The proper frame /undercarriage color

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    Dear fellow member,

    My vehicle is a 836A and had undergone a restoration , by others,in the 90’s. The frame and undercarriage are painted a light grey- you could even call it a dove grey. I presumed that the color might not be correct but recently I viewed images of another restored ’34 Pierce-Arrow (Silver Arrow) with the same underside color treatment.So I began to wonder. A second ’34 836A member reported to me that under the grease and rust “a thick coating light grey in color… like a thin undercoating or rubberized paint”. I know most Pierce-Arrows are black underneath, so what’s going on?

    Thank you,

    Joe Malone


    I looked at the underside of my ’33 836, a year older than your 836A.

    Like your car, mine has been repainted, and the frame is painted black .

    The body color on my car is a deep blue, that looks black in low light.

    I’d say that your car with two shades of grey, would look very nice, but I

    don’t think very much if any of the frame can be seen unless you crawl

    under the car. ??

    Joe, I’m looking forward t seeing your car at the Minden Meet this summer.

    Greg Long


    Joe, I meant to ask, are your front axle, rear axle and leaf springs painted black or the light grey??

    Greg Long


    Just my 2 cents. While I can’t tell you how many different Pierce cars I have looked at over the last 40 years, the only car I have ever seen in person with a painted factory chassis color that was not black was the 1930 Waterhouse car. When the restoration shop that was restoring the car said it was painted blue, I drove the 30 miles to their shop just to see for myself before they blasted it. I have a factory photo of a very special 1931 series 42 dual cowl factory promotional car that had a monochrome paint of metallic silver over the entire car including the chassis, with stainless Budd wheels. While anything is possible on a special order car your car was almost certainly black, and just restored the way it is at the request of the owner. If you can’t see the chassis on a late series car, why would one paint it anything but black? Can you post a few photos of the car and chassis? Ed


    We’ll see if my computer skills will allow me to attach some photos

    Joe Malone


    Hi all—-Also for my two & half cents worth—-The frame finish looks like the holding coat that most sand blasters use & has never been recoated since. The sort of thing that happens to some of my restorations trying to meet a deadline, with every intention to do the HARD YARDS insitu later. Which never seems to happen! Happy frame painting!—-Jak.


    $0.02 More, a different year / model, but here’s a photo of the frame of our original 1601 taken in 2010 shortly after it was removed from Frank Merrell’s garage in Oregon after 58 years of hibernation. You’ll see the frame is painted the same dark green color as the body. Interestingly, the bottom of the running boards and battery box are painted tan, maybe they were trying to use-up left over paint in 1936.


    Stu Blair


    Stu, Having had the pleasure of driving and tuning your car, as well as changing a flat tire, I must admit egg on my face that I did not see the green on the frame. But if memory serves me, it was about a hundred degrees and I was drinking beer on the roadside while we changed out the tire. Is the entire frame green? More photos please! Ed


    Ed, It was north of 100 degrees that day, and the Corona’s in the antique Coke machine at the Off Bros. car collection were ice cold. And at $0.25 each, well that’s just going to promote excessive consumption! To answer your question, yes, the entire frame is painted dark green, you can see where the dust has been wiped off the frame over the axle in this photo after the car was delivered to Cincinnati in October, 2011.


    Here’s one more photo of the frame rail, it’s green underneath the dust, you can also see the tan bottom side of the running board.


    Good discussion one and all. The take away from all of this is that it is likely that the frame on my unassuming 836A was black to begin with and that if you undertake a task, especially in the name of “restoration”, you might as well do it right the first time.

    Thank you for your insight,

    Joe Malone


    Dear Society Members,

    Today I received a back issue of The Arrow(75,3) which features the 1934-35 Model 836A. What is of some additional interest to our discussion regarding chassis colors is the comments of member Jerry Senk quoted in the attachment. Notably, at least some 836As may have had the chassis the same as the body color and the fabric roof insert may also have been painted at the factory to match the body color. The limited wording pulled from Mr. Senk’s correspondence is not entirely clear. What does “it” refer to? the chassis? or “under the fenders and hood”? Also, is Mr.Senk suggesting that the factory was responsible for ” the fabric roof insert painted the same color as the car”?

    Is it possible that this correspondence still exists?

    Any thoughts?

    Joe Malone


    Since I was unable to transfer a file copy of a portion of Mt.Senk’s correspondence, I will do this the old fashioned way:The Arrow, Page 8,75,3.

    “(My) chassis was painted black….Under the fenders and hood (it) was the same as the body color—Everglade Green. My car (#1080812) seems to have had the fabric roof insert painted the same color as the car, Everglade Green, but I believe this to be a common practice at that time.

    “Al Iverson..stated that his car was originally Ocean Gray Dark, but all the chassis and undercarriage was Vermillion Red….it was apparent that this was the original paint from the factory”.


    my 34′ 836 was a nice 50k mi. garage kept driver when I got it.the wood under was still wood colored,not grey or rotted,the interior was point is I know for a fact it came with a black frame from the factory.


    In reading The Arrow 2001-2, page 10 under a discussion of STANDARD COLOR COMBINATIONS OF MODELS for the 1919 38 HP and 48HP Dual Valve Six,there are seven rather complete descriptions of color and finish combinations available. For example: “Wine Combination- Body and Chassis, deep wine No.37….” Now this is for an early vehicle, so allow me to speculate that 10 years later it wouldn’t be a stretch for the paint department to paint the chassis whatever color was specified on the production sheet. I have hopefully attached a copy of that page for your reading.

    Thanks to all,

    Joe Malone


    Well once more looking under the grease.

    I began scraping the grease off from my ’29 133 before it put the battery box back on. I was surprised to see a red oxide primer under the black paint and grease. The black paint comes off quite easy with the old grease. The red paint is one with the frame steel. It does not scrape off. I am great full for that. The paint has protected the frame steel very well. I do believe that the under carriage is original and has not been repainted.

    Cal Dyke


    My Wife Kelly and I are the current proud owners of “Godfrey”, an original, unmolested 1934 840A Sedan originally sold at Hoffman Motors, Beverly Hills, CA then via OR to WA many years. We can photo document any aspects you need from our car. It still has the original carpets, black paint with white pin-striping remnants, etc. Regards, Walter McDaniel


    Please post a few photos of your car, we always like to see a “new”” car active the club. Ed”


    Gentlemen, I’ve been reading again,

    Referring to the PAS Service Bulletin, 1987, Issue 4,5 ( double issue),Page 2, in a response to a question regarding a 1930 Model B, FC ’30 offers: ” Although the customer could have any color he desired, the chassis was usually painted black, which is appropriate for a 7- passenger sedan.I have seen a few original chassis that had been painted body color.”

    Walter, thank you for your generous offer.

    Joe Malone


    One specific I don’t see mentioned:

    What is the sheen of the paint of the frame?  Is it flat, semi – gloss, or gloss paint?


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