5-6 October 2017

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Lot 155

1934 Packard Twelve 2/4-Passenger Coupe

  • Chassis no. 902316
  • Engine no. 902224
  • Vehicle no. 738-26

$325,000 - $375,000

  • One of eight known surviving authentic examples
  • Original body, engine, and chassis; wonderful provenance and purity
  • Featured in Edward J. Blend’s The Magnificent Packard Twelve of Nineteen Thirty-Four
  • Veteran of many CCCA CARavans, Pebble Beach Motoring Classic, and the Mozart Tour

The Eleventh Series Packard Twelve offered here is style no. 738, the 2/4-passenger coupe on the 142.5-in. wheelbase 1107 chassis. Its sporty, superb proportions, similar to the coupe roadster, are no coincidence; both cars used a common body shell, inspired by the designs of LeBaron coachbuilders, with the coupe gaining a fixed roof with crisp lines, reminiscent of a raised convertible top. The coupe was popular when new, but unfortunately not many were preserved, typical of great closed cars from this era. Historians estimate that only eight authentic examples are known today.

The car offered here, vehicle no. 738-26, is one such fortunate automobile, and retains its original body, engine, and chassis from 1934. The sixteenth such car made, it was originally restored in the late 1950s, while in the ownership of Art Isles Jr., of Indiana. On 27 May 1961, while owned by Mr. Isles, the car was used to chauffeur the buxom blonde actress Jayne Mansfield in the Indianapolis 500 Parade.

In 1964 the car was sold by Mr. Isles to Robert Ortenburger of Oklahoma. While owned by Mr. Ortenburger, this car was listed among the known authentic survivors of the model in historian Edward J. Blend’s tome, The Magnificent Packard Twelve of Nineteen Thirty-Four. An amusing photo accompanying the list of surviving coupes depicts a well-dressed lady, packing her golf clubs into the rear of this Packard. “The Ortenburger 738-26 is painted a popular metallic blue,” Blend noted. “What would your friends and associates say if you arrived at the country club in this vehicle?”

Ortenburger eventually retired with the Packard to LaJolla, California. Only in 1995 did he finally part with it, after over 30 years of care. It was then acquired by Don Sears, the well-known Packard enthusiast, who sold it to Richard Engquist of McPherson, Kansas. Mr. Engquist personally rebuilt the magnificent twelve-cylinder engine to top form, while also reupholstering the interior.

Mr. Sears eventually reacquired the Packard and sold it to another renowned connoisseur, David Kane of Bernardsville, New Jersey. Over nearly two decades, Mr. Kane drove his beloved Packard Twelve over 15,000 miles, running on everything from many CCCA CARavans, to the 2013 Pebble Beach Motoring Classic, to the Mozart Tour. That it was the favorite tour car in Mr. Kane’s wonderful stable is a statement to its engineering excellence and its fine order.

Today this spectacular Twelve remains in top order; its superb restoration is still in fine condition, half a century on, with that “popular metallic blue” finish in very good order. It runs, drives, and functions superbly, as one would expect of a car that has been so beloved for so many decades. Simply put, it remains one of the most authentic and best-known examples of its kind, just as it was when Edward Blend put it in his book in 1977. It is ready for the latest proud owner in its fascinating ownership history.

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


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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