The original owner of this 1929 Pierce-Arrow Dual Cowl Phaeton was none other than silent film star Charlie Chaplin. For an automaker nearly synonymous with the exuberance of the roaring twenties, it’s hard to think of a more perfect celebrity ownership connection. And the stock market crash of 1929 that signaled the end of Pierce-Arrow’s glory days features prominently in Chaplin’s legacy today: Legend has it Chaplin advised a friend to sell his stocks on the eve of the crash, and the crash itself served as the subject of his most important film, “Modern Times.”
The car is said to been a former CCCA 1st Place Concours Winner, following a “meticulous frame-off restoration” sometime in the past. It was then on display at the Automotive Road of Dreams Museum in Orange County, CA. The paint, panels, chrome, and interior all look quite clean, straight, and shiny, but the seller reports that recent attempts to start the car have been unsuccessful. And that’s not surprising, as cars tend to deteriorate mechanically in museum settings, unless they receive regular maintenance.
Obviously, the car will need some mechanical work before it can be driven onto the concours field, and it’s safe to assume it will need some visual freshening as well. If you’re looking for a pre-war car with tons of presence, a huge celebrity connection, and some needs, this might be just the thing. See the listing here.