1913 Pierce-Arrow – Brewster Limousine

1913 Pierce-Arrow with Brewster Limousine body

1914 Mercedes with same Brewster Limo body (photo credit: sportscardigest.com)
Brewster & Co, the longstanding New York based coachworks is said to have bodied its first gasoline powered automobile in 1905.  By 1911, they focused exclusively on automobile bodies in their new, sate-of-the-art facility just over the 59th Street/Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City, New York. Brewster was considered the premier coachworks in the US and built bodies for some of America’s most distinguished families (who had been buying their carriages from Brewster for the past 50 years), such as Astor, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Tiffany, etc. 

The car seen here is a 1913 Pierce-Arrow (I believe it’s a model 48-B-1 with 142 inch wheel base).  The body looks to be a Brewster Limousine. It is known that Brewster bodied a Pierce-Arrow sometime after 1911 with a Limo body for M.W. Leeds (body No. 155). I believe it may be the car pictured here, as Brewster appears to have only bodied one Pierce-Arrow prior to 1918. The 1914 Mercedes is shown for reference as it wears a known Brewster Limo body from 1914 and the details of the two bodies are strikingly similar. 1913 was an interesting year for Pierce-Arrow, as it was the year prior to the introduction of the fender-mounted headlights. It was also the year they introduced a starter (compressed air powered) – they would move to an electric starter in 1914.

I’ve been unable to locate any information on M.W. Leeds. Further, I don’t have any information on the 1913 PA License plate No. 30727. However, my real curiosity is related to the bright work on this car being painted – has anyone seen this treatment before?


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