Pierce Arrows in the Movies

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    I happened to be watching “Cheaper by the Dozen”” starring Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy today and the family is “”piled”” into a P-A 7 Passenger Touring. I was curious as to what model it was. The link has a vintage poster with the P-A on it. Movie also has several scenes of other vintage cars.”



    Here’s a 1936 1603 Town Car in “My Man Godfrey”” a 1936 Universal Studios screwball comedy starring William Powell and Carole Lombard. A 1936 Packard Twelve 1407 convertible coupe is also seen in the movie.”


    Here’s another from 1984, the movie was “City Heat,” a cops & mobsters flick starring Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds. At the end of the movie, the car is blown-up, HOWEVER, there was a write-up in the PAS newsletter just after the movie was released to the effect that the car destroyed was actually a stripped parts car that the movie studio cobbled together for that purpose AND NOT the pristine, restored car shown used for the mobster’s livery.


    This one hurts to watch…

    The Blacksmith — a 1922 Buster Keaton silent. The link below will let you watch it…



    Keaton learned from that movie that in general, people do not like to see beautiful things destroyed, even in jest. At the screenings nobody laughed at that scene and their responses were much like Paul’s “It hurts to watch””. Keaton never did that again.

    Now Model T’s are an entirely different story. (See Laurel and Hardy’s “”Two Tars””)



    The parts car that blew up in City Heat made it back to a PAS member, who salvaged all possible parts. Some of them are in my garage today.


    This topic is a bit of a memory test, but here goes,

    The Paul Newman/Robert Redford Movie, “The Sting” also features a Pierce Arrow that is owned by Mr. Lonnegan, the character played by Robert Shaw.

    If you watch the Glen Miller Story, with Jimmy Stewart, there is a brief view/mention of a Pierce Arrow as one of the many used cars that the band members owned over the years.

    Happy Holidays,



    “The Sting,” 1973, Paul Newman & Robert Redford con mob-boss Robert Shaw, here’s a photo of his car…


    In an earlier ARROW there is a picture of the Pierce-Arrow in “Cheaper by the Dozen”, if I remember correctly, it is a series 31.


    In the movie “Our Man Godfrey”” the Pierce is a 1936 town car.”


    The 35 used in the “Sting”” is owned by Tom Sparks a PAS member. Tom was in the movie car business for many years. He built the cars for the Tucker movie as well as many others.



    Stuart: The Pierce used in “My Man Godfrey,” wasn’t a 1603. More than likely, either a 1601 or 1602 on the 144 inch wheelbase. It has a custom body built body by Brunn. I’d like to know more about that particular car, since I have two of them, and there’s a good chance one of mine was used in the movie.



    As Leo said, the Cheaper by the Dozen car is a 1919 Series 31 seven passenger touring serial number 312064 and engine number 312093. For many years the car belonged to the late Leonard Howitt of Portland, Oregon. He had several Pierce-Arrows including a WWI truck with French military markings.

    The Series 31 now belongs to PAS member Anthony D’Alonzo of Havertown, PA.


    One of my favorite P-A movie scenes is in “Once Upon a Time in America” where Robert DeNiro forces himself on the girl in the back of the limo. The good part is when the chauffeur stops the car, hands him his coat and leaves him at the side of the street…demonstrating just how much real class is required to be the driver of a Pierce-Arrow.

    The car is the star of the scene as it drives off in the upperclass neighborhood.


    Here is a good site to browse that lists movies with Pierce Arrows in various scenes.

    It even details if the car was used in a background scene or if it was used as a main vehicle in the movie.

    Some of the models are identified incorrectly but it is a decently comprehensive list.



    Julie Andrews drove an early 20s bright red Pierce roadster in “Thoroughly Modern Millie””.”

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