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Lot 38
1935 Packard 1201 Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton


CHASSIS NO: 1201-206

• The only known example
• Exquisite and striking color combination of Silver French Gray Metallic with a red interior
• Believed to have traveled only 51,316 miles from new
• Recent and thorough cosmetic restoration
• CCCA Full Classic® and ready for its first opportunity to be judged

320 cid inline eight-cylinder engine, 130 HP, Stromberg EE-23 carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, vacuum-assisted four-wheel drum brakes, adjustable shock absorbers; wheelbase: 134"

Inimitability is one of those qualities often sought in a classic car, and this Packard Eight 1201 Sport Phaeton has it in droves. It’s very likely the only 1935 Packard Eight fitted with a Sport Phaeton body (body style 841), making it a 1-of-1 car. According to experts and reference materials, Packard didn’t offer a Dual Cowl Phaeton, or in Packard parlance, a Sport Phaeton body, for an Eight chassis in 1935; only a Phaeton body (style 811), or Single Cowl, was available. The Sport Phaeton bodies were reserved for more upscale Super Eights and Twelves.

But body tags on this particular Packard Eight indicate that it was a factory-built Sport Phaeton Eight. Inimitable indeed. Under the hood, mounted to the firewall, is the brass Packard data plate, stamped, “P.M.C.C. STAMFORD CONN 1201-206 4 20 35.” The 1201 indicates an Eight chassis, using a 134” wheelbase; the 206 indicates that it was the 6th 1201 built; the 4 20 35 indicates the date the chassis was manufactured, April 20, 1935. At the right front door, under the carpet, affixed to the floor, is the Dietrich data plate reading, “Body Number 8418664 Dietrich Detroit.” Similarly, a second Packard data plate is located at the right rear door, under the carpet, fastened to the floor, stamped “841209.” Both begin with “841,” which indicates a Sport Phaeton body, and curiously the 209 indicates that it was the 9th Sport Phaeton built. For cars made at the factory, Packard normally used the body number as the first portion of the serial number, followed by the production number. In some years, the production number was three digits, beginning with the number 2. In this case, the production number began with 200, this car being 206, or the 6th produced. However, in this case, the serial number begins with the chassis number, 1201. When Packard didn’t know what type of custom body was to be fitted to a particular chassis, they would begin the serial number with the chassis number. If this car were fitted with a factory catalogued phaeton body, the serial number would begin with 811.

Why an Eight was fitted with a Sport Phaeton body will possibly never be clear. However, experts agree on three possible scenarios – one, the original customer requested this arrangement to save about $700 on the cost of a Super Eight Sport Phaeton; two, it was ordered by a dealership as a one-off to show clients what could be done; or three, this body was installed by Dietrich after its initial purchase, the least likely scenario, but certainly not impossible. Regardless, there are no Sport Phaetons shown in the 1935 Packard Eight showroom catalogue; no 1935 Packard Phaetons listed in the Packard Club Directory; four 1935 Packard Phaetons are listed in the Classic Car Club Directory, two Eights (non-Dual Cowl) and two Super Eights (both Dual Cowl). This all continues to support the strong possibility that this car was built as a true Packard Eight Sport Phaeton.

This distinctive and mysterious Packard has had three attentive caretakers in its 85-year history, the first bought the car new from a dealership in Stamford, Connecticut and kept it at his home at The Hamptons in New York. The second owner was Bill McCoy, who bought the car in 1969 from the original family. Bill was an enthusiastic owner who thoroughly enjoyed the car, eventually giving it a light restoration, even changing the color from its original green to Packard Crème. While Bill took the car to several local shows and cruise-ins, he never took it to any major events or had it judged professionally. The third and current owner bought the car from Bill’s estate in 2015 with the family actually interviewing him on three separate occasions prior to being allowed to buy the car. Earning the approval of the McCoy family, the consignor became the current custodian of the car. He has enjoyed the privilege of his time with such a unique piece of Packard history, just 30 miles ago treating it to a cosmetic restoration costing approximately $75,000. During the careful refresh, the consignor had the car repainted, installed a new top, and removed the original upholstery replacing it with new leather hides. The tires, chrome, and other details were tended to as well, creating an exquisite car that can easily be shown and driven. The fresh, dark red upholstery contrasts spectacularly against the glistening Silver French Gray Metallic paint and ties in with the red-painted wire wheels.

Remaining in that “never judged” status, this represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a low-mile, 1-of-1 example of a prewar Packard. Eligible to attend any CCCA or AACA event, as well as shows and noted concours for a grand unveiling. Today the open sport phaeton remains one of the most sought-after classic era automobiles. It is a highly usable and visually stunning example of one of Packard’s great motorcars.

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