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    I am trying to run down some history of my ’33. Since it was near Charlotte, NC I was looking for a potential dealer.

    I have found an article that references Dowling Motor Co, 224 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC in 1922. Sounds like N. Tryon Street was the automile in the early 1900’s. Phone 1586. They handled PA cars and trucks and Lexington Cars (Connersville, Indiana). I can’t find any further reference.

    Anybody have any more clues as to dealers in Charlotte?


    I found a 1921 Dowling ad years ago in the Library of Congress; it was a factory-style pen and ink drawing of a closed car – very attractive but no different than what Foss-Hughes or Harrolds were using. As I remember, the Dowling information at the bottom listed more than one dealership. I included the ad in one of our Florida Region newsletters, which I am not finding quickly. In the meantime I thought I should tell you what I know.




    Thanks for the info. The ad I saw only had the one site, N. Tryon. I think I have eliminated the following, unless Pierce changed dealerships after 1922 and before ’33:

    Roamer Auto

    Carolina Cadillac

    CW Upchurch

    and just down the street was Oscar J. Thies. He was at 500 N. Tryon and has some very colorful history. The building is still there, was designed by a famous Charlotte architect and is on the National Registry of Historic Places.


    I took another look and am still not finding the 1921 Dowling ad. I would have found it on microfilm at the Library of Congress, which has microfilm copies of most American and foreign newspapers. In addition, many larger city newspapers are now digitized on a system called ProQuest. Colleges/universities subscribe to the service but the cost substantially limits who subscribes and the number of newspapers ordered. The Library of Congress and the University of Michigan have complete sets, which are updated every so often. The Atlanta Constitution is among them but the last time I was there I did not see Charlotte. So microfilm might still be the only way to find Dowling information in Charlotte or other North Carolina cities. Most newspapers had automobile sections back then, so, once you know the day of the week it appears, it is easier to find things than you might think.



    I found the Dowling ad with the Series 32/33 closed car. It is formatted Calkins & Holden pen and ink artwork available for any dealer to use, only needing the addition of local contact information. I’ve attached it in case the other members might like to see it, too.



    Great piece. I appreciate you taking the time to look it up. Greensboro would be another logical place to try and sell Pierces in the ’20’s and 30’s.




    Here is another ad for Dowling.



    Bill –

    I’m glad you added another Dowling ad, especially as it reveals they were one of the many dual/multiple dealerships that Pierce relied on to sell vehicles.

    When I was researching “There Is No Mistaking A Pierce-Arrow,” one of the people I asked to help collected newspaper advertising clippings from his hometown in Indiana, and gave me a couple from of 1930/31 to use in my research. Those ads got me going, and have kept me looking. Since it may be some time before I find another Dowling ad, I thought the other members might enjoy one of the other newspaper ads I have found, now, from one of Pierce’s multiple marque dealerships, and perhaps spark some comment or uncover other dealer newspaper ads from members who have dropped by to look in here.

    The ad was placed far west of Dowling, in Honolulu. It is courtesy of the Library of Congress and the University of Hawaii (please do not reproduce it further). Like the Dowling ad it does not mention any other car names, although Associated Garage represented a number of different brands. The Honolulu ad also uses one of that year’s standard Calkins & Holden advertising agency format (which is another way of saying it looks great) that was designed to be used anywhere. The “protected” label in the model designation jumps out as worth noting – a quaint period term rarely discussed now (at least one survives and is in the Roster), having the model pictured with others illustrate the difference – a great example of early automotive streamlining.




    I see that the club has at least one car in Hawaii.

    What is with the term “DEALERT”” in Motor Cars”


    The car is Hawaii is no more. Long story short, it fell off a roll back tow truck going up the side a steep hill. It cam to a stop in someone’s home. No injuries, the Pierce was a 1936 1601 and is now cut up and parts are all over the globe. Ed


    Sad news. I was in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend and went by the 224 N. Tryon Street address associated with Dowling Motors and the building has been recently razed and some new construction has begun.

    Another piece of Pierce history is history. Sad.


    Anyone know if there was a Pierce dealer in Tucson, AZ in 1933? Also trying to run down the history of my car.


    I think someone in our society has a list of dealers. I think it would be a great project to see how many of the dealer locations still exist, before they suffer the same results as Charlotte.


    Here’s a picture of Henry Paulman, who, before Pierce took over the dealership as a company branch in 1924, was the long time Pierce dealer here. Bill Morris checked out and found out while the main dealership on South Michigan Avenue is gone, the service department on Armour Avenue, and the Evanston and Oak Park branch buildings still exist.

    I heard an interesting story about Henry Paulman and Chicago merchant Marshall Field. Don’t know if it’s really true, but a great story anyway…

    It seems that Marshall Field was sought as a customer by all new car salesmen. Field at that time was the richest man in America, and a sale to him would be a real feather in the cap for any salesman. It seems that Field interviewed each salesman who came to visit him, and while speaking to them, said, “I understand from the information you have given me that your vehicle is the best on the market, but out of curiosity, what would you say is the second best?” The second best was always Pierce, regardless of what the sales man was pushing. So Field bought a Pierce!


    Ken: i like that story ! An example of a potential customer ‘mining’ information from a salesman, and in doing so, finding a bit of reality or truth hiding in the salesman’s spiel.

    Greg Long


    Over the years there were several Pierce dealership locations on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The most famous one was the H. Paulman built building at 2420 S. Michigan and that still exists. Here’s a photo with my ’31 parked in front of it. It was built in 1909 I believe.



    Here’s what it looked like after it was built.



    Thanks for the post. I hate to see any of our PA history disappear. I appreciate you posting the information for the record. The old dealerships are so cool.


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