Lot 60

2014   |   Amelia Island Auction 2014

1913 Pierce-Arrow Model 48-B Five-Passenger Touring


$450,000 - $550,000





Car Highlights

A Marvelous High-Horsepower Touring Car
Innovative Cast Aluminum Body Components
Believed to Be the Only Survivor of Its Type
Well-Preserved Pebble Beach Class-Winning Restoration
Perfect for Brass and Nickel Era Tours
A Highly Regarded Early Pierce-Arrow

Technical Specs

524 CID Side Valve 6-Cylinder T-Head Engine
Single Pierce-Arrow Updraft Carburetor
Rated 48 HP
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
Rear Mechanical Drum Brakes
Solid Front Axle Suspension with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Live Axle Rear Suspension with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Register to Bid

Formerly the Property of Jack Passey, Knox Kershaw and the Milhous Brothers

This Car

This delightful Model 48-B Five-Passenger Touring left the Pierce-Arrow factory in 1913. While the earliest history is unknown, the Model 48 is believed to have spent a significant period of time in Oregon, where it was discovered by noted enthusiast Jack Passey. Acquired in California in 1989 by esteemed collector Knox Kershaw, this incredibly original and authentic example was then treated to a no-expense-spared, frame-off restoration in 1994, which was conducted by Eric Rosenau of San Diego. The car was painted in a refined shade of blue with red pinstriped accents. The seats were trimmed in button-tufted black leather and the leatherette top is cloth lined. Side curtains are included and are fitted into a pouch behind the front seat.

Once completed, the Model 48-B Five- Passenger Touring, thought by marque experts to be the only remaining example of this model, was brought to the 1994 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it won its class. The car then went to the 1994 Pierce- Arrow National Meet, where it was awarded with First Place, Best of Show, and Best Restoration, cementing the car’s reputation in marque circles as a top-level example.

In 2003, the Model 48 was sold and became a noted addition of the incredibly eclectic and well-respected Milhous Collection. The car was used sparingly in the Milhous brothers’ possession and at the time of the collection’s sale, eventually passed to a connoisseur and authority of early automobiles. This new owner used the car on the Brass and Nickel Era Paso Robles Tour in California before passing it on to the consignor.

Since the restoration of the Pierce-Arrow in 1994, it has had a succession of well-known and esteemed stewards and has been cared for by experts in the field of early American automobiles. Of note, the car is accompanied by an original and rare factory brochure. This incredible record of love and care is evident in the Model 48’s well-preserved cosmetic and mechanical condition. Whether new to the world of early motoring or an experienced connoisseur, you are sure to be impressed by this Nickel Era legend.

The Model 48

Known for their cars' refined operation and exceptional road manners, Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, along with competitors Packard and Peerless (“The Three Ps”), was a strong force in the American luxury automobile market from 1901 to their demise in1938.In1905,aPierce-Arrowwonthevery demanding 1,000-mile Glidden Tour reliability trial, which was held from New York through New England and back. This would be the first of many victories for the marque, which won more Glidden Trophy events than any other brand. Being the first manufacturer chosen to supply the White House with cars in 1909, Pierce-Arrow grew into a status symbol, owned by many Hollywood stars and foreign royalty figures.

Innovative features and their exceptional build quality kept Pierce-Arrow’s cutting-edge image intact. Whether an early four-cylinder or later six-cylinder model, Pierce-Arrow’s engineering prowess supplied its owners with the highest levels of reliability, safety, and performance.

The Model 48 was the mid-level model in Pierce-Arrow’s line of six-cylinder luxury cars, the other models being the 36 and 66. Using a 524 cid T-head engine that was rated at 48 hp, thus the model’s designation, the Model 48 offered performance equal to or better than the majority of its competitors, with unmatched refinement. Approximately 825 examples of the Model 48-B were produced.