John Bertolotti has one also(may he heal up in a rapid fashion).

    I have a friend that had parts of a ’09 40PP limo that sold new in Denver.

    I don’t know of any others. These cars will cruise with Pierces from the

    twenties and will top off in the 60’s. The hills are a piece of cake for

    them. I believe they are asking a fair price for this rare car.


    Sorry to hear of Clay’s passing.

    I wonder WHY it it thought or perceived that early Pierce cars are not paid much attention?

    Or put another way: that the PAS is obsessed with later cars??

    My perception is that the activity on this forum is mostly about finding parts. repairing cars, or bringing cars found back to life..

    So; Finding parts; there are a fair number of parts to be found for ’20s and later Pierces.. BUT, for ‘teens’ cars ?? Not much to be found.. Certainly few just floating around, most are in the large collector’s spare parts departments.. And those parts don’t often get offered for sale..

    And for bringing cars back to life.. I think Richard Anderson can attest to the interest his 1918 48hp touring brought, and the many responses to any questions on his forum..

    Would he have had any response if he had not posted info and requests for assistance? Nope, you have to ask.

    So: we have a few pre-1921 cars in collections. and occasionally a few are sold or change hands.. Most of these cars don’t get much forum activity, because the cars are complete, usually restored, and don’t get driven much..

    We have a lot of 1920’s cars that cost a fraction of an teens era Pierce, and many are still showing up, and become part of the forum discussions. And parts or parts cars are around. so it is often successful to post a request for parts or help on this forum..

    Not so much with a teens-era car.

    AND since we are a driving car club.. many people don’t like to drive a teens car with two-wheel brakes in tours with other cars with 4-wheel brakes. Yet those that DO tour their teens cars don’t have any problems…

    So, to show more ‘interest’ in earlier cars; HOW? have a special ‘pre-1920 only’ PAS meet? Not likely,, maybe 5 cars would show.

    An HCCA club is predominantly pre-1916, to tour in their events.. so their club is FOCUSED on early cars.. The PAS is focused on Pierce-Arrow cars.. and the majority in circulation and being driven and rebuilt are all from the ’20’s and ’30’s… So it is obvious that most of the cars talked about, etc are later cars..

    If anyone wants to tell me how to get 40 or 50 Pierce-Arrow teens and earlier cars out of their hidden storage and out into the sunlight for a PAS ‘teens Tour’ I’ll come out of mothballs and chair that event.. BUT that is a very safe offer: I cannot convince dozes of people with running cars to come to ANY annual event.. so a ‘teens and older only’ PAS meet? not a chance..

    My $.02 worth.. It’s not the PAS that is focused on the later cars. it’s the membership that won’t bring them out of hiding, and discuss them on the forum, or tour with them.. Lets look at bringing the cars out into daylight, !!

    Maybe owning a pre-1920 Pierce makes the owner shy, unwilling to post on the forum or show their car in public ?

    Greg Long


    I think perhaps there are so few of them that they are relatively unknown.


    Thanks Greg for your outstanding post on P-A Teen cars. They are “Special”” vehicles and should be seen and understood by all of us.”


    When my 1919 gets put together again, and will be on the tours regularly. It will keep up with just about any other Pierce, and it will be blast to drive..

    Peter Fawcett always has a teens car, as well as usually Bill Lawton, and several others PAS members.

    I’d invite the HCCA members to get online on our message board with their cars and comments.. I for sure want to know more about the early cars..

    Randy: I looked through the 2019 roster to verify your comment about the number of cars of pre and post 1920. I was surprised at just how wide the gap is in the numbers.

    Just using pages, there are 4 or 5 pages of 1919 and earlier cars.

    There are 17-18 pages of 1920 through 1938 cars..

    So: more than 4x as many 20’s and later cars survived than the teens-era cars.. Of course not all surviving cars are listed in the roster. Some PAS members do not list their cars, or not all of them.. And there are many collectors that are not PAS members, and don’t list their car anywhere, with any club.

    And I think a larger percentage of these hidden cars are early cars. Not sure why I think that, but it seems that the early cars are like Jewelry.. Not to be out in public but for ‘special’ occasions…

    I guess I just got a bit defensive about the implication that the PAS was not paying as much attention to the early cars. but the real situation is that the early cars rarely come up for discussion or needing assistance..

    Greg Long


    I am an HCCA member and have a pre-1916 Pierce Arrow which is in beautiful original condition.The car runs just great on the open road and will keep up with later cars and probably exceed some in performance.I though live in an area where there is no PAS region and I do not have a trailer.To take a 105 year old car with right hand drive and no turn signals on an interstate is asking for a disaster.Even with my 1929 Pierce Arrow Roadster it still would be risky.There are just so many crazy drivers out there.It seems like the few times that an unrestored Pierce Arrow surfaces it is one from the 1930’s but then these cars were in use in a much later time and did not caught up in scrap drives from the 1920’s to WW2.I think alot of RHD Pierce Arrows got broken up in the latter 1920’s and 1930’s.Most of the survivors are the cars from the 1916 Series 4 through the Series 31-51 of 1919-1920.Actually I have seen several discussions on the pre-1921 cars during the period of my being a member of the Pierce Arrow Society.I remember the technical bulletins that arose out of panel discussions at the National Meets.


    A general rule of thumb for pre-15 cars is that there is a 1 percent

    survival rate. My 1912 36HP had 850 produced (some say 1,000). That

    would suggest 8.5 to 10 are hiding out there. Wreckers in the day

    ate better when a Pierce-Arrow crossed their threshold. It’s hard to

    wear one out when a good home had it. Which brings to mind a beef I

    have. Why isn’t there a monument to Barney Pollard in front of the

    AACA Museum. No collector did more to save rare cars that would have

    been lost to the world. He was a scrap metal man during WWII when

    early cars were most vulnerable. He saved 1,200 cars attaching 4 to

    a post and standing them on their rear end. 110 were lost in a fire.

    He was prosecuted for not turning the cars in for destruction. He

    kept meticulous records for each car and showed that he made up

    for each cars weight by substituting rails of equal weight. He beat

    the rap. No other collector was responsible for keeping so many

    great cars from destruction at such peril to his freedom. It’s time for

    Barney to be celebrated.


    That is a good ratio and it seems to be about the same for the Series 3 C-3 of 1914-1915.About 1600 or so were were built from spring of 1914 to about late fall of 1915.Around 385 were shipped to Russia and perhaps one of those cars survives today but in all about 10 are known to survive worldwide with perhaps two chassis.Eight of the known C-3’s are in North America and all are most cherished by their owners.In Series 3 more 48 B-3’s have survived and only 3 66 A-3’s are known to have survived.No Series 2 66’s are known to exist.We really have to be thankful for the people who came before us who saved these cars.


    I don’t know about other late teens Pierce Arrows, but Ralph McKittrick’s car can really scoot.

    During the Oregon meet we could keep up with him around town or in traffic but once we hit open road he was gone.

    It was a majestic sight to see that beautiful red Pierce just thundering down the road.


    I have heard of a C-3 being taken to 70 miles per hour and I thought scary with two wheel brakes.A late friend with a 1927 Buick Master Six tangled with RHD Pierce Arrows on a tour and they left him in the dust.Where I live one needs to be very careful because we have lots of deer.These guys get out in the street.


    It is though a good discussion and a chance to discuss the nuances of the pre-1921 Pierce Arrows.


    Please start another thread, I thought too that this one is not the correct place for discussion. Thanks dc

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