The Peirce Arrow quickly developed a reputation as a high quality, high price automobile. But by the 1920's, Pierce fortunes were declining. A sluggish business model and the depression led to many economic woes at the company. In 1928, the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana purchased controlling interest in Pierce-Arrow. The engineering and manufacturing of the vehicle remained separate but the merger provided Pierce-Arrow with much needed capital.
Many early automakers began as bicycle manufacturers; George N. Pierce was one of them. In 1900 the Pierce Cycle Company started experimenting with automobiles. In late 1901, Pierce introduced the Motorette, a small car with a single-cylinder deDion gasoline engine. In 1908 the George N. Pierce Company became two separate companies: The Pierce Cycle Company and the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company.
1926 Pierce Arrow Touring
This 7-passenger touring Model 80 Phaeton has a 130 inch wheelbase and houses a 6-cylinder, 288 cubic inch, in-line, water-cooled, 70 HP Engine with a 3-1/2 inch bore and 5 inch stroke. The distinctive Pierce-Arrow trademark fender mounted headlights were designed by Herbert M. Dawley and patented in February 1914. The car had a factory price of $2895.