5-6 October 2017

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Lot 237

1929 Packard Deluxe Eight Tonneau Cowl Sport Phaeton by Dietrich

  • Engine no. 167956
  • Vehicle no. 168638

$150,000 - $190,000

  • Smooth, reliable Packard Deluxe Eight
  • Iconic Raymond Dietrich design
  • Fresh top-quality restoration

On 14 June 1923, Packard Motor Car Company introduced the Single Eight as a successor to the long-running Twin Six V-12. At 357.8 cubic inches, it displaced some 15 percent fewer than the big flagship powerplant, but produced 95 percent of its horsepower. More important than that, however, was its design. A seminal breakthrough with its two-plane crankshaft, it set the pattern for all straight eights from that time onward.

Earlier inline eights were essentially two four-cylinder engines mated end-to-end. Inherent to this design is a “secondary imbalance” caused by two of the pistons always moving together. This creates a rocking motion at idle and roughness at high rpm. By turning a portion of a flat-plane crankshaft, that for the four middle cylinders, 90 degrees, Packard engineers made the Single Eight smooth and silent. The result was so successful that from 1925 the designation “Packard Eight” was sufficient.

The Sixth Series Packards were introduced on 1 August 1928. All Packards were now Eights, the six-cylinder models having been discontinued. The Model 645 Deluxe Eight, the top of the line, spanned an impressive 145½-in. wheelbase, and was powered by a 384.8-cu. in., 105-bhp engine.

There were two open touring cars in the 645 line, designated Phaeton, Style 371, and Sport Phaeton, Style 373. Both accommodated five passengers, but Style 373 had a Tonneau Cowl, a hinged panel enclosing the rear seat and equipped with a windshield for its passengers. It represented the ultimate in comfort for an open Packard body. Designed by Raymond Dietrich, it was, like a number of offerings in the catalogue, built in Packard’s own body factories.

This Packard 645 Sport Phaeton had been restored when purchased by the current family, noted Packard connoisseurs. They then re-restored it to its current high standards, with the assistance of trade specialists cultivated over many years. It presents vividly in brilliant red, with a matching leather interior. The top is tan canvas. Equipped with Pilot Ray steering driving lights and dual windshield-mounted spotlights, it has dual side-mounted spares and six Firestone High Speed wide whitewall tires. The tip-up Tonneau Cowl, as Packard called its dual-cowl arrangement, has its own windshield for the rear seat passengers, making cool-weather touring a pleasure. Taking pride of place atop the radiator is the iconic Packard “Adonis” radiator cap designed by Edward McCarten. The workmanship is superb, from the flawless paint to the highly detailed engine compartment, the latter complete with a correct Packard accessory Purolator oil filter. It runs and drives spectacularly, having covered only test mileage since restoration.


Please note that this car is fitted with reproduction coachwork.

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


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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


+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


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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


+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