1935 Packard Twelve Close-Coupled Limousine by Brewster
Sold For $56,100Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
12th Series; Model 1207. 175 bhp, 473.3 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission with vacuum-assisted clutch, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension, and power-assisted four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 139.25"
• First owned by E.F. Hutton and used by his wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post
• Three long-term owners from new
• Highly personalized Brewster custom coachwork; extensive and fascinating history
Among Packard’s wealthiest and most discerning clients during the 1930s was Marjorie Merriwether Post, heir to the Postum Cereal Company, founder of General Foods, and spouse of Edward F. Hutton, of investment-banking fame. During their 15-year marriage, they formed one of the world’s wealthiest and most-influential couples. In particular, with her considerable business, social, and stylistic acumen, Marjorie oversaw every detail associated with each automobile she used, with particular attention paid to interior accommodations and passenger comfort.
While Marjorie favored Rolls-Royce chassis during the late-1920s, she switched to Packard’s Senior models by the mid-1930s. When she required a new automobile in early-1935, Packard chassis 1207215 was selected with the usual multitude of options available for coachwork. Extremely careful analysis led Mrs. Hutton to commission the Humer-Binder Co. Inc., located on New York’s 11th Avenue, to transfer the Brewster Close-Coupled Limousine body from her 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom and carefully adapt it to the her new Twelve chassis. At a quoted cost of $6,685, including the $3,700 chassis price, the project brief specified the addition of a new solid roof for the chauffeur’s compartment, shatterproof glass throughout, new silk window shades, re-varnished interior window moldings, and a complete repaint with crests applied to the rear doors.
Following their 1935 divorce, the Brewster-bodied Twelve remained with E.F. Hutton. According to a 1964 affidavit executed by Vaughn S. Jenkins, Mr. Hutton’s longtime chauffeur, the Brewster-bodied Packard was laid up on blocks and stored at Mr. Hutton’s Old Westbury residence in 1939, and then in 1947, it was fitted with new tires, recommissioned, registered, and again, placed on blocks and stored until the car was sold to its second owner, Lewis L. Smith Jr. At that time, recorded mileage was 33,572.
Mr. Smith, an active CCCA member, retained the unique Packard for some 25 years and then, the current owner acquired it via a dealer in 1990. Under the current owner, a skilled lifelong mechanic, the car was well-maintained and selectively and sympathetically restored only as required. The engine was rebuilt for reliable touring with hardened valve seats and modern bearings, a high-speed rear end was purchased from Phil Hill and installed, and the steering and brakes were completely sorted. New diaphragms were recently fitted to the vacuum booster. The interior woodwork was refinished, and the leather upholstery was expertly replaced. Notably, the down-filled seat-cushion packets remained in good condition and were preserved. Brightwork was selectively restored as needed.
Shown and toured by the current owner and graced with wonderful provenance and an extensive historical file, this majestic and singular Packard Twelve’s early history was recently covered in the context of Marjorie Merriweather Post’s automobiles within the spring 2012 edition of The Classic Car. Remaining highly attractive and tour-capable, it is now ready for continued enjoyment and appreciation as one of the ultimate expressions of bespoke classic era motoring.