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The George N. Pierce Company manufactured household items such as bathtubs, birdcages, and bicycles. They produced their first car in 1901, using a single-cylinder deDion engine. In 1903 Pierce started a line that would make it famous, the Arrow. In 1904, with the introduction of their own four-cylinder engine, the Great Arrow was unveiled.
The Great Arrow had a 93-inch wheelbase and introduced the use of aluminum cast body panels. The Great Arrow came with a huge price tag for 1904, $4,000. By 1905, Pierce was producing some of the biggest and most expensive cars in the U.S. The Great Arrow helped the Pierce Company gain its reputation for excellence by winning five straight Glidden Tours, beginning with the 1905 trophy. The company changed its name in 1908 to the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company. This was the same year the Pierce family sold their interest in the company.
This is Kate, a 1907 Pierce Great Arrow. She was found acting as an apple truck in Eastern Washington by a car collector named Bert Lobberegt. With the assistance of Bill Harrah, he was able to rejoin a Great Arrow body to the “apple truck chassis” to create what you see here. After the restoration was complete, the family took their “new” car on a cross country vacation. As was the practice in the 1960s, they put a window decal from every state they passed through on the windshield. Upon arrival in Buffalo, New York, the city where it was built put on a one-car parade down Arrow Boulevard in front of the still-standing Pierce Company plant building.