St. John's

28 July 2012

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Lot 117

1935 Packard Twelve Close-Coupled Limousine by Brewster

  • Chassis no. I207 2I5
  • Engine no. 903773

Sold for $56,100

12th Series; Model 1207. 175 bhp, 473.3 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission with vacuum-assisted clutch, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension, and power-assisted four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 139.25"

• First owned by E.F. Hutton and used by his wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post

• Three long-term owners from new

• Highly personalized Brewster custom coachwork; extensive and fascinating history

Among Packard’s wealthiest and most discerning clients during the 1930s was Marjorie Merriwether Post, heir to the Postum Cereal Company, founder of General Foods, and spouse of Edward F. Hutton, of investment-banking fame. During their 15-year marriage, they formed one of the world’s wealthiest and most-influential couples. In particular, with her considerable business, social, and stylistic acumen, Marjorie oversaw every detail associated with each automobile she used, with particular attention paid to interior accommodations and passenger comfort.

While Marjorie favored Rolls-Royce chassis during the late-1920s, she switched to Packard’s Senior models by the mid-1930s. When she required a new automobile in early-1935, Packard chassis 1207215 was selected with the usual multitude of options available for coachwork. Extremely careful analysis led Mrs. Hutton to commission the Humer-Binder Co. Inc., located on New York’s 11th Avenue, to transfer the Brewster Close-Coupled Limousine body from her 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom and carefully adapt it to the her new Twelve chassis. At a quoted cost of $6,685, including the $3,700 chassis price, the project brief specified the addition of a new solid roof for the chauffeur’s compartment, shatterproof glass throughout, new silk window shades, re-varnished interior window moldings, and a complete repaint with crests applied to the rear doors.

Following their 1935 divorce, the Brewster-bodied Twelve remained with E.F. Hutton. According to a 1964 affidavit executed by Vaughn S. Jenkins, Mr. Hutton’s longtime chauffeur, the Brewster-bodied Packard was laid up on blocks and stored at Mr. Hutton’s Old Westbury residence in 1939, and then in 1947, it was fitted with new tires, recommissioned, registered, and again, placed on blocks and stored until the car was sold to its second owner, Lewis L. Smith Jr. At that time, recorded mileage was 33,572.

Mr. Smith, an active CCCA member, retained the unique Packard for some 25 years and then, the current owner acquired it via a dealer in 1990. Under the current owner, a skilled lifelong mechanic, the car was well-maintained and selectively and sympathetically restored only as required. The engine was rebuilt for reliable touring with hardened valve seats and modern bearings, a high-speed rear end was purchased from Phil Hill and installed, and the steering and brakes were completely sorted. New diaphragms were recently fitted to the vacuum booster. The interior woodwork was refinished, and the leather upholstery was expertly replaced. Notably, the down-filled seat-cushion packets remained in good condition and were preserved. Brightwork was selectively restored as needed.

Shown and toured by the current owner and graced with wonderful provenance and an extensive historical file, this majestic and singular Packard Twelve’s early history was recently covered in the context of Marjorie Merriweather Post’s automobiles within the spring 2012 edition of The Classic Car. Remaining highly attractive and tour-capable, it is now ready for continued enjoyment and appreciation as one of the ultimate expressions of bespoke classic era motoring.

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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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