When we think back on it there is a little melancoly in remembering the era when the 1935 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan was unveiled to much wonder and adulation. The Great Depression savaged our economy at the very peak of a revolution in big luxury car design. Cadillac came out with its big V16 engine in 1930 and Packard could not help but respond with the new Packard Twelve. Isn’t it ironic that arguably the greatest cars Detroit ever produced arrived even as the era of big luxury motorcars was coming to an end?
When this 1935 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan was brand new the Packard Twelves were selling very well, although they say that very few of this particular model were produced since it was the most expensive Packard you could buy. One collector who has studied the marque has voiced the opinion that only seven or eight of these 1208 Town Car convertibles were ever built. It had the “all new” Packard twelve cylinder engine called the Packard Twelve to differentiate it from the previous Packard Twin Six. The series 1208 had a 175 bhp, 473.3 ci L-head V12 motor, 3-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi eliptical leaf spring suspension and four-wheel power assisted mechanical drum brakes. With a wheelbase of 144.5 inches, it featured a wonderful open-air touring capability with extremely desirble dual cowl design.
It was the most expensive model offered in the Packard catalog, denoted as a Lebaron All-Weather 7-Passenger Town Car, and priced at $6,595 in that year. It was also the biggest vehicle in the Packard lineup that year weighing in at 5,950 pounds.
“This is an older, high quality restoration,” Rick Abate told us. His company, Classic Car Marketing, is offering several desirable vintage Packard motorcars from the ‘30s for sale this week. He says it was recently freshend with all rebuilt mechanicals.
For 1935, all Packards received new bodies, with front doors hinged on the ‘B’ pillar, a trend that was sweeping the industry. Dietrich, famous coachbuilder of the era, built, among them the Convertible Sedan, body style 873, which was supplied by Dietrich. Total production of 1935 Packard Twelves was 788, spread over 16 body styles. Priced at $5,050, the Packard Twelve 1208 Convertible Sedan was the most expensive style in the regular Packard catalog.
The owner of this magnificent motor car invested countless hours on the engine and gear box, in addition to the attention to detail to all of the cosmetic items. As presented today, the engine bay is authentic in its appearance and specification, down to the correct wiring for the accessory lights. With its recent maintenance and restorative work, it will stand up extremely well alongside any number of classic automobiles in its era. This is an opportunity to own one of the best examples of a 1935 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan from a true high quality collection.
Classic Car Marketing has also listed several other Packard motorcars from this exclusive collection.
Find these recent listings in the Cars On Line newsletter this week.