“I found this as a started project on eBay a couple of years ago. I showed Jason some pics of the car and he said it could be made into something cool. Jason had already built an American Austin with an injected Hemi for me, so I knew he could easily handle this project. I bought the car and then took it to Jason. Well, as often is the case, it looked better in pictures. Even though the whole rat rod thing has almost ruined hot rods for me, I wanted a nice, finished car built out of what started life as a four-door limo. The car must have been pretty rough, because why else would someone cut up a Pierce Arrow limousine?
“Just as Jason was getting started on the project, his shop fell victim to the fire. So, not only was the car rough, it was now burnt. The project sat for several months while Jason got his shop rebuilt and back on his feet. When he finally got back on it, it took a while to figure out just where to start. A lot of the work the previous owner had done had to be reworked. All the wood had burned and was replaced with a new steel structure. The top was filled and a ridged backbone was added to break up the roof. A ’55 Oldsmobile was used as a donor for a lot of the parts incorporated—such as the engine, dash, and several trim pieces.
“The frame was already built, but the drivetrain had to be moved and the rearend remounted. A T5 manual trans was adapted to the Olds Rocket; six Muroc-stacked deuces (Speedway 9Super7s) atop a Cragar log manifold replace the old four-barrel, while the points ignition was swapped for a Joe Hunt magneto. Chris DeWeese from Jason’s shop built the one-of-a-kind curved lakes-style headers and also handled most of the metalwork that, in the end, was all covered in custom-mixed, sparkling butterscotch using orange, copper, and dark gold ’flake with eight coats of clear.
“To keep the radical theme, custom-built 18- and 20-inch wire wheels were ordered from The Wheelsmith and now wear Firestone bias-ply whitewalls from Coker Tire. Behind the fronts, concealed disc brakes (SO-CAL) were hung on an undropped but drilled axle equipped with a Unisteer rack-and-pinion setup. The headlights, borrowed from a ’29 Duesenberg, flank a modified ’34 Chevy grille shell fitted with the Pierce’s insert and radiator ornament; taillights are off a ’48 Hudson.
“Inside the sedan, a custom waterfall console flows from the dash, which was shortened and highly modified to fit the old Pierce body, and cradles the bucket seats. The steering wheel is a ’40s Chevy ‘fatman’ accessory item. Jason did most of the interior work with the exception of the seat—that was covered by Connie Neagle of Portland, Tennessee.”