FDR rode to inauguration in a 19331247

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    I took David and Eds leads and did a search on FDR in 1933 . Associated press has a photo from March 4th 1933 of FDR going to his inauguration in a 1933 1247 with a 1932 Pierce following. The photo you see has AP all over it so you need to buy it. The problem is , you have to go to a second company who does not have it . The photo is called FDR Inaugural 1933 photo # 3303040145 . Maybe someone else will have better luck getting a copy for the Arrow. Doug Vogel


    Hey Doug, I’ve always thought that all the best people ride in Pierce 1247’s. What do you think?

    Certainly anybody who comes to the Annual Meet next month can have the opportunity to join this select group. I wish you and your 1247 could join us.


    Dave,Its over 1500 miles one way and after several years of wishful planning, I have made the decision to improve the 1247 and will have it at the 2013 meet in Nevada next year. I do so much want to see your car someday . Doug Vogel


    Doug Vogel –

    You have reversed the make of car used in FDR’s ride to his inauguration with the Pierce-Arrow used in the inaugural parade after the inauguration. Roosevelt rode to the inauguration in an open Lincoln with whitewall tires (also in the AP Bettmann photo website) followed by a second Lincoln. He rode from the inauguration, in the inaugural parade, in a 1933 Pierce touring car with blackwall tires and a specially-fitted rear seat. The Lincolns followed behind it in the parade. The National Archives in College Park has photos of the Pierce-Arrow and the two Pierces (one is partially hidden in the AP/Bettman photo) flanking it. I used two of them in my “Magic Motors 1930″” book.

    I hope this helps

    Brooks Brierley


    Thanks Brooks, Any ideas as to what could have happened to the 1933 Pierce he rode in , does it still exist ? Thanks Doug Vogel


    In 1932 there were no less than 5 Pierce cars at the white house, all were specials. I had some photos of them years ago and can’t find them today. They were also included in a Pierce factory sales film strip like Chris published last year.


    Doug –

    I do not know what happened to the touring car used in the inauguration. It was fitted with a special rear seat for Roosevelt and appears to have remained in service until replaced by the 1936 touring car. I wonder if the factory rebuilt it to be the 1936 tourer.

    Several years ago I looked for some White House car identification in the National Archives in College Park. One finding aid listed a file for Pierce-Arrow with the service manager’s name, Nicodemus. I was taken back into the stacks to see it – there was the Pierce file with Nicodemus’ name but it was empty. I suspect there are other ways to find the serial number. My search in the Archives did find a 1939 list of White House cars – so it is clear lists existed – the FDR archive in Hyde Park may have similar information.




    I’m almost certain the 1247 Touring car was “private property,” belonging to FDR-himself. After being “retired” it went back to Hyde Park, was placed in an Albany, New York museum and used as a ‘Lead” vehicle when the New York State Thruway opened. I don’t know where it is, at present?


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