#Pic_A_Day  (1571) @AlMachFineArt - 1917 Pierce-Arrow Model 48-B-4 Runabout

#Pic_A_Day  (1571) @AlMachFineArt

1917 Pierce-Arrow Model 48-B-4 Runabout
Chassis no. 15880
Assembly no. 5556
Engine no. B4 4055

524ci T-Head 6-Cylinder Engine
4-Speed Selective-Shift Manual Transmission
Semi-Elliptical Front Leaf Springs and Semi-Floating Rear Axle with ¾-Elliptic Leaf Springs
Rear-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Desirable "big horsepower" Pierce-Arrow, ideal for tours
*Restored from an original Model 48 roadster chassis and drivetrain
*Formerly of the Sam Vaughan and Imperial Palace collections


By the end of the Brass Era, Pierce-Arrow was widely considered one of the United States' most prestigious automakers, as one of the famous "Three P's" along with Packard and Peerless. The company's cars had become instantly identifiable from Herbert Dawley's distinctive, patented fender-mounted headlamps, a feature that Pierce can be credited with introducing to the American market.

The 1917 Pierce-Arrow Model 48-B-4 featured a massive 525-cubic-inch T-head inline six-cylinder engine with two valves per cylinder and hydraulic valve tappets, as well as a four-speed transmission with a reverse gear and shaft drive – all very modern for the end of the Brass Era, and good for a top speed of 55 mph in solid, luxurious comfort.

Many enthusiasts prefer these cars as "drivers," as they have abundant performance and are joys to drive. They are very popular in Pierce-Arrow Society activities and in tour events with the Vintage Motor Car and Antique Automobile Clubs of America, and can be seen in many of this country's most distinguished collections.


This Model 48-B-4 was purchased in Colorado in 1970 by longtime Pierce-Arrow enthusiast, Ted Thompson, who restored it. As noted by Pierce-Arrow collector Patrick Craig, the car had been originally built as a roadster, retaining that style's unique lowered steering column and shifting rods, though much of the original body was lost. Mr. Thompson built and fitted a new roadster body with a large, comfortable driver's area and a large rear luggage platform with a folding "trap seat." All was crowned by a folding windshield and jaunty victoria top. The appearance is set off by a pale blue finish and maroon leather upholstery, matching the handsome wooden artillery wheels.

The restored Pierce was later acquired by Fred Vartz of Canada, then by noted collector Sam Vaughan of Uncertain, Texas. It was sold at Mr. Vaughan's famous 1990 estate auction and subsequently acquired by the Tupelo Automobile Museum from the Imperial Palace in January 1994; it has remained a fixture in the collection ever since.


This auto can be seen at The Tupelo Auto Museum


The auction will be held at the Tupelo Automobile Museum with the preview day April 25 and the auction April 26-27.

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