St. John's

28 July 2012

Lot 151

1933 Packard Twelve Convertible Coupe

To be auctioned on Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sold for $385,000

  • Chassis no. 901615
  • Engine no. 901828
History is important to us, and all lots offered are fully researched. All corresponding information and accessories, from certificates to tool kits, stays with the lots we sell. All of this is held at our library on site, under the Access the Knowledge banner, so please visit us there or contact us before the auction if you require further information.

Model 1006. 160 hp, 445 cu. in. side-valve V-12 engine, three speed synchromesh transmission, hypoid live rear axle, beam front axle with four wheel longitudinal leaf springs, and four wheel adjustable vacuum assisted brakes. Wheelbase: 147"

• Possibly the last 1933 Packard Twelve Convertible Coupe produced
• Recent cosmetic and mechanical work

It has long been regarded as ironic that the greatest creations of the classic era came during the depths of the Depression, with one out of three people in America unemployed. Although the company was in excellent financial health, Packard was deeply concerned about the devastating effect of the Depression on sales in the fine car segment. Packard’s response was to redouble its efforts, meeting the threat from Cadillac and Lincoln head on with the new Twin Six chassis and a range of spectacular custom bodies.

One of the most respected designers of the classic era, Ray Dietrich was also one of the most influential. After stints at Brewster and LeBaron, he formed Dietrich Inc., where his smart and elegant designs attracted the attention of Packard management, and as a result, Packard became one of Dietrich’s best customers. Lacking an in-house styling department, Packard incorporated Dietrich design cues in its production cars, and in fact, after 1933, all open Packards carried Dietrich body tags.

Packard’s Twelve was, in many ways, the signature of the classic era; it was the top of the line offering from America’s leading manufacturer of fine cars. It was the Brooks Brother’s suit of the time: a conservative car with finely tailored lines, elegant appointments, a refined chassis, and a whisper-quiet, twelve-cylinder engine.

Collectors today revere the 1932 through 1934 models for their clean lines, substantial chassis improvements, and modern looks. Of these, the tenth and eleventh series cars are often considered to be the ultimate classic era Packards. They were the last cars with the classic swept fender lines, before the advent of the streamlined look. The front ensemble is truly beautiful, with a graceful vee-shaped radiator with matching headlights and fender lights. The dash is a jeweled work of art, surrounded by rich burled trim. Many innovations were introduced for the tenth series cars, including a new, more rigid X-braced frame and driver adjustable power brakes.

Although many body styles were offered, the rarest and most desirable is the striking rumble seat coupe roadster, of which less than twenty are known to have survived of the fifty or so originally produced. Based on the body numbers stamped into the original wood of the body, this was the 51st convertible coupe produced in 1933, making this among the last, if not the last, example built. The chassis components date from 1934 and are very low, early numbers, so it is believed that this is a very late production unit utilizing early 1934 components.

This example was purchased in the early 1990s by well-known Oklahoma collector Jim Bradley and was subsequently acquired by another prominent collector from western Michigan. Mr. Bradley purchased the car from collector Robert Schill, of New Hampshire, and it is believed that Mr. Schill purchased the car at Hershey sometime in the 1970s, as an original, running, driving car. Since being acquired by the owner in the early-2000s, it was given a thorough cosmetic restoration, which included disassembly for an excellent repaint, new upholstery, as well as a tune-up and addressing of any mechanical needs. Finished in green with complementing light green leather interior, the example offered here is well known within the Classic Car Club of America, and with the extensive, recent cosmetic freshening and mechanical servicing, it is ready to provide its new owner with many miles and years of enjoyment.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo

Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

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With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

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Ian Kelleher

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Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

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Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

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As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more