CHASSIS NO: 1607600228
• 1 of 11 built by Packard with design by Ray Dietrich
• Full restoration in 2002
• CCCA National First Place winner and Packard Circle of Champions participant
• Packard V-12 power
424 cid V-12 engine with 175 HP, three-speed manual synchromesh transmission, coil spring independent front suspension with wishbones, semi-elliptic rear leaf springs with live rear axle, four-wheel, vacuum-assisted hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 134.4”
When James Ward Packard was challenged to build his own car by Alexander Winton, he did so with gusto. Indeed, Packard not only built a reliable little car, but his company would go on to define the very meaning of the word luxury. As the decades wore on, it was not unusual to find Packard’s fine motorcars under the marquee lights of the theater or in the lot of the local country club. Packard’s cars were always exclusive to the higher echelons of society and, for 1938, the company offered a fine line of V-12 powered cars. One of those was the body style number 1607, a beautiful Victoria with V-12 power. The 1607 was Packard’s most expensive car in the series and the only model to exceed $5,000 when a new Plymouth could be driven off the showroom floor for just $645.
The 1607 Victoria offered here speaks for itself in terms of its grand appearance. Finished in attention grabbing red, its immense size, beautiful styling, and excellent restoration make for a stunning package. By definition, a Victoria is a four-passenger, two-door cabriolet with two windows, a style that sets this Packard apart from all the rest. Design for the 1607 Victoria was by Ray Dietrich, one of the premier automotive designers of the day and, due to their expensive cost, Packard built just a few Victoria V12s in 1938. This example was delivered new to well-known Los Angeles, California Packard dealer Earl C. Anthony on July 5, 1938. As an upper class car, this Victoria is fitted with several beauty options that are befitting of such a grand car. At the front, a set of Trippe safety lights complements its massive grille while the elegant Packard Pelican rides atop. It also carries dual fender lights along with dual side-mounted spare tires encased in hard shell covers with Packard script mirrors on top. An Appleton spotlight is a period-correct accessory of the day and the rear features a folding luggage rack for touring. The top is finished in a canvas cream color that creates a nice contrast to its deep red paint. This Packard underwent a complete body-off restoration that was completed in 2002 and has been expertly maintained since. The interior is upholstered in beautiful red leather with deep red carpeting to match Packard’s elegantly styled dashboard carries clock styled gauges all neatly arranged in the center with dual glove boxes at either side. Of course, the most interesting feature of this CCCA Full Classic® is its 424 cubic-inch V-12 with 175 horsepower. Packard’s whisper quiet engine is a marvel of engineering and hardly makes a sound at idle. The engine compartment is restored as well as the rest of the car with correct colors, proper wiring, and period-correct hose clamps. Driving is easy thanks to a three-speed manual transmission and four-wheel power-assisted brakes that help bring this large car to an evenly controlled stop. Since its restoration, this Victoria has been a CCCA National First Place winner and has also sat in the Packard Circle of Champions.
In the end, the Packard Twelve was produced from 1933 to 1939 and, in that time, they created a masterpiece with each example. The extreme length and well-proportioned lines of the entire body made for a car that was stunning from any angle. Of course, Packard’s V-12 cars were not cheap as prices were in the $4,000 mark and beyond. This Convertible Victoria had a retail sales price of $5,230 and was a special car when it was new and is even more so today. For the perfect car that is capable of both touring and showing, this Convertible Victoria with Dietrich design is a car that represents the grandeur of the American classic.