Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

Previous Next

Lot 233

1933 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria

  • Chassis no. 901136
  • Engine no. 901140
  • Vehicle no. 647-12

Sold for $522,500


Series 1005. 160 hp, 445 cu. in. modified L-head V-12 engine, three-speed selective synchromesh manual transmission, solid front and rear axles with semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 142 in.

  • An exceptional, award-winning concours restoration
  • Extremely pure and authentic; four owners from new
  • Believed to have been originally delivered to Alfred G. Vanderbilt II
  • One of the finest surviving Tenth Series Twelves
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic


According to former owner Bradford E. Blake Jr., this 1933 Packard Twelve convertible victoria, the second example built, was purchased new by Margaret Emerson Vanderbilt for her son, Alfred G. Vanderbilt II. Young Mr. Vanderbilt was an heir to not one, but two great American fortunes, as his mother was the heiress to Bromo-Seltzer, that universal “cure-all” of the early 20th century. She had initially purchased her son a new Rolls-Royce, as a 21st birthday gift, but he declined the car, finding it too ostentatious; the Packard was soon acquired, via Baltimore’s Zell Motors, as a suitable substitute. It remained at the family’s renowned Sagamore Farms stud farm in Glyndon, Maryland, for eight years, before Mr. Blake acquired it, directly from the family, on 14 August 1941.

As the United States entered World War II soon thereafter, gas rationing made the use of a twelve-cylinder Packard nearly impossible, and Mr. Blake put his new purchase into storage to await richer times. He retained and maintained the car, driving it only occasionally, from 1941 until his passing in early 2012 at the age of 91. At that time, the Packard was passed to a new caretaker, after 71 years of good care. The Packard’s current caretaker acquired the car later in 2012, becoming only the fourth owner from new.

As-acquired, the Packard was found to be amazingly complete and authentic, down to the original brass Dietrich body number tag and the original firewall data plaque, both of which are often lost to time. The original testing tag from the Packard Proving Grounds, dated 1 August 1941, was still on the glove box. Not only were the cigarette lighters still in the dashboard, but the vintage cigarette butts were still in the ashtray! The body wood remained sound, and significant portions of the original black finish were still present on the solid original sheet metal. The odometer showed less than 20,000 miles, and due to Mr. Blake’s occasional use and maintenance, the car still operated well.

Nonetheless, with his passion for quality and correctness, the new owner oversaw a concours-quality and very authentic restoration of his Packard by Harbor Auto Restoration of Rockledge, Florida. Great care was taken to preserve the car’s correctness throughout, including the aforementioned original tags, while also returning it to, as near as possible, its original condition; three different Packard judges were brought in to consult on the work. The result was Second in Class at the renowned Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2015, followed by Best in Class at the Packard Nationals the same year. It then won a Pinehurst Award at the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance in 2016, its third and most recent show appearance. Further, the history of the car has been further authenticated by conversations with Leigh Brent, who knew the Packard back to the 1950s and recalls the story of its Vanderbilt past. The car is offered with a correct jack and a tool roll, as well as additional research by the owner into its past.

An exceptional open Tenth Series Twelve, with superlative provenance and an outstanding restoration, “The Black Packard with Red Wheels of Sagamore Farms” stands ready to add a new chapter to its enthralling history.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

Cameron Smyth

csmyth@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 212 894 1981
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more