CHASSIS NO: 905935
• Bought new by famed actor and comedian Jack Benny
• Older comprehensive restoration by Hill & Vaughn out of Santa Monica, California
• Ordered new through Earl C. Anthony’s Los Angeles dealership
• Packard’s mighty 12-cylinder engine
473 cid 12-cylinder engine, 175 HP, three-speed manual synchromesh transmission, Safe-T-Flex independent front suspension, vacuum-assisted hydraulic brakes, rear-wheel drive; wheelbase: 139”
1937 was a key year for the Packard Automobile Company. Even with the Great Depression wreaking its havoc on the financials of the world, Packard was still producing beautifully built vehicles, and many would say their best in ‘37. One of those saying just that was the famed Hollywood actor and comedian, Benjamin Kubelsky, better known as Jack Benny, when the cameras were rolling. On television, Jack was often seen riding in a Maxwell driven by his chauffeur, Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson, but off the set, Jack Benny was a true gentleman, as he was a Packard man.
Ordered new through the famed Earl C. Anthony Packard showroom in downtown Los Angeles, Benny took ownership of this 1937 Packard Model 1507 Formal Sedan in the latter part of the year. Earl C. Anthony’s showroom was the go-to store for Hollywood stars to purchase their vehicles at the time, and Benny decided to special order his with a Packard-made body, rather than a coach-built special, along with dual side mounts and whitewall tires. It is reported that Benny enjoyed this Packard for quite some time, driving to and from his TV sets, but the ownership between Benny and the next known owner, noted car collector Dale Fowler, of Massachusetts, is a bit murky. In a conversation with former Harrah’s employees, they recalled to Dale that Benny had traded this Packard in for a 1949 Buick. Though this cannot be 100 percent confirmed, what can be confirmed is before Dale acquired this Packard in the late 1980s it had been restored a year prior by Hill & Vaughn, noted collector car restorers based in Santa Monica, California.
In an interview with Hemmings Magazine, Fowler praised this Packard, “This is a fabulous automobile to drive, and I’ve driven it around 5,000 miles in the time I’ve owned it. I’ve driven it to northern Michigan, around Lake Superior and Mackinaw Island, and to Acadia Park in Maine. I feel that 1937 is as good of a year as Packard built.” Though it was one of Fowler's favorite Packards, he would sell it to The Rockhound Collection where it would be proudly displayed among an abundance of other historically important automobiles. Still wearing its one and only restoration, this star famous Packard presents quite well today and is in good mechanical order. Having been ordered by one of the biggest stars of the time, it comes as no surprise that it is well-optioned inside and out. Those options include Trippe Safety lights, a Packard Deluxe heater and radio which can be controlled by the rear passengers, a roll-up divider window and jump seats. Along with its mostly known ownership history, this mighty Packard Twelve carries a CCCA Senior First Prize award. The next owner will also be presented with a set of photocopies of pictures showing Mr. Benny with this Packard.
Originally ordered through one of the most famous Packard dealerships in the country by a man that entertained millions on the radio and television, this 1937 Packard Model 1507 Formal Sedan is one that can be enjoyed on the road and admired in a collection setting sharing the many stories it has to offer.