Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

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Lot 285

1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe by LeBaron

  • Chassis no. 189744
  • Engine no. 189773
  • Vehicle no. 845-89

$220,000 - $260,000

Series 845. 120 bhp, 384.8 cu. in. L-head straight-eight engine with single Detroit Lubricator carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, solid front and live rear axles with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanically actuated drum brakes. Wheelbase: 145 in.

  • One of three known survivors of a very rare semi-custom style
  • The prototype for the production 1932–1934 Packard Coupe Roadster
  • Formerly owned by renowned collectors Wayne Merriman and Gene Perkins
  • Featured in Hugo Pfau’s The Coach-Built Packard
  • A highly important design in Packard history

Among Packard’s catalogued “semi-custom” offerings on the 145-inch-wheelbase Deluxe Eight chassis of 1931’s Eighth Series, the convertible coupe by LeBaron stood proud as among the most attractive and desirable. It boasted distinctive lines, including a wide beltline molding, attractively sloping doors, a subtly curved rear deck, and—most attractive of all—a convertible top that folded flush with the body, for a clean smooth line all the way through the car. So attractive was this design that its lines would be borrowed by Packard, almost verbatim, for the factory’s production coupe roadster body of 1932–1934.

Only three LeBaron-bodied Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupes survive today. The car offered here is the only one of the trio not held in a long-term private collection, making its offering here an opportunity not to be taken lightly. Importantly, this car’s vehicle number plate on the firewall identifies it as having been delivered on 10 February 1931, by the Earle C. Anthony Packard dealership in Oakland, California. Interestingly, a second, smaller original tag identifies it as a “Used Packard” delivered through the Chicago dealer on 14 March 1933, indicating that the car had moved to the Midwest relatively early in its life. The engine, frame, and steering box numbers are all very close together, indicating that all three units are original to this particular car.

The car is believed to have been acquired in the 1950s by the late, well-known enthusiast Wayne Merriman, for whom it was brought from California, driven under its own power as an excellent original car that, nowadays, would not have been restored. It was subsequently sold by Mr. Merriman in the early 1960s to past Classic Car Club of America President Gene Perkins, of Indiana. In a recent conversation with RM Sotheby’s, Mr. Perkins recounted having the car fully restored by a friend and keeping it for many years before trading it for a Dietrich Individual Custom. During Mr. Perkins’ ownership, the Packard was featured in Hugo Pfau’s important work, The Coach-Built Packard.

In addition to the low-profile top distinctive of the model, a feature of this car—believed unique—is a full trunk rather than a rumble seat, which, along with the proper fitted trunk and rack, would make the car a superb, capacious long-distance tourer. Thanks to the brightness of the painted red wire wheels, the earth tones of the body, a combination of creamy tan with russet brown moldings, show to their best effect and flatter the subtlety of the car’s lines. Dual side-mounted spares with chromed covers and mirrors, dual Pilot Ray lights that turn with the front wheels, a chrome radiator stone guard, and the Packard Goddess of Speed radiator mascot complete the stunning package. The car has been recently serviced by the noted New Jersey firm of Stone Barn Auto Restoration and has had both bumpers re-chromed.

Enjoyed by known Packard connoisseurs and carrying one of the rarest bodies of its era—one that influenced future Packard factory designs—this is a sumptuous Deluxe Eight.

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

+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

+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

+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

Jake Auerbach

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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