Open Roads, March | Lot 238
1934 Packard Twelve Five-Passenger Coupe
$135,000 USD | Sold
| Blenheim, Ontario
17 - 25 March 2021
- Attractive and uncommon Five-Passenger Coupe, body style no. 737
- Reportedly one of six known to survive; beautifully maintained restoration
- 160 hp, 445.5-cu. in. V-12; three-speed manual transmission
- Packard Blue over a light blue interior
- Classic Car Club of America Full Classic and National award-winner
When the Packard Motor Car Company billed itself as the “Master Motor Builders,” it was hardly marketing fluff: The Detroit automaker’s storied reputation was powered in large part by its expertly engineered engines. Of these, none are more celebrated than the mighty V-12s. First introduced as the Twin Six in 1919, Packard ceased V-12 production after 1923, but pressure from competitors like Cadillac (which boasted a V-16) prompted Packard to launch an all-new Twin Six in 1932.
Rechristened the “Packard Twelve” for the company’s Tenth Series (in effect, the 1933 models), these cars paired a 160-horsepower, 445.5-cubic-inch side-valve V-12 with a three-speed synchromesh manual transmission and were offered in a wide range of available body types. This 1934 Eleventh Series car wears body style number 737, the Five-Passenger Coupe—an uncommon, yet highly attractive and elegant, choice.
Packard Twelves were always exclusive offerings, with only 960 built for 1934; examples of this style are rarer still, with the Five-Passenger Coupe offered here being one of as few as six known survivors as noted in Edward Blend’s landmark tome, The Magnificent Packard Twelve of Nineteen Thirty-Four. At the time it was mentioned in the book, the car was owned by Don McCallum, of Indiana. Interestingly, Mr. Blend makes an unattributed claim that the Packard was originally owned by Tom Pendergast, the famous and wealthy Kansas City political boss who virtually controlled the city in the 1930s. The original firewall tag for the car does, indeed, indicate that it was sold new in Kansas City by the Reid-Ward Motor Company.
Finished in a deep Packard Blue, which pairs nicely with its blue cloth interior, and fitted with dual covered side-mount spares, this stately Twelve is as appealing today as it was new. Under Mr. McCallum’s care, the car earned a well-deserved First at a Classic Car Club of America National event; it still wears its CCCA badge proudly, and its award-winning restoration has been maintained in beautiful condition. A fine choice for display, a Packard Twelve is also an excellent companion for touring—a highly respected CCCA Full Classic offering a rarely surpassed combination of power, comfort, and grand style.