St. John's

27 July 2013

From the Richard and Linda Kughn Collection

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Lot 151

1934 Packard Super Eight Convertible Victoria

  • Engine no. 752927
  • Vehicle no. 767-35

Sold for $225,500

Series 1104. 145 bhp, 384 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed synchromesh manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension with variable-pressure shock absorbers, and vacuum servo-assisted four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 142 in.

  • From the collection of Richard and Linda Kughn
  • Packard’s ultimate eight-cylinder model from its most desirable pre-war year
  • CCCA First Prize winner

When James Ward Packard debuted his first automobile in 1899, he was but one of dozens of would-be automobile moguls. By the 1930s, however, most of Packard’s early contemporaries had fallen by the wayside, and the exceptional vehicles bearing the Packard name were truly among the finest in the world. Enjoying a kind of dominance over the world luxury car market never seen before or since, Packard was considered “the best” not only in America, but all over the world. It was the king of the road, combining stunning good looks with industry-leading mechanical refinements and elegant appointments that simply had no superior. Simply put, for almost its entire history, the Packard was the best built American car at any point in time, maintaining extraordinarily high standards for over 50 years.

For many, the 1934 model Packards, which the factory dubbed the Eleventh Series, represent the height of the company’s pre-war efforts. They were the final models with traditional open fenders, albeit gently skirted, and the upright radiator shell for which the company had become well-known. Books have been written solely about this model year Packard, and it is widely considered among the most beautiful of all Classic Era production automobiles.

The Eleventh Series Packard offered here features the massive 142-inch wheelbase, 1104 Super Eight chassis on balloon-like 7.50x17 tires, isolating the passengers from all but the worst bumps. A Ride Control lever allows the driver to adjust the resistance of the hydraulic shocks from soft and cushy to a firmness that would tighten handling and give a true feel of the road. Under the hood, a regulator monitors and controls oil temperature, allowing the use of the same viscosity lubricant year-round. The first full-flow oil filter, a larger pump, and an oil pressure regulator further ensured that things would literally run as smoothly as possible.

The exterior displays the artistic attention to detail for which Packards were noted, with the angle of the deeply vee’d radiator shell mimicked in the lenses of the Packard Twelve-style headlamps and parking lamps. In the center of the dashboard sits the Packard crest, surrounded by that same iconic shape.

This car is recorded as having been originally delivered by Earle C. Anthony’s prestigious Packard dealership in downtown Los Angeles. Its beautifully restored Raymond Dietrich-designed bodywork is clad in a striking combination of two-tone maroon, with a black victoria top, and is distinguished by its lack of rear quarter windows, which provides additional privacy to the rear seat passengers and gives the car a uniquely elegant appearance. The brightwork, including desirable Packard Twelve bumpers, sparkles; the wide whitewalls glisten; and the dual, metal-covered side-mount spare tires, topped with chrome rearview mirrors, serve to accentuate the considerable length of the vehicle. The same can be said of the rear-mounted folding luggage rack, which holds an original Packard trunk with three fitted suitcases.

The tan leather interior is strikingly set off by rich, burled wood trim, a six-gauge control panel, and dual glove boxes set into either end of the wood-faced dash. Tan cut-pile wool carpeting completes the sensation of being surrounded by only the finest materials.

It is a testament to the excellence of this car’s restoration that, while in the ownership of Mr. and Mrs. Kughn, it was displayed at the 2009 Classic Car Club of America Grand Classic at Hickory Corners, scoring 99.75 points for a First Prize in the Primary Production 1933–1936 Division. The car also carries a CCCA Senior Badge, number 2905, and was proudly displayed at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in 2009.

This Packard’s overall impression is one of genuine elegance. It does not scream “look at me” the way some extravagant classics do, because it simply does not have to. Its lines, colors, and accents automatically draw the eye, and the pleasing harmony of the whole vehicle, plus the obvious craftsmanship that went into its creation, make it more than a very desirable classic car—it is a genuine work of art. It displays the good taste of its owner just as effectively as it did in 1934.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Jake Auerbach

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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

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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

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

Michael Squire

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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