Lot 156

1913 Packard Model 1-38 Five-Passenger Phaeton


$246,400 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



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  • A magnificent and important early six-cylinder Packard with known provenance
  • One of only four known surviving original 1913–1914 Phaeton examples; the sole survivor from the first-generation Model 1-38 production run
  • First restored by and displayed at the Harrah's Auto Collection for nearly 30 years; three fastidious caretakers since 1956
  • Scarcely driven since the recent quality restoration completed in 2019, which used this already excellent and complete car as a starting point
  • A highly authentic and rare example of an impressive early Packard with original Five-Passenger Phaeton coachwork

A magnificent and important early six-cylinder Packard, this automobile is the only known surviving original Five-Passenger Phaeton example built during the initial Model 1-38 production run. Introduced in December 1912 for the 1913 model year, the Model 1-38 was the first Packard to employ a self-starting engine and the first to be equipped with left-hand drive. The Model 1-38 was available in 11 different body styles across three different wheelbase lengths, the longest of which (at 138 inches) was offered with the Five-Passenger Phaeton coachwork that measured a massive total length of 179.25 inches.

The first-generation Model 1-38 Packard was powered by a brand-new L-head straight-six engine displacing 415 cubic inches and developing 50/60 horsepower, or 38 ALAM horsepower (thus the model's nomenclature). Standard-equipped with a storm-tilt windshield, electric side lamps and headlamps, an electric/kerosene rear warning lamp, two side-mounted spare tires with rims, rear luggage rack, and tool kit, the 1-38 was also fitted with a new instrument-control board mounted on the steering column.

In February 1913, Packard updated the 1-38 model with only minor changes for the 1914 model year under the name "Model 1438." A total of only 1,618 cars were built during the 1913–1914 model years, and only a small portion featured the five-passenger phaeton coachwork offered on the massive 138-inch-wheelbase chassis.

A roster compiled by marque enthusiasts accounts for no more than four remaining phaetons, of which this car is the only first-generation 1913 Model 1-38 example known to have survived; the other three are continuation Model 1438 examples built in 1914. Interestingly, there are only a total of 12 complete 1913 Model 1-38 Packards (of all body styles) in the roster.

This remarkable Packard's early history is unknown, but it is fortunate to have survived as an excellent, complete car in solid condition before both its early 1960s and recent 2019 restorations. By the 1950s the phaeton is believed to have been owned by Bell & Costello's Garage in Cambridge, New York. In 1956 the Packard was reportedly purchased from the garage by William Harrah's well-known Auto Collection in Reno, Nevada, and the car was cosmetically restored and displayed in the Harrah's Collection for close to 25 years. In February 1983, Harrah's sold the Model 1-38 to collector Richard Veghte of Golden, Colorado; he would carefully care for and maintained the Packard for almost three decades. Mr. Veghte owned only Packards in his collection, and he took special pride in ensuring they were "as-delivered from Packard.”

Collector Jim Bradley purchased the Packard in 2012, and in the years since, it has been displayed in a private museum. Beginning in, 2016 the Packard was again upgraded with a fresh restoration. Completed in 2019, restoration work included new paint—matched from the original paint color found under the original upholstery—correct new leather upholstery, new top, new nickel plating, lights restored by Rick Britten, detailing of the engine compartment and undercarriage, new Non-Skid tires, new rims, a new and correct radiator core, and further mechanical service as needed.

This Packard has accrued only test miles since the restoration’s completion. The car has been well maintained by the current owner, and in 2019 it underwent service and detailing by RM Auto Restoration. The Packard is said to start and run well, and it is accompanied by a detailed book covering starting and driving procedures and instructions. However, it should be noted that additional service may be required to ensure reliable performance during future long-distance touring events.

The only surviving example of a first-generation Model 1-38 with its original Five-Passenger Phaeton coachwork built during the initial December 1912–February 1913 production run, this is an important early Packard with exceptional provenance. With steadfast attention and care from only three dedicated caretakers over the last 66 years, it is a wonderful example from a celebrated marque. Big, powerful, and rare, it embodies that legendary Packard quality—just ask the man (or woman) that owns one.