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Lot 663
1932 Packard 905 Twin-Six Convertible Victoria


Selling on Saturday Evening

CHASSIS NO: 587–18

• Extremely rare, one of only four known to exist
• The 7th 1932 Twin-Six Convertible Victoria of only 10 produced
• Body designed in-house by famed designer, Raymond Dietrich
• Correctly restored to concours presentation
• Only known Packard Twin-Six equipped with the rare 18-inch artillery wheels
• Original factory test drive sticker attached to the glove box, dated July 8, 1932

Dietrich Job No: 6165

445.5 cid V-12 engine, 160 HP, Stromberg EE3 dual downdraft carburetor, three-speed transmission, automatic clutch control, power-assisted mechanic brakes; wheelbase: 142.5”

The most sumptuous luxury cars ever produced on our shores came out of the Depression. One of the era’s most sought-after automobiles is undoubtedly the Packard Twin-Six Victoria. Of the estimated ten 1932 Twin-Six Victoria Convertibles produced, less than a handful are known to exist intact today. They’re practically unicorns. This is one of those few. VIN 587-18 has led a pampered life inside important collections and museums and is the recent recipient of an incredibly correct mechanical restoration and cosmetic refresh from a Packard specialist.

Packard’s 1932 Twin-Six debuted at Manhattan’s Roosevelt Hotel. The verdict was clear; it was the most perfect automobile the marque had produced to date. No expense was spared in its development. The Twin-Six Convertible Victoria was bodied in-house by famed designer, Raymond Dietrich; his name was added cache for models already at the pinnacle of the Packard lineup. This car, 587-18, is the seventh Victoria Convertible produced, as the serial sequence began at 11. Its long, sweeping lines and lavish chrome accoutrements are a snapshot of a bygone era that captures just how regal America’s greatest luxury cars could be. Aside from a body that would make a freight train take a dirt road, the Packard was lauded for its marvelous engine and drivetrain. Packard’s Twelve was a large-displacement engine known for its silent operation and effortless power regardless of the immense coachwork placed on the chassis. The company’s Twelve hailed from a historically impressive lineage. Packard’s Twelve powered the WWI Liberty airplane and was the first V-12 standard production car in 1916. Every detail was considered in crafting the ultimate luxury experience. A “quiet room” was built to test the audibility of bearings, hidden microphones were placed throughout the car in test drives to work out squeaks and even the gearshift knob was robed in sponge rubber to avoid the noise and feel of vibration. Packard was fastidious in pursuit of perfection and the remaining examples are all the more valuable for it today.

One of four 1932 Twin-Six Convertible Victorias known to exist, 587-18 ownership history includes avid Packard enthusiast, John Wheatley, as well as a nearly 20-year stay in the important Guy Beatty Collection. A true enthusiast, Mr. Beatty would later transfer much of his collection to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum. Leading a pampered life, 587-18 presents as an authentic, matching numbers example and has been recently freshened including particular attention to the mechanicals. Verifying its original components are the engine cast date, May 2, 1932, transmission cast, May 22, 1932, and the body stamps all confirm the original components. The firewall retains its original anti-theft number, the Dietrich badge is affixed to the cowl and the Dietrich job number is stamped as 6165, which corresponds correctly with the production timeline of its July 15, 1932 delivery. The factory test drive sticker, dated July 8, 1932, is still present on the underside of the glove box. When the convertible top was removed to be replaced, the body number stamp was revealed beneath. Every bit of top hardware falls precisely into the mid-point of 1932 production.

With this particular car, pedigree is equally matched with stately elegance. The burgundy body flaunts a red pinstripe along the beltline, which only elongates the body. The convertible top has been reupholstered in black with burgundy piping, which enhances the red body pinstripe and lends a lowered look to the already regal presence of the car. The Dietrich designed body rides on ridiculously rare and ultra attractive, color-coordinated, 18-inch artillery wheels, wrapped in blackwall tires. The wheels are possibly the only surviving set of Packard custom option 18-inch artillery wheels as the 17-inch were standard. The purpose of the 12-point wooden spokes was to dampen road vibrations; they are very rare and all the more stunning for their Packard-crested center. The car has matching dual side-mounted artillery wheels and tires rounding out the ultimate in pre-war luxury aesthetics. Inside the cockpit, beautifully upholstered, correct leather is offset by burled walnut woodwork that exemplifies everything that is to love about this period.

It is true that many of the world’s finest and rare motorcars were built at precisely the wrong economic moments in time, and the Packard Twin-Six is no exception. The company weathered the Great Depression, but now all that is left of the company are the few surviving marvelous automobiles it produced. We are fortunate today that this automobile has survived to the present era, and its new owner will be the steward of not just an exceptional automobile, but a piece of American automotive history.

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