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The year 1928 was somewhat unfortunate for Pierce-Arrow. Their cars were extensions of earlier designs -- six-cylinders were being displaced by eights -- sales were down. Work had begun in 1927 on a more modern Pierce-Arrow. The two new models were introduced in January, 1929. Both had large-displacement straight 8-cylinder engines, and were lower and sleeker than older models. They bore Model designations 133 and 143 indicating the wheelbase length.


The 1929 Model 133 Roadster exemplifies the sporty look that luxury car buyers wanted as the Roaring Twenties drew to a close. This is a standard Pierce-Arrow Motor Car production, entirely built in the Buffalo Pierce factory, to the continuing high Piece-Arrow engineering standard. Chrome plating was introduced by Pierce-Arrow for their 1929 models. Up until this year bright parts had been nickel plated.


-- Fresh and up-to-date styling, slimmer than Pierce cars
       of earlier years
-- Bare-headed archer on the radiator cap, first available
       in 1930, but because of its artistic appeal retrofitted
       to 1929 cars by most owners
-- Side wind-wings on the windshield
-- Two fender-mounted spare tires, with chrome tire covers
       topped by twin rear-view mirrors

-- Rumble seat for two, with rear fender-mounted step
       for easy access

-- Wire wheels with chrome-plated trim rings
-- Adjustable spotlight on driver’s side
-- Straight 8 engine, with all of the quality that buyers
       expected in a Pierce-Arrow: NINE main bearings

-- Massive engine block, of particularly hard metal, with
       a clock dial cast into it showing date and time of the
       casting, to facilitate careful metallurgical quality control

-- Hypoid rear axle, enabling a lower chassis
-- A very high standard of luxury travel


This car certainly belongs to the Great Gatsby era. This one was built in early fall of 1929 (before the stock market crash), when factory production was running smoothly and turning out over 30 cars each day. With over 10,000 cars produced, 1929 was the high water mark of Pierce-Arrow production.


In 1929 the 133-inch wheelbase accommodated short-coupled five-passenger four-door bodies for the sedan, convertible sedan, and leather-topped club sedan. The longer 143-inch wheelbase allowed for 7-passenger four-door bodies, with jump seats in the rear passenger compartment.