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Rollston Coachbuilder

Pictures of cars with custom coachwork built by Rollston Coachbuilders.

Rollston Car Pictures

1931 Duesenberg Model J Rollston Formal Sedan
1931 Duesenberg Model J Rollston Formal Sedan
1935 Duesenberg JN Rollston Convertible Sedan
1935 Duesenberg JN Rollston Convertible Sedan
1936 Duesenberg J Rollston Town Car
1936 Duesenberg J Rollston Town Car
     



1931 Duesenberg Convertible Victoria

1931 Duesenberg Convertible Victoria
1931 Duesenberg Convertible Victoria Coachwork by Rollston Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson Location: The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
by Douglas

1939 Packard Twelve All Weather Town Car

1939 Packard Twelve All Weather Town Car
130,000.00 USD
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 consumers’ 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. Chevrolet’s sales dropped by 44 percent, Ford’s by 53 percent and Dodge’s by 59 percent. By those measures Packard’s 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 company’s 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. Packard’s 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 Twelve’s power to an advertised 175 horsepower. The Twelves, even with elaborate and heavy coachwork, were strong performers, suggesting more than a little conservatism on Packard’s part in describing the engine’s power. It was however the numerous coachbuilders called upon by Packard to provide the aesthetic appeal to match Packard’s 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 York’s west side Rollston quickly gained a strong reputation for producing conservative coachwork with high quality workmanship. Rollston’s 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 company’s 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 – this marks a tremendous opportunity to acquire a Packard that embodies both the end of an era, and as its zenith.
by Douglas

1937 Packard Super 8 Dual Windshield Phaeton

1937 Packard Super 8 Dual Windshield Phaeton
148,500.00 USD
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 1937 Packard Super 8 Dual Windshield Phaeton LOT: 073 Estimate: $175,000-$225,000 US Chassis No. 1502221 AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $148,500 COACHWORK BY ROLLSTON Model 1502. 130bhp 320 cu. in. L-head nine main bearing inline eight-cylinder engine with three-speed synchromesh transmission, coil spring independent front suspension and leaf spring live hypoid rear axle with four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 134" Many consider Packard’s Super Eight and Twelve cars from the mid to late thirties to be the finest automobiles ever produced by the Packard Motor Car Company. Certainly it is true that the senior cars represented the end of an era – never again would Packard offer the exceptional quality of a handbuilt senior car. An extensive redesign for 1935 offered major improvements in these top-of-the-line Packards. Updates included more horsepower and improvements in suspension and steering that made the cars easier and more comfortable to drive. All new bodies, introduced true envelope styling - for the first time the car was designed as a whole, with body, hood, fenders, and running boards integrated into a smoothly executed design, regarded as one of the most attractive bodies of the era. 1937 marked the first major update to the new senior cars. Most important was the addition of independent front suspension – a modern system utilizing wishbones and coil springs. The results were dramatic, with lighter steering, a more supple ride, and better roadholding. The second major change was the adoption of hydraulic brakes, a more reliable system that proved much easier to maintain in peak operating condition. By 1937, the era of the true coachbuilt car was largely finished. Decreasing demand due to the lingering effects of the depression combined with the increasing quality and stylishness of factory coachwork dramatically reduced the business available to independent coachbuilders. As a result, most had closed or moved on to other businesses. A handful of coachbuilders remained, but their results were no less spectacular. Founded in 1920 by Harry Loenschein and associates, Rollston was closely identified with Packard. Located on New York’s west side Rollston quickly gained a strong reputation for producing conservative coachwork with high quality workmanship. Grover Parvis of Packard’s New York branch was a great enthusiast of Rollston’s work and commissioned several limited series of town cars from them. He also employed the firm to meet the demands of some of Packards most discerning customers. Best known for their formal coachwork, Rollston also produced some very handsome roadsters and phaetons. In 1937 Loenschein decided to liquidate the company as the days of custom coachbuilding was clearly nearing its end. When the company’s assets were auctioned off, it was Rudy Creteur, whobefore the liquidation was more or less running the show at Rollston, who bought the majority of the assets. Renamed “Rollson”, he managed to continue building custom coachwork until the war. The coachbuilt Rollston Packard offered here is believed to be a one-off design; Packard had not offered a factory-bodied phaeton since the 1936 model year. Built on Packard’s proven 1937 Super Eight chassis it is based on Rollston’s Model 1502 body, with added custom details to both the interior and exterior. This striking Packard has benefited from a full restoration including new paint and brightwork, and has been driven less than 8,500 miles since completion. It is in exceptional overall condition. Completed in burgundy with a tan top and matching leather interior, the bodywork is classically conservative and elegant. The long wheelbase Super Eight chassis allowed space for a pair of auxiliary jump seats. Well equipped, this special Packard is equipped with a matched pair of driving lights, side mount spares with covers, and a metal rear mounted trunk. The quality and presentation of the car speaks for itself. As one of the last of the true coachbuilt cars of the era, it represents a unique opportunity for a collector to acquire a car that combines one of the most modern Packard chassis, with one of the best looking bodies from the very end of the era of the true coachbuilt car.
by Douglas

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