Lot 118

Motor City 2014

1935 Packard Super Eight Coupe Roadster


$181,500 USD | Sold

United States | Plymouth, Michigan



Engine No.
Vehicle No.
  • Formerly owned by Tony Splane, John Spencer Bradley, and David Walters
  • Known as “Ruby,” one of the most recognizable Twelfth Series Super Eights
  • An accurate restoration of a desirable body style
  • Single West Coast ownership for 40 years
  • An excellent CARavan car

Series 1204. 150 bhp, 384.4 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front and rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 139 in.

By 1935 Packard was an automaker of extremes. The new medium-priced One Twenty model was selling very well, providing much-needed abundant cash in the Depression-weary market. At the other extreme, the Twelve offered power and prestige, although its high price limited sales to fewer than 700 units. Between those extremes lay a car of sensible opulence, the Super Eight, which offered a range of attractive body styles on the same long-wheelbase chassis utilized by Twelves, but it came with a 150-brake horsepower L-head eight-cylinder engine. As the Super Eight was smooth-running, easy to maintain, and somewhat better balanced than the Twelves, while only being slightly less powerful, it was a veritable performance bargain. Survivors are much favored for their roadability and reliable tour performance.

The dashing Coupe Roadster offered here is a very famous automobile among Packard circles. After being originally delivered through California distributor Earle C. Anthony on September 20, 1935, it was willed by its original owner to his church in the early 1950s, and it was then acquired by a Bay Area enthusiast, Tony Splane. Mr. Splane kept the car in its well-preserved original condition for some years before beginning a restoration, which was noteworthy at the time for its attention to accuracy and detail, as the Packard still had its original firewall tag. It is hard to beat an automobile that was restored by a passionate owner for his personal consumption, and “Ruby,” as Mr. Splane dubbed his Packard, is one such case.

Mr. Splane displayed the flamboyantly liveried Super Eight to award-winning results at a number of CCCA events in the late 1980s, and he also drove it to one of the club’s famous long-distance CARavans. Only when age and illness prevented him from further driving enjoyment did he sell Ruby, who made her way, through a West Coast broker, into the hands of John Spencer Bradley.

Following Mr. Bradley’s passing, the Packard was acquired by another well-known collector, the late David Walters, known for his eclectic, high-quality collection. Mr. Walters had the car’s paintwork freshened by the renowned Junior Conway, of Junior’s House of Color, and then had the Packard detailed by Bill Larzelere. The result is a restoration that has been well preserved over passing years, with all of its authentic details intact, and one that’s cosmetics are still pleasingly presented. The paint holds a rich shine, with the cream beige interior providing a fine contrast. Equipment on the car includes an unusual, correct rear-mounted spare, which has been replaced on many restored examples by side-mounts, and painted wire wheels shod in wide whitewall tires.

Ruby would be a splendid addition to any driver’s collection of Packards as a beautiful, enjoyable car for top-down participation in CARavans and Packard club activities or simply for cruising along Michigan country roads.