10-11 October 2013

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Lot 154

1911 Packard Model UEFR '30' Limousine

  • Chassis no. 16476
  • Engine no. 16482
  • Body no. 40532

$175,000 - $225,000

30 bhp, 431.9 cu. in. T-head inline four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and rear-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123.5 in.

  • “The Cutty Sark Packard”
  • Wonderful original condition and fascinating history
  • Not shown in decades
  • A potential Preservation Class stand out

No discussion of great American automobiles of the Brass Era is complete without mention of what were, at the time, known as the Three Ps, Packard, Peerless, and Pierce-Arrow, which were the finest cars that money could buy. What the history books usually fail to mention is that Packard was, far and away, the king of the Three Ps; it not only outlived Peerless and Pierce by decades, but it also outsold them most every year. The automaker on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit built a worldwide reputation for excellence and unparalleled owner loyalty on the strength of cars like the Model 30, which was Packard’s standard-bearer from 1907 until 1912.

The Model 30’s 431.9-cubic inch T-head four produced a namesake 30 horsepower at a comically lazy 650 rpm; the modern reading would be closer to 60 horses transmitted to the wooden wheels by a three-speed transaxle. During the six years of production, the wheelbase was extended, larger wheels were installed, and a variety of body styles was created. Quality of construction was beyond compare, with Packard reportedly utilizing French-made castings throughout, and every car was exercised exhaustively on a demanding test track prior to delivery. The car was known for its surprising power and for its ease of operation, as compared to other automobiles of the time.

This was Packard’s last, and arguably greatest, four-cylinder model. A survey of owners through the years records an astonishing number that kept and drove their cars for decades, long after many would have assumed such an “old car” would have been obsolete for modern use. In the 1910s, the wealthy motorist assumed that the car he or she bought would last until forever. If they bought a 30, they were probably right.

The Limousine offered here is believed to have been purchased new by Mrs. Charles M. Whitney, possibly a member of the prominent banking family, who had homes in New York and Louisiana. It was eventually given to or inherited by the family’s chauffeur in New Orleans, and in 1947, it was spotted there in a local carriage house by Frank Franklin, who was, at the time, a 19-year-old college student. With youthful persistence, Franklin was eventually able to track down the chauffeur on his bar stool at a French Quarter watering hole. Within a short time, he was able to arrange an even trade: the Packard Limousine for a bottle of Cutty Sark. That is a deal that could only happen in the Big Easy.

Mr. Franklin carefully spent the next five days driving his new acquisition home to Houston, later recalling that he experienced no overheating problems or break downs of any kind. It remained in his care in central Texas for over 60 years, prior to its recent acquisition out of long-term museum display by the present owner.

The car still wears its original 1914 and 1915 license plates from New York and Louisiana, as well as a 1914 New Orleans city plate and an Ontario Motor League radiator mascot (apparently from early journeys “north of the border”). It remains in astonishing, wonderful original condition. The carpet and paint are all original, as is the beautifully preserved, ornate upholstery in the rear passenger compartment; the mahogany woodwork is lovely, and even the undercarriage is clean and intact. Only the upholstery on the driver’s seat is not original, as it required correct replacement leather years ago. It is among the brassiest of the brass cars, as all of its hinges, most of its fittings, and the door and grab handles are all brass. While the engine was rebuilt some time ago, this Packard is reported to start with ease and to still be a pleasure to drive and enjoy, using its original Eisemann KBJ magneto.

Presented as a newfound treasure, “the Cutty Sark Packard” is ready to make its mark on the Preservation Class at its new owner’s favorite concours, where it can demonstrate the enduring excellence of one of the great cars of its era.

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


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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


+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


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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


+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