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Douglas ( -1 )

Posts: 13,371
Registered: April 2008
Location: Woodstock, GA
      Feedback: 100% Negative

1939 Packard Twelve All Weather Town Car
Quantity Views Date Posted
1 6103 9/18/2008
Asking Price Shipping Amount Condition
$130,000.00 None Auction Results
Description: Offered For Sale at the:
RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Meadow Brook Hall
August 6, 2005, Auburn Hills, Michigan


RM Auctions
One Classic Car Drive
Blenheim, Ontario
N0P 1A0 Canada
Phone: 519-352-4575
Website: www.rmauctions.com


1939 Packard Twelve All Weather Town Car
LOT: 075
Estimate: $175,000-$225,000 US
Chassis No. B602426
AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Not Sold at a high bid of $130,000


Model 1708. 175bhp 473 cu. in. V12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, single-plate clutch, front coil, independent suspension and rear longitudinal leaf springs and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 139"


After several years of steady growth and recovery from the 1929 stock market crash and subsequent Depression, the auto industry enjoyed a banner year in 1937. Packard, after surviving a two year period in 1933 and 1934 when barely 15,000 cars had been registered, saw its annual registrations climb dramatically: 37,653 in 1935, 68,772 in 1936 and 95,455 in 1937. Helped by the low cost, high volume line of Packard Sixes, the company was profitable and passed some of its success along to its workers in a new labor contract. It also plowed its earnings back into new, and badly needed, manufacturing plants and equipment.


It all turned gloomy the following year. 1938 was miserable, as the US economic recovery reversed and the rumblings of war in Europe affected consumersí confidence. 1938 was a production, sales and financial disaster for the auto industry as a whole. Sales plummeted, not just for luxury marques like Packard, but also for low and medium priced cars. Chevroletís sales dropped by 44 percent, Fordís by 53 percent and Dodgeís by 59 percent. By those measures Packardís 49.5 percent decline was a solid performance. Not surprisingly, the Packard Twelve fared worst in this decline, dropping from a record 1,300 units in 1937 to only 566 in 1938 and leading to its demise following 1939 after eight years in production.


The Packard Twelve of the 1930s was the companyís second series of V12 engine. The first, called the Twin Six, entered production in 1916 and was built in quantities of 4,000 or so annually, until the post World War I Depression reduced demand to uneconomical levels. Production of the Twin Six ended in 1923. Escalating multicylinder offerings from Cadillac, Lincoln and other luxury marques again induced Packard to introduce a V12 in 1932. Called the Twin Six at introduction its nomenclature was simplified in 1933 to Twelve. Packardís Twelves were exclusive and expensive motor cars whether fitted with catalog or custom bodies. Although it shared many chassis features with the Super Eight, each Twelve was refined, powerful and smooth running. A quarter inch longer stroke in 1935 brought displacement to 473 cubic inches. Along with aluminum cylinder heads this increased the Twelveís power to an advertised 175 horsepower. The Twelves, even with elaborate and heavy coachwork, were strong performers, suggesting more than a little conservatism on Packardís part in describing the engineís power.


It was however the numerous coachbuilders called upon by Packard to provide the aesthetic appeal to match Packardís standards mechanical competence and reliability, who must be given due credit for the success of Packard. Founded in 1920 by Harry Loenschein and associates, Rollston was closely identified with Packard. Located on New Yorkís west side Rollston quickly gained a strong reputation for producing conservative coachwork with high quality workmanship. Rollstonís abilities were exploited to meet the demands of some of Packards most discerning customers, tailoring to their need for exclusivity and impeccable standards. Best known for their formal town cars, Rollston very rarely produced a convertible coupe or roadster; although when they did, it was always an impressive sight.


In 1937 Loenschein decided to liquidate the company as the days of custom coach building were clearly nearing their end. When the companyís assets were auctioned off it was Rudy Creteur, who before the liquidation was more or less running the show at Rollston, who bought the majority of the assets and subsequently changed the name of the company. Now known as the Rollson Company he managed to continue building custom coachwork until the war. He kept his company afloat during the war by building custom cabins for American submarines.


This Model 1708 Packard All Weather Town Car is a fully restored example of one of the last V12 cars with the handsome coachwork by Rollson. Having received a full engine overhaul, this car is not only aesthetically delightful but a strong performer as well. Driven
only sparingly, we understand the Packard has approximately 50 miles since the completion of the restoration. The refined paint scheme sporting black over gray with bold red striping, along with the tan and black interior, accentuate the detail, strength and execution of the coachwork and certainly allow this car to be defined as handsome.


Fitted with the magnificent and rare Chrysis crystal mascot, this is a very fine car in every detail. The paint, brightwork and interior are all very impressive in their condition and show only minor wear throughout. The last year of the Packard Twelve, this car stands at the apex of the evolution of multi-cylinder Packards. An outstanding example, this Town Cabriolet is revered for its rarity and quality Ė this marks a tremendous opportunity to acquire a Packard that embodies both the end of an era, and as its zenith.
Keywords: 1939 Packard Twelve All Weather Town Car


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