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A Pierce-Arrow Featuring A Gould Top

We have a series of photos to post, that were promotional photos for the Gould Top Company, taken by Charles M. Miller, who was located at 1117 Geary St. in San Francisco. The location of Gould is unknown, possibly thought to be Portland, but S.F. might be more likely. They all have the appearance of being California tops, which was a name that ended up being applied to removable accessory tops. These tops generally converted an open car into a snug weatherproof car for the cooler seasons. This top above, looks to be very well made and even features beveled glass.

The car is a Pierce-Arrow, which appears to be either a Model 38 or 48 (the photo is labeled 38) from the late teens or early twenties. We are not sure of Pierces exact name for this body style, but they were generally called a cloverleaf touring or roadster. If you can give us positive ID of the model and year of the Pierce or have any information about Gould please send us a comment. Photo courtesy of Tom Jakeway.

4 responses to “A Pierce-Arrow Featuring A Gould Top

  1. Great site and photos – Pierce called this body their “4 passenger roadster”. This looks to be a 48 (hood lines up with the seam between the fender and running board) and is a series 4 or 5 car (1916-1918) because of the cowl lights and vents at the top of the hood. Because of the body, I would guess it is a 1918 Series 5 car which had the above body traits of the series 4 but with the dual valve engine carried through to 1920. I’m sure some Pierce guys can easily pick up on something I am missing to narrow it down.

  2. the Pierce with the Gould top is series 5 [1918-19] or earlier. It is a 48 or 66 hp. 38 hp.
    had 10 frontwheel spokes. the height of the cowl suggests this to be a 66. if a66 it is probably not a series5. the series 5 is a dual valve job and to my knowledge only one 66 series 5 was made and is to the best of my memory in the Netthercutt collection.The cast into the body of the cowl lights also existed up to 1918. after that the parking lamp was in the head lites.

  3. As of early 1925, at least, the F.D. Gould Company operated at 1509 Sutter Street in San Francisco. They were listed in the Chilton Automobile Directory (but oddly absent in a 1923 issue).
    From what is evident in this series of photos, Gould seemed particularly proud of their California Tops. Those in the photos seem to have had artifical leather on the exteriors, and several coated-fabrics firms then specialized in such materials for automotive use. Naugahide (United States Rubber Company, later Uniroyal), Fabrikoid (DuPont) and Zapon were prominent brands in this application.

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