Pierce-Arrow, often referred to as Pierce vehicles, was a prestigious American automobile manufacturer based in Buffalo, New York. Known for producing luxury cars, Pierce-Arrow was operational from the early 1900s until the 1930s and was renowned for its quality, luxury, and craftsmanship.

Key aspects of Pierce-Arrow's history include:

  1. Early Beginnings: The company initially started as the George N. Pierce Company in the late 1800s, manufacturing household items before transitioning to bicycles and then to automobiles and motorcycles in the early 1900s.

  2. Focus on Luxury: Pierce-Arrow established itself as a manufacturer of high-end, luxury automobiles. Their cars were known for their elegant design, superior engineering, and quality craftsmanship, making them popular among the wealthy and elite, including numerous celebrities and heads of state.

  3. Innovative Designs and Features: Pierce-Arrow was an innovator in automotive design. They were among the first to introduce features like power brakes and hydraulic tappets. Additionally, Pierce-Arrow vehicles were recognizable by their distinctive fender-mounted headlights, a design feature that became a trademark of the brand.

  4. Prestige and Recognition: Pierce-Arrow cars were synonymous with prestige and luxury. The brand competed with other luxury car manufacturers like Packard and Cadillac, and owning a Pierce-Arrow was a status symbol during its heyday.

  5. Diverse Product Line: Apart from luxury cars, Pierce-Arrow also manufactured commercial trucks, fire trucks, and even bicycles at different points in its history.

  6. Impact of the Great Depression: The Great Depression of the 1930s severely impacted the luxury car market. Despite efforts to diversify its offerings, including the introduction of more affordable models, Pierce-Arrow struggled financially during this period.

  7. Bankruptcy and Closure: The financial difficulties eventually led to bankruptcy. The company ceased operations in 1938, marking the end of one of the most prestigious names in American automotive history.

  8. Legacy: Today, Pierce-Arrow vehicles are highly prized by collectors. The brand is remembered for its contribution to early automotive luxury and design, and its cars are a testament to the craftsmanship and elegance of the era.

Pierce-Arrow's story reflects the rise and fall of an American luxury automobile manufacturer and is indicative of the broader economic and social changes occurring in the United States in the early 20th century.

Color Examples used on a 1936 Pierce Vehicle