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Lot 257

1941 Packard Custom Super Eight One Eighty Sport Brougham by LeBaron

  • Vehicle no. 1452-2063

Sold for $27,500

Series 1907. 160 bhp, 356 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission with factory overdrive, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 138 in.

  • One of only 99 built and about 30 known survivors
  • Documented as having appeared in The Godfather
  • Formerly of the Don Rook Raspberry Manor Collection
  • An ideal, solid restoration project

As the custom coachbuilding industry faded out of existence in the early 1940s, American luxury automakers slowly discontinued the factory-catalogued “semi-customs” that had topped their lines for over a decade. Packard was among the last to offer bodies by coachbuilders Rollson and LeBaron, with the latter being a division of Briggs by 1941, but it still produced beautifully appointed and largely hand-built bodies in limited numbers.

Most of LeBaron’s final Packard offerings were formal limousines, which were to be driven by a chauffeur. However, in 1941 only, an “owner-driver” variant, the Sport Brougham, could also be had. It was essentially Packard’s version of the Cadillac Series 60 Special, and it featured a striking design, with narrow chromed window frames and a “formal” rear window on the shorter 1907-series chassis, as well as a sumptuously appointed five-passenger interior. Only 99 Sport Broughams were built, and survivors are quite rare.

The car offered here, which is identified by its original firewall plate as vehicle number 1452-2063, is equipped with dual side-mounted spares and running boards, both of which were optional features in 1941, and it was sold new in Philadelphia. It was used in the classic 1972 Francis Ford Coppola film The Godfather. The car appears in a scene early in the film, as part of a group of cars lined up outside the Corleone family compound to attend Connie Corleone’s wedding. Alfran Productions, Mr. Coppola’s production company, rented the car from its owner of many years, the late Don Rook, as is documented by a letter on file that identifies this Packard by its vehicle number.

Mr. Rook was an active collector of both Packards and Chrysler “Letter Cars,” keeping his collections in large barns on the grounds of his bed and breakfast, the Raspberry Manor in Mena, Arkansas. After his passing in 2010, the collection was dispersed and this Sport Brougham was acquired for the Andrews Collection.

The car wears what is strongly believed to be its original factory paint, as well as a completely original interior, which is in remarkably good condition. While the engine number cannot be discerned, it is almost certainly the original unit, as its appearance is consistent with the patina found on the rest of the Packard. At one point, the Andrews family had been planning to make the car a reliable runner and driver by cleaning it up and using it “as-is,” but they simply never got around to the project, and they have decided to pass it to a new owner.

This handsome CCCA Full Classic is ideal for cleaning up, driving, and enjoying, or it could be the best possible basis for a complete restoration, as it is a solid survivor from the last days of coachbuilding, with its own special Hollywood connection.

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

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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