Arizona | Lot 154

1937 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster



$319,000 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona

15 January 2015

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Vehicle no.
  • One of the most desirable of all Classic Era Packards
  • A known, authentic example with its original body tag
  • Formerly owned by Bob Hance; only two owners in 60 years
  • A CCCA First Senior and Premier at 99 points or above; an AACA National First Prize winner
  • Well-documented professional restoration; a superb Twelve

Series 1507. 175 bhp, 473 cu. in. modified L-head V-12 engine, three-speed synchromesh manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel vacuum-assisted hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 139 in.

Packard’s 15th Series of 1937 represented the best of both worlds. Outside, it remained a conservatively elegant automobile with finely tailored lines and elegant appointments, with the body, hood, fenders, and running boards incorporated into a smooth and slightly modern design. Yet, this was still clearly a Classic Era Packard, with its towering radiator shell, proud bullet-shaped headlights, and flowing skirted fenders. Underneath, several modern mechanical improvements could be found, most notably the introduction of the “Safe-T-Flex” independent front suspension on “senior” Packards and the adoption of hydraulic brakes.

As a result of these changes, the 15th Series Packards, most prominently the top-of-the-line 12-cylinder models, are widely regarded as among the most drivable cars of the Classic Era. They have an almost modern feel, with the smooth, effortless engineering of hydraulic brakes and a vacuum-boosted brake and clutch, and their performance is well-suited to modern roads. As such, the most desirable open body styles are only rarely offered for sale. Ask the Man Who Owns One…because he is probably going to keep it for a long time.

The Coupe Roadster offered here is a known, genuine, and authentic example, one of a believed sixty-nine built, that still has its original firewall body tag, and its history is known all the way back to the 1950s. For over half a century, it was the prized possession of well-known Southern California enthusiast Bob Hance, who regularly displayed it at CCCA activities and concours d’elegance in the Golden State.

The present owner acquired it from Mr. Hance in 2001 and oversaw a ground-up, professional restoration, which was well-documented by photographs and receipts. Correct accessories found on the car include chrome wheel covers with Packard cloisonne emblems, wide whitewall tires, a factory-installed AM radio with an under-car antenna, a heater, a trunk rack, and a correct 30-gallon fuel gauge indicator. The attention to detail throughout is excellent, down to the correct pattern used for the pinstriping, leather interior, and wool carpeting and the use of correct finishes and parts under the hood.

Since restoration, the car has been a significant award winner, achieving CCCA Senior Premier status and being recorded as an AACA National First Prize winner in 2009. This Packard has been well-maintained since its restoration, and it is still in outstanding, show-ready condition. The consignor happily notes that it runs and drives exactly as it should, having completed a 900-mile CCCA CARavan.

This Packard Twelve is one of the ultimate Packards from the greatest era, and it is an ideal automobile for continued showing or happy driving.

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