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Rare 1904 pierce Arrow, donated to Buffalo Transportation and Pierce Arrow Museum

‘It’s got the wow factor,’ facility’s director says

By Mark Sommer
The Buffalo Transportation/ Pierce-Arrow Museum now possesses one of the two 1904 Arrow cars left in the world.
The Bill and Jean Irr Family Foundation bought the deep blue, two-cylinder model for $250,000 at an auction in October in Hershey, Pa., and then donated it to the museum. The museum will unveil it at 11 a.m. today at the downtown museum at 263 Michigan Ave.
“When you see it, it’s got the wow factor,” said James T. Sandoro, the museum’s co-founder and executive director. “The quality of the restoration, along with the quality of the automobile, make it like a fabulous piece of jewelry.
“It now belongs to everybody in Western New York,” he said.
A previous owner restored the Arrow for $250,000 several years ago.
“The brass radiator and the brass headlights are just magnificent,” Sandoro said.
Entering the Arrow’s black interior of tufted leather requires going through a passenger door in back. The automobile features a top but no windshield.
The steering wheel, on the right side, “lifts up so you can get behind the seat,” said Mary Ann Sandoro, co-founder and curator of exhibits, calling it the “fat man’s steering wheel.”
The car also includes a lantern, secured in back of the car, and a French bull horn on the outside on the passenger side.
The museum’s collection includes a 1903 Arrow, which won a race from New York to Pittsburgh. The museum acquired the gold coin the car received for winning the race.
The newly acquired 1904 model marked a transition from the horse-drawn carriage. The license plate reads “horseless carriage.”
“It got bigger, faster – 2 cylinder from 1 cylinder – and was the difference from a wagon with a motor on it to a real automobile,” Sandoro said. “It was such a step up.”
The car participated in the famed London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, eligible to automobiles built before 1905.
An unrestored 1904 Arrow – a roadster, not a touring car – belongs to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

Buffalo signs off on Pierce-Arrow Museum's request to buy city streets

The approval will lead to the project’s first phase, which is expected to cost $5 million.
The approval will lead to the project’s first phase, which is expected to cost $5 million.
Credit: Google Maps
Author: Business First /, James Fink
Published: 4:40 PM EST February 10, 2022
BUFFALO, N.Y. — In less than 24 hours, James Sandoro crossed two hurdles that move him closer to a long-planned expansion of the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum.
The Buffalo Planning Board on Feb. 7 backed his request to purchase portions of Carroll Street and Frank Lloyd Wright Way from the city. The approval will lead to the project’s first phase, which is expected to cost $5 million. A day later, the Buffalo Common Council supported the sale, with Sandoro agreeing to pay a negotiated price of $151,000.
The three streets will be converted into an outdoor special event and exhibition space that will connect three buildings – the museum at 263 Michigan Ave., another at 186 Exchange St. and the former Ethox Medical Inc. building at 251 Seneca St.

Transportation museum is preparing to expand and host more events

Wants to purchase part of Carroll Street
By Deidre Williams
James Sandoro is motoring along with plans to expand the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum.
The nonprofit museum already has acquired two buildings and a parking lot needed for the expansion.
Now co-owner Sandoro is petitioning Buffalo officials to purchase a portion of an adjoining street from the city for $141,000, its appraised value. It’s the last step to make the project possible, Sandoro said.
The Common Council on Tuesday will schedule a public hearing for Jan. 22 on the sale.
The project calls for extending the museum, located at 263 Michigan Ave. at Seneca Street, to 300,000 square feet in exhibit space, creating one of the biggest car museums in terms of square footage in the world.
“There’s museums with more cars. There’s different types of museums. But we will have more than the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Europe, more than the Petersen (Automotive Museum) in Los Angeles,” said Sandoro, who co-founded the museum in 1997 with his wife, Mary Ann.
Sandoro wants to purchase a portion of Carroll Street to connect the buildings with an interior walkway, said Brendan Mehaffy, executive director of Buffalo’s Office of Strategic Planning.
The enlarged museum would cost $20 million and will be completed over the next five years.
250,000 artifacts still stored for lack of space  250,000 artifacts now stored in nearby buildings to be displayed. They include a large bicycle collection, racetrack and railroad memorabilia and larger vehicles, such as Mack trucks and fire trucks.
The expanded museum will host major events, including 500 to 600 car shows a year and possibly a drivein movie occasionally on the wall of one of the buildings. The Hemmings Motor News Great Race wants to return, drawing 20,000 to 30,000 people in one day, Sandoro said of the crosscountry event. “It’s really going to be a big thing for Buffalo,” he said.
The Great Race features premier vintage cars for a 2,300-mile race. Buffalo last hosted the start of the race in 2018.
Sandoro also wants to do more corporate picnics. Corporations have helped keep the museum in existence.
“At this time, we really don’t get any money from the city, the state or the county, and we haven’t asked for any. Right now, we’re trying to be self-sufficient on admissions and parties and events, and we have been,” he said.
In November 2014 the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum acquired the former Ethox property – four connected buildings ranging from 2 to 3½ stories between Chicago and Carroll streets, spanning around 200,000 square feet.
Then in 2019, the nonprofit museum bought a one-story, 35,000-square-feet steel building at 186 Exchange St. and the parking lot, directly behind its current exhibit space.
The building had been leased to the U.S. Social Security Administration and the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board. The lease expired May 2020, but the tenants needed additional time to relocate.
“They took a lot longer to move out than they were supposed to,” Sandoro said. “But they’re all out now, and now we’re going to expand into those buildings.”
The project will be good for the city, Mehaffy said.
“That’s one of the reasons we’re supporting it,” Mehaffy said. “The fact that he will be able to now take this already impressive collection and now show the rest of it as well, I think is going to be great for Buffalo … It’s wonderful for what it does for Buffalo history.”

After 120 years, a 1901 Packard rolls back into Buffalo to stay


After 120 years, a 1901 Packard rolls back into Buffalo to stay
By Harold McNeil
A 120-year-old luxury motor vehicle that last left Buffalo in 1910 has made its way back to the Queen City, where it will be on permanent display at the Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum.
The 1901 Model C Packard, which was once driven in a 1901 endurance run from New York City that was headed to Buffalo during the Pan-American Exposition, was unveiled Saturday by museum owner James Sandoro, who remarked on the car’s historic lineage.
“The main thing was that this was the world coming to Buffalo for the Pan-American Exposition,” Sandoro said of the endurance race in which the car was entered. “This was the biggest event of the year in a new century.”
The motor vehicle was originally owned by a prominent and very wealthy Buffalonian named John M. Satterfield, who was a local banker, businessman and early president of the Automobile Club of Buffalo.
It also was the first car to feature a steering wheel instead of a tiller, as well as the first to feature an H-pattern gear change, and was one of 89 vehicles to be entered in the 1901 Automobile Club of America’s Endurance Run.
The race was intended to test the speed and reliability of the participating automobiles. However, the race was never finished. It was stopped on Sept. 14, 1901, upon the death of President William McKinley, who had been shot eight days earlier, on Sept. 6, by anarchist Leon Czolgosz during the exposition.
Satterfield’s Packard, which had a top speed of between 22 and 25 mph, took four days to reach Rochester from New York City, owing to the fact that there were very few driveworthy roads back then, according to Sandoro.
“They ran into bad weather,” Sandoro said. “In fact, in those days, you were only going 8 to 12 miles per hour.”
The car, which was manufactured by the Packard Motor Car Co. in Warren, Ohio, had a varied history after Satterfield sold the vehicle back to Packard in 1910, according to John Martin of Warren, Ohio, whose late father, Terry, acquired what remained of the vehicle 20 years ago and painstakingly restored it.
John Martin and members of his family traveled from Warren, Ohio, to Buffalo for the unveiling at the Pierce Arrow Museum on Saturday.