1913 Pierce Arrow Model 66 Touring
Chassis no. 66667
Engine no. 66667
66 hp, 824.7 cu. in. T-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front and live rear axles with three-quarter elliptical leaf-spring suspension, and front drum and rear-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 147½ in.
The Pierce-Arrow Model 66 stands tall as one of the greatest performance automobiles of the Brass Era. Its power came from a massive T-head inline six-cylinder engine that, at its introduction in 1910, displaced an immense 714 cubic inches. By 1913 it displaced nearly 825. For some years the Model 66 was noted in the Guinness Book Of World Records as having the largest engine of any production automobile – larger even than the famed Bugatti Royale. The Pierce 66 remains virtually unequaled among automobiles of the period in terms of power and scale; its nearly 100 brake horsepower and prodigious torque is capable of moving it effortlessly alongside modern traffic, the passengers riding head and shoulders above the rest.
Of the 14 known survivors, several have been reconstituted from parts, including, in many cases, the similar-specification engines used by Pierce to power motor coaches. Authentic examples of the Model 66 are incredibly rare, and many remain tucked away in long-term ownership on private collections.
The example offered here is a true, genuine, and authentic Model 66, born a passenger car. Reportedly originally sold in Chicago, it later served as a pumper for the Minneapolis Fire Department, which customized its bodywork and fitted later front fenders and radiator. It remained in service in Minnesota municipalities until 1950. It was then acquired by KICD, a radio station in Spencer, Iowa, which used it for promotions before donating it to the Sioux City Shriners.
Well-known Minnesota enthusiast Irving Jensen acquired the car, under the condition that he restore it and allow the members of the Abu Bekr Shrine to employ it as a parade vehicle for the next ten years. Meticulous restoration work was performed, with Lief Drexler of Quakertown, Pennsylvania, restoring the upholstery, top, side curtains, top boot, and rugs, while Ray Graber of San Diego recreated the original cast aluminum coachwork from the cowl back. Mr. Jensen exhibited the 66, restored as originally delivered, at the 1991 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, at a 1991 AACA meet in Wisconsin, receiving its First Junior and the AACA Cup, and later at the Pierce-Arrow Society’s National Meet in Minneapolis.
In the late 1990s the car was sold by the Jensens to a well-known East Coast collector, who took great pride in its running condition and thrilled at utilizing it in numerous long-distance tours over the next fifteen years. To ensure reliability for the tours, it was fully sorted and equipped with modernized ignition, an electric starter, and hydraulic rear brakes. Yet the car remains very authentic, retaining its correct original belly pans – a piece of coachwork missing from many restored big-horsepower Pierces of this vintage – and the original compressed air starter.
In its current ownership the Pierce-Arrow has continued to receive outstanding maintenance to keep it in optimal running order. In the Spring of 2019 it participated in the Brass in the Berkshires tour, running robustly, and encountered no issues along the route. To ensure its continued enjoyment on the road, it is accompanied by a collection of spare parts accumulated by the former owner.
This is a real, true Model 66-A-1 – a Brass Era powerhouse, nearly unequaled in its era, with provenance, a quality restoration, and performance characteristics that very few others can claim.