Had it not been for Alexander Winton, the legendary Packard automobile probably would never have been produced. When James Ward Packard purchased a 'Winton' in 1898, he was very dissatisfied with the car. He relayed his thoughts and experiences with the car to Mr. Winton he suggested that Mr. Packard should try to build a better car of his own. By November of 1899, with the assistance of his brother and two former Winton employees, Packard produced his first car. Four additional cars were built that year, and 47 of a 'Model B' in 1900. It was not long before the slogan 'Ask the Man Who Owns One' was adopted.
Packard automobiles were in high demand until the Great Depression cut production by nearly half each year when compared with the previous. Even with slipping sales, Packard continued to refine their vehicles, making improvements from year-to-year.
In 1936 there Packard employed 5,100 production workers with 2,500 of them assigned to building the 5,985 senior cars that would be produced that year. The remaining 2,600 employees work on the other 55,042 Packard 120 Models created that year. This division of labor, with nearly half of the employees working on 10% of the vehicles.
The fourteenth series for 1936 had only minor differences from the cars of 1935, the most significant change being a new radiator, which was raked back five degrees to give the car a sleeker look. 1936 was the final year for the 17-inch wire wheels and the traditional double blade bumpers with hydraulic dampers.
The Twelve was offered in many different bodystyles including several different four-door sedans configurations. This example is a five-passenger Convertible Victoria that has a sporty persona combined with a two-door open style that offers luxury, comfort and performance. The top, designed by Dietrich's designers, looks elegant when up, and hides almost completely out-of-sight when folded.
This example is one of just 682 Twelve's built by Packard in 1936. Its early ownership history is not known except that it was delivered new by the noted California Packard dealer, Earle C. Anthony. By the 1980s, the car was in the ownership of Gerry Mariani. It was later sold via RM Classic Cars to Lloyd Needham. Seven years later, ownership changed to its current owner.
This car is painted in Packard Blue, has a tan leather interior, brushed nickel, rich wood-grain, and a Hartz cloth top. There are twin side-mounted spares, fitted with matching original metal covers and accessory rearview mirrors. It also has the very rare optional in-dash radio which was very expensive at the time.
It was awarded the Best in Show trophy at the Willistead Concours in 1999, and has also received its CCCA Senior and Premier awards in national competition.
In 2008 this 1936 Packard Twelve (Series 1407) Convertible Victoria was brought to RM Auctions 'Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook' where it was estimated to sell for $325,000 - $400,000. Those estimates were proven accurate as a high bid of $385,000 including buyer's premium was enough to secure new ownership.
A year later, it car was brought to RM Auctions 'Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook' where it was estimated to sell for $250,000-$350,000. As bidding came to a close, the lot had been sold for the sum of $253,000, including buyer's premium.Also photographed at :