1909 Pierce-Arrow and the new Model 48

1909 Pierce-Arrow Model 48
1909 Pierce-Arrow Model 48
Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal, January 1, 1909
 
These images are of a 1909 Pierce-Arrow, the new Model 48 (6 cylinder, 48hp). What's most unique about the car pictured is the closed drivers door area - I've never seen this on a 1909 Pierce. The two images show the same group of men driving the car somewhere in New York state (the car wears a 1910 or 1911 NY plate). However, it does not look to be the Pierce-Arrow factory in the background.

1909 was a very important and unique year in Pierce-Arrow history with many new 6 cylinder models being introduced - the 6-48 among them. This is the last year that Pierce would sell 4 cylinder cars. After 1909, Piece would only sell 6 cylinder cars (until they brought out a straight 8 in 1929). The model 48 was largely the work of Pierce-Arrow's chief engineer, David Fergusson.

Fergusson (1869-1951) was born in Bradford, England and graduated from Bradford Technical College. After coming to America in a venture that failed to materialize, Fergusson found work with the F.B. Stearns Company before applying for a job with the George N Pierce Company in 1901. Furgusson's influence was felt right away with the design of the Motorette. He became the chief engineer and was responsible for designing Pierce-Arrow automobiles until 1922. In 1923, Furgusson became the chief engineer for the Cunningham Company of Rochester, NY where he refined their V8 engine.

The Model 48 proved to be the leading seller for Pierce-Arrow for the next 6 years. With refinements along the way, this engine stayed in production for over a decade.


The Automobile, June 25, 1914



Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal, January 1, 1909

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