Hershey | Lot 277

1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight Roadster

Offered From The Collection of Robert Thayer

$350,000 - $450,000 USD | Offered Without Reserve

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania

8 October 2021

Identification No.
US Title
  • Offered from the Collection of Robert Thayer
  • The most desirable model on the longest 745 platform
  • Part of the Thayer Collection for 25 years
  • Well-maintained, award-winning restoration in elegant colors
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

In many ways Packard’s Seventh Series models of 1930 represent some of the company’s most beautiful, finest offerings. At the top of the line was the 745 Deluxe Eight, riding the longest available 145½-inch-wheelbase chassis, and propelled by a straight eight-cylinder engine that ran on seven main bearings while producing 105 bhp and massive amounts of torque—perfect for smooth, quiet cruises through the countryside.

This opulent chassis could be had with a wide array of coachwork, 11 styles in all, with among the most desirable being the two-passenger Roadster. The Roadster on the 745 platform created an open sporting car of remarkable proportions, with an exceptionally long hood and relatively small passenger compartment; it looked the part of a powerful, expensive gentleman’s automobile, and it was. Because these machines were so incredibly costly, relatively few were produced, and the survivors are savored by their owners.

The Deluxe Eight Roadster offered here is widely recognized as being an authentic original, correct example. It was reportedly originally delivered to John Shibe, a wealthy Philadelphia sporting goods manufacturer and part owner of that city’s Athletics baseball team. Noted to have been discovered in a salvage yard in 1954, it was later acquired by the Dallet Family, next passing to Mark Smith who in the mid-1980s sold it to RM Sotheby’s co-founder and Classic aficionado, Mike Fairbairn. He would retain the car as a serviceable driver until 1996, when Robert Thayer finally convinced him to part with it after several years of pursuit. A full restoration followed in the hands of RM Auto Restoration, lasting three years and some 6,000 man-hours, with the goal of producing a fit competitor for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Fit, it was; the car was awarded 1st in Class at Pebble Beach in 1998.

In 1998 the Deluxe Eight Roadster was awarded its Primary First, with a perfect 100-point score, at the CCCA Midwest Grand Classic. The car was shown at Hilton Head in 2005, aptly receiving People’s Choice honors. In 2015 it appeared at Amelia Island, winning an Amelia Award in its class, followed by a turn at Pebble Beach later that year.

One of the finest extant 745 Deluxe Eight Roadsters, this special automobile is today offered from its loving home of a full quarter-century—wearing an excellent, well-maintained restoration, sure to be appreciated equally by a new caretaker on show field or tour road.

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