St. John's

27 July 2013

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Lot 165

1935 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster

  • Body no. 189426
  • Vehicle no. 839-215

Sold for $187,000

Model 1207. 175 bhp, 473.3 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel power-assisted mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 139.25 in.

  • Powerful and prestigious Packard V-12
  • Attractive older restoration
  • One of the last Dietrich-built Packard bodies

For 1933, Packard’s new Twin Six was re-christened simply “Packard Twelve,” and while marketing was ambitious, the results were nearly the same as the introductory year, with 540 cars built. Finally, in 1934, the market improved and sales nearly doubled. All Packards received new, more streamlined bodies in 1935. The Twelve gained aluminum heads and a quarter inch of stroke. Sixteen body styles were catalogued, with five open models built in the shops of coachbuilder Dietrich Inc.

Raymond Dietrich was hired in 1913 as an apprentice draftsman at Brewster & Co. in New York; he was just 19. Brewster sent him to the Andrew F. Johnson Technical School, then the most rigorous education available in the field of coachbuilding. After some time at Chevrolet, he returned to Brewster, met Tom Hibbard, and shortly after, the two of them went out on their own to form LeBaron Inc. In 1925, however, Edsel Ford lured Dietrich to Detroit, where he accepted an invitation to form Dietrich Inc. in partnership with the Murray Corporation of America, a body supplier to much of the Detroit auto industry.

Dietrich did a number of custom designs for Packard dealers, which brought him to the attention of Alvan Macauley, Packard’s president. Macauley went to visit the up-and-coming designer and ended up ordering 175 bodies, beginning a long association that saw a number of Dietrich designs in Packard catalogues. Continuing to work for other clients, Dietrich Inc. became the largest American constructor of non-production bodies and won gold medals at Paris and Monte Carlo. Raymond Dietrich left to work at Chrysler as the bespoke body business began to wane in 1932. Murray, however, continued to produce a number of Dietrich designs for Packard, since he still had the rights to the “Dietrich label.” In 1934, much of Murray production capacity was needed for the new One-Twenty Packard, so senior open bodies were delegated to Dietrich Inc., which was still operating at Holden Avenue in Detroit, north of the Packard Works on East Grand Boulevard.

Delivered new by Packard Florida Motors in Palm Beach on February 5, 1935, this Coupe Roadster spent the 1960s and ’70s in California. The engine was rebuilt by Charles Last in 1973, and the interior has subsequently been replaced. The current owner performed an on-frame restoration in 1998, with paint, chrome, top, and carpet done by local specialists.

Handsome in medium blue with chrome wire wheels and wide whitewall tires, it has a crimson leather interior with matching carpet and is capped off with a tan canvas top. It was honored in the Circle of Champions at the Packard International National Membership Meet at Santa Ana in 2006. In addition to the servo-assisted mechanical brakes, it has adjustable shock absorbers, a radio, and the standard rumble seat with a golf bag door.

In July 1935, Dietrich Inc. wound down; although, the label continued to be used for two years longer on Murray-built bodies. This is one of the last Dietrich-built Packards to be completed, and it is certainly one of the most desirable.

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

+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

+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

+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

David Swig

+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

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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

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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

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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

Jake Auerbach

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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

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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

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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

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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

+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

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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

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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

+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

+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

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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