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  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham
  • 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham


1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype by Derham

Lot No. 4151

Auctioned on Saturday, September 2, 2017

Sold for $170,500

  • Offered from the collection of Richard Kughn
  • A factory prototype commissioned from renowned coachbuilders Derham
  • Formerly owned by Bob Sands, Roy Warshawsky, and John Groendyke


Pierce-Arrow commissioned this unique town car in 1936, as a prototype ”catalogue custom” offering intended to be launched in production the following year. The car was bodied by the Derham Body Company of Rosemont, Pennsylvania, one of the country’s finest old coachbuilders, with their usual superb attention to detail and accuracy. Perhaps because of Pierce’s turbulent financial state of the time, the car was not catalogued for 1937, and remained a true ”one-off.” It was sold by the factory to the flamboyant and wealthy Charles Cobb Walker of Manchester, Massachusetts, one of the factory’s great customers in its later years; he bought three Pierces in 1936 and 1937, reportedly arranging for consecutive serial numbers!

Following the second world war, the Walker estate, Woodholm, was sold to lumber magnate John Grossman, who also acquired the three Pierces. The town car subsequently passed through a succession of short-term owners, eventually being sold by Loren Holland of New York to longtime Pierce-Arrow enthusiast Bob Sands in 1975. Mr. Sands spent seven years on the car’s restoration, after which it was shown to award-winning results all over the country and enjoyed on the road for many years. In 1990 it was featured in The Classic Car, Beverly Rae Kimes’s famous book, in which Mr. Sands noted, ”It drives and rides like a Pullman car. Its looks, appointments, styling, and quality can be best summed up as the closest an automobile can get to a palace on wheels.”

Shortly thereafter, the car was purchased by the late, great collector, Roy Warshawsky, who had further restoration work performed and continued to display the car all over the country. It also part of John Groendyke’s renowned Oklahoma collection for several years. In total, during a long and very successful show career, the car has won top honors from both the Antique Automobile and Classic Car Clubs of America.

This is undoubtedly one of the most significant and attractive formal Pierces, and boasts a superb history and quality restoration with which few can compare. It is a star of the Kughn Collection and worthy of its next fine home.


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