Amelia Island | Lot 199

1937 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster

$224,000 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida

22 May 2021

Vehicle No.
Engine No.
US Title
  • An authentic example with its original firewall tag; delivered new to Hollywood, California
  • Appealing Coupe Roadster style, Model 1507, Type No. 1039
  • The debut year for hydraulic brakes and independent front suspension
  • Over five decades of known ownership history
  • One of the most desirable Full Classic Packards; an ideal tour car
Please note the title for this particular lot is in transit and, in light of current world events and limited government office hours and closings, may be considerably delayed in reaching the successful buyer. It is expected that the delay could be up to six to eight weeks or more. Please speak with an RM representative for further details.

A Packard Twelve is an automobile of undeniable distinction and quality, no matter the style or vintage. Yet this 1937 Twelve Coupe Roadster offers up a particularly desirable combination of dignified, classic Packard grandeur and a sporty, open-air driving experience. Introduced in September 1936, Fifteenth Series Twelves (effectively the 1937 model year) also benefitted from noteworthy mechanical improvements, including “Safe-T-Flex” independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes.

These improvements made the model quite successful, with 1,300 Fifteenth Series Twelves sold. A high price of admission, however—the Coupe Roadster started at a lofty $3,450—ensured that the Twelve was still an exclusive and sought-after offering.

They remain so to this day: Thanks to their mechanical updates, Fifteenth Series Packards, especially the powerful top-of-the-line 12-cylinder models, are widely regarded as among the most drivable cars of the Classic Era. 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 car offered here retains its original firewall tag, number 1039-212, noting its delivery through Hollywood, California, dealer W.H. Collins on 10 December 1936. It subsequently made its way to Alberta, Canada, where Packard historian Charles Blackman recorded its existence during the 1960s as a complete and intact automobile, carrying engine number 905964, as is still installed today. Shortly thereafter it was dismantled for restoration, and in this form was eventually acquired by its next owner and returned to California in the early 1980s.

The Packard was restored, with cosmetic work by the former AutoEuropa of Martinez, California, which was responsible for several Pebble Beach Concours Best of Show winners during the early 1980s. While under the care of its previous owner, the engine was reportedly rebuilt by Steve Messenger of Just Packards, also in Martinez. A high-speed rear axle was also fitted, to enable relaxed highway cruising. Acquired by the present consignor in 2017, it has been carefully maintained both cosmetically and mechanically, with the consignor noting a carburetor rebuild during his ownership to ensure proper operation.

This is a rare opportunity to acquire a fine Twelve in the most desirable style from arguably one of the greatest model years. Its stately covered dual-sidemount spares and color-matched trunk make it ideally suited to touring, beckoning its next owner to enjoy the power, presence, and elegance of one of the finest cars of the Classic Era on the open road.

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