Pre War Pierce Racer.

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    Taken from a Hot Rod site.

    Johnny Junkins Pierce-Arrow

    A little more than a year ago, I posted about the Johnny Junkins lakes modified, noting that I’d love to clone that car some day. I also noted that Junkins sold that modified before the 1938 racing season so he could step up to a Pierce-Arrow, a very unusual choice for a pre-war hot rodder, despite Pierce-Arrow’s history of record-setting Bonneville runs.

    While checking out the American Hot Rod Federation‘s site today, I came across a post by Jim Miller, the AHRF’s curator and historian, that included a photo and some more information about the Junkins Pierce-Arrow. The photo, above, came from the Tommy Davis Collection and appears to depict the Pierce-Arrow on one of its first outings on May 15, 1938, at Muroc Dry Lake. Jim also ran a scan of the program from that event, in which somebody noted that the Pierce-Arrow ran 92.4 mph.

    Miller writes that the car is familiar and that it ran on the dry lakes in the late 1940s, but I’m left wondering what year, make and model the Pierce-Arrow started out as, what size engine it ran (and whether it was modified in any way) and whether Junkins or some other racer built it.


    I would be interested in the answer:

    In about 1958 I bought a v12 Pierce-Arrow engine (1934) in Pasadena that had been overhauled and was “running on the bench”…

    I bought it as a replacement engine for my 1932 model 52 that had cracks in the block.

    At that time I lived in Claremont, Californis, and had found the car in Upland;story was it had belonged to the banker there and had been traded in on a new car…

    The engine had” run on the dry lakes” and the heads were reversed so that the radiator hoses were at the back, for a rear cooling tank…I reversed the heads to their original position, and changed the front timing gear cover because it is also the front motor mount.

    In removing the cover i found the cam nut missing and the cam had slid forward about three-eighths of an incc, so that it would have failed(I think) had it been raced.

    I set everything right and it has been a good engine to this day, though we did a complete overhaul on it about ten years ago at a machine shop here in Alaska, poured bearings and all.

    Would love to know the history of the engine!

    1932 7 passenger Sedan Model 52 …

    Bill de Creeft, Homer, Alaska

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