Motor City

25 July 2015

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Lot 155

1938 Packard Super Eight Sedanca deVille by Barker

  • Chassis no. A500689
  • Engine no. 396128
  • Body no. 2007

Sold for $220,000

Series 1605. 130 bhp, 320 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 139 in.

  • Offered from a prominent private collection
  • Elegant, one-off British coachwork on a grand American chassis
  • Built for Canadian liquor baron Harry Hatch; documented history
  • Featured in Dennis Adler’s Packard and Hugo Pfau’s The Coach Built Packard


Once a year in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the heady days before the war, a sleek one-of-a-kind formal Packard traveled down the two-lane highways of the East Coast, descending from north to south. At the wheel was a liveried chauffeur, Walter Bibby, who wore his impeccable black uniform from the time the car left the gates of 38 Roxborough Drive, Toronto, until reaching his employer’s winter home in Palm Beach, Florida. He would then change into more appropriate livery for the Florida coast—cream linen—and collect his employers at the rail station. Harry C. Hatch and family had arrived in Palm Beach flush with the wealth that had come from leading the Hiram Walker distillery through Prohibition. Vacation could now commence.

A passionate breeder of racehorses, Mr. Hatch was not necessarily a “car guy” but was most certainly a connoisseur, whose good taste showed in his selection of a “senior” Packard, the 139-inch-wheelbase 1605 Super Eight. He had the chassis shipped for coachwork to London coachbuilders Barker, the favorite of royalty, which built a formal Sedanca deVille with the “razor edge” roofline and “turtledeck” rear-end styling distinctive of their Rolls-Royce designs. In fact, aside from the typical Packard grille and fenders, it would have been easy to mistake the Hatch Packard for a Rolls!

As Hatch’s son Clifford recalled later, his father had business in England, including importing Scotch, which likely resulted in a visit to Barker during one of his overseas trips. Barker’s original sketch of what is believed to be this car, but without side-mounted spares, appears on page 204 of Hugo Pfau’s The Coach-Built Packard.

The car was apparently sold by the Hatches around World War II and, in 1961, was sold by a Toronto dealer to longtime enthusiasts George and Sheila Van Nostrand, of Keswick, Ontario, who kept it for several years in good original condition. It was purchased by Ed Suddarth in 1986 after several documented intervening owners, and he completed its restoration and displayed the car at the 1989 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, winning a class award.

The Packard was acquired in 1990 by Richard Livoni, of Long Beach, California, who continued to show it for many years, achieving CCCA Senior number 1761 with 99 points in 1993 and numerous First Place and Best in Class awards at West Coast concours d’elegance. In Mr. Livoni’s care, the car appeared in an article by Dennis Adler in the May 1993 issue of Car Collector, as well as in Dennis Adler’s books Packard and Speed and Luxury: The Great Cars.

The present owner, a respected American collector, purchased the Packard in the late 1990s and has maintained it to an extremely high standard ever since while amassing a collection of fascinating documentation, interviews with Hatch family members, and copies of articles featuring the car, which accompany it today. It has continued to return to Pebble Beach on occasion, most recently in 2009, and is as striking today as when Mr. Hatch’s chauffeur first drove it in Toronto. The correct black paint is rich and lustrous, while the interior is swathed with Connolly leather for the driver and soft broadcloth for the passengers. The rear compartment boasts twin lighted vanities, an intercom, a unique power-operated rear window shade, and—but of course—a built-in bar.

Cheers and to your health!

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