HomeThe MarketClassic Profile: 1910 Pierce-Arrow Model 48 Miniature Tonneau

Classic Profile: 1910 Pierce-Arrow Model 48 Miniature Tonneau


When ClassicCars.com Journal editor Bob Golfen shared with me his photos of the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, one car stood out. A familiar face from my visit to Pebble Beach back in 1991, this 1910 Pierce-Arrow Model 48 Miniature Tonneau has been treasured by collectors for more than 60 years.

At the time this car was built, all Pierce-Arrow’s sold in the northeast were manufactured in Buffalo and driven to the dealer. This car was most likely sold in New Jersey or New York.

The Pierce-Arrow during the 1958 Glidden Tour Revival | Courtesy of the author

The known history of this car, chassis 7540, starts with Steward Cook of Monmouth County, New Jersey, who acquired the Pierce in the early 1950s. I happened to have a picture of the car while in his ownership on the 1958 Glidden Tour Revival. It’s said that sometime after Cook’s passing in 1966, the Pierce-Arrow found its way to Don Meyer.

A fixture of the hobby for many years, Meyer’s business, The Brighton Connection, operated out of Lebanon, New Jersey, and dealt in high-quality early cars. My picture from 1991 shows Don standing next to the car.

Don Meyer (left wearing a tie) with the Pierce-Arrow at Pebble Beach in 1991

Pierce-Arrow produced 817 of the Model 48’s in 1910, and this is the only know surviving example of the Miniature-Tonneau body style. Originally priced at $4,850, this body was 250 pounds lighter than the touring model. The Horseless Age of August 25, 1909, reported on the new 48-horsepower Pierce-Arrow.

“During the season of 1910, the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, of Buffalo, N.Y., will confine themselves to the production of six-cylinder machines,” the publication said. “The wheelbase has been increased from 130 to 134½ inches by moving the front axle 4½ inches forward, bringing it under the radiator. This has given room for lowering the frame 2 inches, giving the front springs 2 inches less arch… The chassis for the runabout and miniature tonneau bodies have a wheelbase of 128 inches.”

The Pierce during the Modoc Tour in 2005

The car eventually passed from Meyer to Frank Miller, who drove it on the 2005 Modoc Tour. A friend photographed the car during the event, as shown here. The car is also said to have passed though the well-known collection of Sam Mann before the current owner acquired the car at auction in 2015.

I have great love of early Pierce-Arrow’s as they were truly some of the finest cars made in America at the time, and this example is one special automobile.


Steve Evans
Steve Evanshttp://vintagemotoring.blogspot.com/
Steve Evans is a second-generation car guy whose passion for collector cars spans all eras. A Phoenix resident, Steve served as director of the Arizona Concours d'Elegance and is the editor of a vintage motoring blog. A collector of all things automotive, Steve's current object of interest is a Bentley MkVI James Young Coupe.


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