19-20 January 2012

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Lot 119

1937 Packard Twelve 2/4-Passenger Coupe

  • Chassis no. 1038-256

Sold for $165,000

Series 1507. 175 bhp, 473.3 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, independent coil spring front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 139.25"

• Full Classic rumble seat coupe

• Second in Class at Pebble Beach 2008

• From the collection of the late Zach Brinkerhoff

The Packard Twelve itself is remarkable. Born at the cusp of the Great Depression, it was certainly a response to the 12- and 16-cylinder Cadillacs introduced in 1930, although the seeds of the project had been planted earlier. In January 1932, Packard brought out a 12-cylinder line on two wheelbases, Models 905 and 906,z measuring 142.5 and 147.5 inches respectively.

The new car was powered by a 445.5-cubic inch V-12, making 160 bhp at 3,200 rpm. Designed by Cornelius Van Ranst, whose credits included the Cord L-29, the V-12 was originally intended for a front-wheel drive Packard, a project that proved stillborn. The engine, however, survived, transplanted to the chassis of the Deluxe Eight. A narrow, 67-degree vee, it was of unusual configuration with valves nearly horizontal, actuated by hydraulic tappets. Packard continued to build V-12s until 1939, the engine enlarged to 473.3 cubic inches in 1935. Only in 1937 were more than 1,000 made in a single year. The Twin Six name was retired after ’32, the cars thereafter called simply “Twelve.”

This car was discovered in Oregon in 2003 by Jim Bradley, who was on the trail of a 1913 Buick. The Packard had been in storage for some 30 years, having been previously owned by a Mr. Beers in Michigan. Indeed, it had originally been delivered on August 31, 1937 by the Detroit Branch of the Packard Motor Car Company, the factory dealership. The car was restored in the 1970s, but Zach Brinkerhoff recognized it as a gem to fill a void in his discriminating Packard collection.

Renowned in the classic car world, Zachary “Zach” Brinkerhoff had an early penchant for Cadillac V-16s. His late wife, Jeanne, however, developed a liking for Packards, so over the years his collection evolved from Cadillacs to Packards, and he became the man to ask, because he owned not just one but several. A frequent participant at Pebble Beach, Palm Springs and other concours, he had a mission in mind for this coupe. He purchased it on October 15, 2007 with a goal of showing it at Pebble Beach the following August, a daunting task. Restorer Mark Clayton of Castle Rock, Colorado took on the challenge. With five people dedicated to the job, Clayton oversaw some 4,800 work-hours and by August had the car ready, not just for display but for the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance that precedes the concours.

On the show field, the judges had their say. They spent eight minutes scrutinizing the Packard coupe, awarding it 101 points. Its competition was a 102-point Duesenberg Model J Murphy Clear Vision Sedan. Since its signature Pebble Beach appearance, the car has been carefully maintained by Russ Pierson, who oversaw Mr. Brinkerhoff’s collection. It is in excellent condition, from tan paint to grey broadcloth to handsome burl woodgrain. The rumble seat is upholstered in leather matching the body color. It is ready to show, tour or simply be enjoyed.

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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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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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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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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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