Arizona

Arizona Biltmore
16 - 17 January 2014
Lot 108

1934 Packard Twelve Seven-Passenger Touring

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$550,000 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona

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Engine No.
902322
Vehicle no.
730-21
  • Formerly owned by Ruth Dougherty and Tom Moretti
  • Believed to have been New York City’s parade vehicle
  • An outstanding Pebble Beach Best in Class-winning restoration
  • Featured in important Packard books
  • One of the best 1934 Packard Twelves in the world

Series 1107. 160 bhp, 445.5 cu. in. modified L-head V-12 engine, three-speed selective synchromesh manual transmission with vacuum-assisted clutch, shaft drive with a hypoid rear axle, front and rear leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel vacuum-assisted mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 142 in.

This V-12 Packard, one of only three known Seven-Passenger Touring cars built in 1934, was originally delivered on March 30, 1934, by the Packard Motor Car Company of New York, directly to the City of New York. Given the scarcity of this model, it is likely to have been the Touring used by the city as its official dignitary parade vehicle for many years, carrying the likes of President Franklin Roosevelt and Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in ticker tape parades down Broadway.

In the late 1950s, the Packard was retired from the service of its original owner and was sold out of New York. Shortly thereafter, it was acquired by the late Ruth Dougherty, who, with her husband Jim, was an early and longtime Classic Car Club of America member, and they were both known for their active participation in CARavans and their ownership of many fine Classics. In the Dougherty family’s capable hands, this Packard became an exceptionally well-known example of the 1934 Twelve and was driven in many CCCA events. It was prominently pictured in Edward Blend’s book, The Magnificent Packard Twelve of Nineteen Thirty-Four, as well as in Beverly Rae Kimes’s seminal tome, Packard: A History of the Motor Car and the Company.

Following half a century of loving ownership and many miles with the Doughertys, the Touring was sold in the early 21st century to another renowned Packard enthusiast, the late Tom Moretti of Illinois. Moretti was the right man at the right time for this car, as he was revered for his ability to seek out the greatest of 12-cylinder Packards, restore them himself to perfect condition, and then win top awards in national competition. During his lifetime, Moretti restored five Packards, all for his personal collection. All five won Best in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which is a stunning achievement.

During Moretti’s painstaking restoration, the Touring was returned to its original livery of black finish, black leather upholstery, and a black cloth top—a conveyance that, now as then, looks appropriate for carrying VIPs. The formal appearance is set off nicely by sparkling chrome wire wheels that have been shod in wide whitewall tires, as well as such desirable accessories as covered side-mounted spares, C.M. Hall spotlights, and the Packard cormorant radiator ornament, which create just enough sparkle to set off the lines.

Naturally, this Packard has won the top awards possible for such a car, including Best in Class at Pebble Beach and the Glenmoor Gathering and class awards at Amelia Island and Meadow Brook. It swept Classic Car Club of America competition, recording three perfect 100-point scores in less than a year, with the ultimate result being a First Place in the Premier division at the Illinois Grand Classic.

For the collector seeking a Packard Twelve that has everything, this car has it. It is one of the rarest of body styles, it was restored by the foremost authority, it has been owned for decades by true enthusiasts who adored it, and it is well-known and respected by the collecting community as “the best.” One imagines that neither the Packard factory nor Tom Moretti would have had it any other way.