Pierce Model 38 (33?) Opera car

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    Dear all,

    I am posting this as new german member of the PAS. Sorry for any misspellings.

    The following link shows an Opera car, obviously a model 33 (even if it is called a model 38). The car was auctioned twice this year by Bonhams in Paris and Beaulieu but not sold. It is still available. It is said that it is a 1922 car but the number 339326 says that it is a 1924 model 33 with 4-wheel brakes. On the pictures I cannot see front wheel brakes. Is there anybody in the PAS who maybe knows this car and who can tell me if it is a correct car which might be worth to take a closer look at? The price level (meanwhile GBP 15.000) seems to be very interesting and somehow I like the unusual shape of such an Opera car. But in case that it is everything but correct I would rather leave my hands off it.


    Thank in advance for every advice.



    More photos would be helpful. Looks like a nice car. Cars from 1921-1924 are all rather similar, and only a few production changes like front brakes make them different. More photos of the car would be helpful to properly identify it. They are nice cars, but complicated and expensive to work on. Used parts sometime are available. There is almost nothing available for new part except gaskets.


    another indication that it is a later series 33 is the single distributor. the earlier cars had two. it looks very complete to me but a project that will keep you entertained for awhile.



    Welcome to the Pierce-Arrow Society.

    Looking at the photos on the Bonhams site, it looks like the car is a two wheel brake car. You should be able to see the brake drums behind the spokes (as you can on the rear wheels) and they are not visible on either front wheel in the photos. The engine photo shows a single distributor, so that indicates a later Series 33 car (if the engine is original to the car). Checking the actual number on the engine against the photo of the number plate would tell if it is the original engine. It is an unusual body style.

    I would suggest you contact Bonhams, or the current owner if you can get that information, and see what you can find out about the car. The first thing to find out is does it run and drive well. Repairs to the driveline of these cars can be expensive and parts a challenge to find, particularly in Europe, although with some hunting they can be found. Also, is there any corrosion/rust or wood rot. None is visible in the photos. Try to drive the car before purchase. The car looks like it is mostly original and correct, or an old restoration. There are modern wires and modern coils under the hood.

    The only Series 33’s currently listed the PAS database in Europe are both Runabouts, one in Germany and one in Denmark, so the car is not currently listed with PAS.

    Good luck with the car.



    Okay, thank you all for the advice.

    Enclosed another Picture which I found from when they showed it in Paris. I asked Bonhams for the engine number and they told me to let the owner contact me directly. So I can ask for more precise pictures and to organize a personal inspection. I will keep you informed.

    Best regards



    It’s a very nice looking Pierce


    You’ll be the envy of your fellow tourers when bad weather interferes.


    Enclosed a picture of the engine number. It corresponds to the one on the number plate. Is there a possibility to check if that is matching numbers?


    It is apparently a 3 owner car. First owner is not known, 2nd owner was a Mr. William Gasich from Buffalo, New York and current owner is a Mr. Boland from Ireland whos father bought in Hershey 1989 or 1990.


    Bill Gasich is a relatively young man,(compared to many of us). I would be surprised if he were still not a member of the PAS



    There seem to be no listing for this Pierce-Arrow in the listing history of known P-A cars (as of 2012).

    However, here is at least some information: S/N#s – 339000 – 339999, (1924-25), (4-wheel brakes began at 339001; “1925” calendar year production began at 339713).

    I am sorry that I cannot be of further assistance.




    The engine AND the chassis numbers are on the Data Plate, as shown in a photo online.

    It seems that Bonhams listed it as number 339326, which is the chassis number and the photo supplied shows the engine stamping.

    Finally, it appears that it is only a 2-wheel brake car, as on the Bonham website, the photos reveal it as a 2-wheel brake car.

    They also list it as a 1922.

    All in, it looks to be a very handsome Pierce-Arrow at a very good initial offering price.



    Spelling of Bill’s last name is way off. If this is the same person?

    Try Bill Gaciock, Orchard Park, New York–that’s south of BUFFALO.


    This car is similar to the car that was offered in Southern

    California by a dealer. It took forever to sell it and I believe

    it sold in the high $20 K’s. It was an old restoration, but still nice.

    I think it might have been the ’22 “33”” that M. Hadley from Utah

    used to own? Or is it the ’23 “”33″” that Jim West has?”


    The Coupe Sedan offered by the “southern CA dealer”” was owned by Rex Hadley.

    I know it was then purchased by a gentlemen who acquired a group of Rex’s cars. I acquired a 1920 Peerless Berlin from the same person. The Coupe Sedan was an older restoration needing some attention. Do we know who acquired it from the CA dealer and are they a member of the PAS?

    I have followed the particular car for many years. I did see and ride in it when it was for sale in CA.


    Hello My 1932 Pierce Arrow Model 54 when I am coming to a stop my vehicle goes to the right every time how can I fix this ?

    Thanks a lot


    Find someone that knows how to adjust mechanical brakes, as I’m assuming you’re saying the brakes are pulling when applied. It takes someone with patience and mechanical ability, but well adjusted mechanical brakes work great…



    BTW, have you tested the brakes in a Parking Lot and not just on the street?

    If so, and you are confident that it is not the crown of the road that causes the car to drift to the right when you apply the brakes, then you need to follow David’s suggestion, which may include learning to adjust the brakes yourself.

    From my experience of lying under my Series 80 for countless hours, adjusting the brakes is not that difficult.

    Perhaps, it is more difficult on a 1932, Model 54, but also perhaps, other Model 54 owners will chirp in.



    Another option is to click on the “Library”” button on the left side of this page. Enter the information for you car and a list of documents will come up. The Owner’s Manual for your car is available for free download. It has a section on adjusting the brakes.




    You are a good director on many levels!

    Thanks for your useful input and service to PAS and to the M-B.


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