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Model 133 6-Light Saloon
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  Pierce-Arrow Model 133 6-Light Saloon

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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1929
Numbers built:close to 10,000
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFounded in 1901, Pierce Arrow was one of America's automotive pioneers. Before the end of the decade had grown out from its humble beginnings to a leading manufacturer, competing with the likes of Rolls Royce. Hugely powerful, but low revving engines gave them a reputation for building very quiet car. Exceptional build-quality made the Pierce Arrow the number one choice for the rich and famous.

In 1918 Pierce Arrow introduced the 'Dual Valve Six', which was equipped with a dual overhead camshaft six cylinder engine, with 4 valves per cylinder. With this very advanced engine Pierce Arrow reached a development peak. In the 1920s strong competition from Packard and Cadillac strongly affected the Pierce Arrow sales. The company was on the verge of bankruptcy when Studebaker purchased Pierce Arrow for $2 million in 1928.

To increase sales again, a completely new model was introduced, priced considerably lower than previous Pierce Arrows. First thing to go was the advanced, but very expensive 'Dual Valve Six.' It was replaced by a sidevalve eight cylinder in-line engine. The new car was smaller in size than its predecessors and could be considered a 'small car' in its day. Studebaker figured that a smaller car would appeal to a much wider audience that were able to buy a car for the first time.

Launched in 1929 the new car was available with two wheelbases, 133 inch and 144 inch. To keep things simple, the cars were named after their wheelbase. Various bodystyles were available, which included the featured 6-Light Saloon. The name referred to the three side-windows on each side of the car. With a sales figure of close to 10,000, 1929 was the based year to date for Pierce Arrow and the Model 133 and 144 formed the base for a successful range of new Pierce Arrows.

The pictured Model 133 6-Light Saloon is seen here at the Christie's 2003 Paleis 't Loo Concours d'Elegance auction. The sale price was estimated at $46,000 - $68,000, but the offers failed to make the reserve set.

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  Article Image gallery (4) Specifications