11-12 October 2012

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Lot 190

1933 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria

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

Sold for $357,500

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

• An outstanding, unmolested, original example

• Three owners from new

Among Packard’s finest pre-war creations were the 10th Series Twelves. Offered here is an unmolested original example with very long-term, known history. Chassis 901136 is the second Convertible Victoria built for 1933. Its original test sticker from its breaking in at the legendary Packard Proving Grounds is still extant on the glove box and is dated February 1, 1933. According to the original firewall placard, it was shipped to the Zell Motor Car Company in Baltimore, Maryland, and was delivered on February 7, 1933.

Even with the comparatively inexpensive fuel prices of the period, the 5,440-pound Packard was not the most economical car to operate; initially, this would have been of little consequence to an owner who could afford its $4,988 price tag, but when gas rationing began at the onset of World War II, its consumption rendered it unusable. The car was sold on August 14, 1941 to a young Baltimore engineer named Bradford E. Blake Jr., who placed it in storage to await more fuel-rich times. Mr. Blake retained and maintained the car, driving it only very occasionally, from 1941 to 2012—an amazing 71 years. He passed away in early-2012, at age 91, making his Packard available to a new caretaker.

Before his passing, Mr. Blake asserted to the current owner that the car was originally ordered by Mrs. Margaret Emerson Vanderbilt as a 21st birthday gift for her son, Alfred G. Vanderbilt II, and that he had purchased it directly from the family. It is known that she had originally ordered for him a new Rolls-Royce, which he declined as he was not in favor of ostentatious displays of wealth. It is highly possible that the Packard was found to be a suitable substitute due to the marque’s reputation for quality luxury conveyances, which lacked the flamboyance associated with other prestige chassis.

Thanks to Mr. Blake’s thoughtful conservation, the car is complete and authentic down to the cigarette lighters and vintage cigarette butts in the ashtray. The wood remains sound, and significant portions of the original finish are still present on the solid, original sheet metal. As a further testament to its originality, this Packard still wears its brass Dietrich body number tag, which was affixed to all of the open factory-bodied Packards in the period and was often lost over time. The odometer shows less than 20,000 original miles, and due to Mr. Blake’s occasional use and maintenance, the car runs quietly and drives, shifts, and brakes smoothly.

Packard’s twelve-cylinder cars for 1933 were among their finest. With such features as adjustable power brakes, adjustable ride control, central lubrication, self-adjusting valves, and automatic choke, the Model 1005 Twelve chassis was powerful, technically advanced, and sophisticated. Mated with the lovely Convertible Victoria coachwork, this was quite a sporting vehicle for a young man at the highest levels of American society in 1933. As an unspoiled original, it possesses great potential to be preserved and used as a reference for other restorations, where it may be displayed in the preservation class at any of the world’s greatest concours or restored to award-winning perfection.

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


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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


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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


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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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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


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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


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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


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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