Duesenberg J-434

1931 Duesenberg Model J Roadster by Packard

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is kind of an odd combination, a Packard-built body on a Duesenberg. Sure, many old cars had their bodies swapped around. It was usually sedans being rebodied as more desirable convertibles once they became objects of pleasure instead of daily transportation.

But in this case, this Model J was fitted with a period Packard roadster body… in period. By Duesenberg. The story is that a Duesenberg branch purchased a brand new roadster body from Packard before it could be installed on one of their cars and fitted it to a J chassis in 1931. It’s said to be one of very few true roadsters on a Model J chassis. And probably the only Packard-bodied car.

The engine is a 265-horsepower 6.9-liter straight-eight, and this particular engine was fitted in this chassis in 1989. The pre-sale estimate is $1,400,000-$1,800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1909 Packard Runabout

1909 Packard Model 18 Runabout

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-4, 2021

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Packard’s Model 18 went on sale for 1909 and would remain in production through 1912. Launch-year body styles included a limousine, landaulet, touring, and demi limousine, in addition to the runabout. While Packard was known mostly as a luxury car manufacturer, this one has a twinge of sportiness.

It’s powered by a 5.3-liter inline-four rated at 18 horsepower. The two-seat body is finished in white, with a matching fuel tank, trunk, wheels, and tires. It’s a lot of white. I can’t imagine it was ever this clean back in the day.

Only 802 Packards were produced for 1909, and this is said to be one of a dozen Model 18s known to exist across all model years and body styles. It would’ve cost $3,200 when new and will sell at no reserve for much more next month. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $102,150.

Packard Box Truck

1916 Packard Model E 2.5-Ton C-Cab Box Truck

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 3, 2021

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Packard was one of America’s grandest automobiles around the start of WWI. But they were also producing some pretty heavy-duty commercial vehicles at that time as well. We’ve actually featured a 3-ton variant of the Model E in the past, but this earlier 2.5-ton variant features a C-cab design.

Power is from an 8.6-liter inline-six good for about 60 horsepower. This truck was built in 1916 – the first year for shaft drive after Packard ditched its drive chains. This thing is pretty massive and sports a cool period-style corn starch livery.

Old commercial vehicles are always a treat as their survival rates are dismal at best. This one is coming out of a Packard-focused museum and will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $30,800.

March 2019 Auction Highlights

We’ll start off our March rundown with Historics at Brooklands where the top sale was this 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Coupe by Park Ward that brought $195,961.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

A previously-featured Railton woodie wagon sold here for $36,371. Click here for more results.

We stay in Britain for Brightwells’ Leominster sale where our lone feature car, the Jaguar XJS Monaco, failed to sell. The top seller was this 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS for $75,101. Click here for additional results.

Photo – Brightwells

Onward now to Amelia Island and Bonhams, where we featured a lot of interesting cars. Remarkably, only one of them didn’t sell according to Bonhams’ results: the 1910 Pope-Hartford that was supposed to be offered without reserve. Not sure what’s going on there.

On the open-wheel side of things, Michael Andretti’s CART car sold for $56,000, while Jacky Ickx’s Brabham was our biggest money feature car at $1,105,000. That leads us to the overall top sale, this 1930 Cadillac Series 452 V-16 Fleetwood Roadster for $1,187,500.

Photo – Bonhams

Other $100k+ cars included the 1904 Peerless for $698,000, the Thomas Flyer for $489,000, the Welch tourer for $456,000, the Tincher for $423,000, the 1906 Pope-Toledo for $318,500, the Matheson for $212,800, the Haynes-Apperson for $190,400, the Stevens-Duryea for $173,600, the 1910 Knox for $156,800, the 1904 Pope-Toledo for $134,400, and the three-wheeled Knox for $106,400.

Relative deals consisted of the $62,720 Columbus and the $60,480 Crow-Elkhart. A previously-featured 1904 Knox sold here for $252,000. Final results can be found here.

We also featured quite a few cars from the RM Sotheby’s sale in Amelia Island, including some we featured from past sales like this 1924 Isotta Fraschini, this V-12 Cadillac, this AAR Eagle – all three of which failed to sell. The big-dollar Bugatti failed to find a new home as well. The overall top sale was the 1930 Duesenberg we featured. It sold for $1,650,000. We will award Most Interesting to this wicker-bodied 1911 Napier 15HP Victoria that brought $156,800.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Other classics that found homes included the Delaunay-Belleville for $196,000 and the 1926 Hispano-Suiza for $1,352,500. The Lotus T125 brought $417,500, while previously-featured cars that sold included the Bugatti Sang Noir for $1,500,000 and this Stoddard-Dayton for $190,400. Check our further results here.

Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale saw this 1930 Packard Eight Series 734 Speedster sell for $1,765,000.

Photo – Gooding & Company

Of our feature cars, the OSCA 1600 GT sold for $489,000 and the Kurtis $263,200. A previously-featured Abarth 207/A went for $362,500. Click here for complete results.

1957 Packard Wagon

1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Zurich, Switzerland | June 16, 2018

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

In 1953, Packard was acquired by Studebaker. It was a bid for survival for both marques that ultimately worked out better for Studebaker (but not by much). The last two years of Packard production were 1957 and 1958 and the cars they churned out in these model years were essentially just re-badged Studebakers.

For 1957, the Packard model line consisted of a lone model: the Clipper. Two body styles were offered: a four-door sedan and a four-door wagon. Interestingly, the 1958 model year had twice the offerings.

This six-passenger Country Sedan station wagon was one of just 869 examples built. It’s powered by a 4.7-liter V-8 rated at 275 horsepower. It was restored by a marque specialist and is finished in pretty lilac and white. Imported into Switzerland in 2010, this rare American wagon would be at home in any collection worldwide. It should bring between $55,000-$70,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Ft. Lauderdale 2019, $56,100.

Two-Cylinder Packard

1902 Packard Model G Four-Passenger Surrey

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

If you told me this was being offered straight out of the Harrah Collection, I’d believe you. If you’ve ever wandered through the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, you’d know that the first part of it is full of cars just like this (and if you haven’t, DO IT).

Only 400 Packards were built between the company’s founding in 1899 and the end of 1903. Packard offered two models in 1903: one was the single-cylinder Model F and the other was this, the twin-cylinder Model G. It was the only two-cylinder model Packard ever sold and this is the only one left. That engine is a 6.0-liter flat-twin that makes 24 horsepower. Those are some massive cylinders, at three liters a piece.

The Model G is a massive automobile: it weighed in at over 4,000 pounds – even with aluminium fenders! Only four of these were built and they were fabulously expensive, with one reputedly going to a Rockefeller. This one has been in this collection for over seven decades and was damaged in a fire some years ago. The body was exactingly rebuilt and, as they say, it “ran when parked.” This piece of Packard history – one of the oldest Packards in private hands – should bring between $250,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $423,500.

September 2017 Auction Highlights

We’re going to start (for the second recap in a row) with a sale from Worldwide Auctioneers. The Cadillac “Die Valkyrie” was sold for an undisclosed amount (which is kind of lame). The top (reported) sale was $539,000 for this 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet B.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

A previously-featured Stoddard-Dayton sold here as well, bringing $118,800. Now let’s talk about this sale. The Auburn sales are usually a buyer’s paradise. In fact, this year was the closest I’ve yet come to registering as a bidder and attempting to buy a car. I had my eye on this 1921 Packard Single Six Sedan.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

It had a pre-sale estimate of, I think, $20,000-$30,000 or something in that ballpark. I had a gut feeling that it would go low, as it was selling at no reserve. With buyer’s premium, I was willing to pay $15,000. The final bid? $14,850. Instead of being there, I was in the hospital, having a child. I’d say I did just fine on the weekend. Other cars will come along. Oh, you can check out more results here.

The other Auburn sale for September was that of Auctions America. The top two sales were both Duesenbergs that we featured. The SJ Sweep Panel Phaeton was #1, bringing $2,300,000. The other, Fleetwood-bodied Model J, sold for $990,000. A distant-relative of the Duesenbergs was the Buehrig Carriage-Roof Coupe that sold here for $25,850. We award Most Interesting to this 1974 AMC Hornet Hatchback. Seriously? Yes, this was the car from The Man With the Golden Gun that performed one of the greatest car stunts in movie history. It sold for $110,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Photo – Auctions America

Let’s hop to RM Sotheby’s London sale. Two of the cars that sold here have been featured on this site previously. They are this Marlboro Steam car (which sold for about $12,146) and this De Tomaso Nuovo Pantera mockup for about $25,348. The top sale was this 2004 Ferrari Enzo that brought approximately $2,383,042.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Hispano-Suiza K6 failed to sell and complete results can be found here.

Dragone Auctions held a sale in Lime Rock, Connecticut in early September. We featured an early Cadillac that brought $80,940. The top sale was another Caddy, this one a rakish 1931 Cadillac V-16 Convertible Victoria by Lancefield for $577,500. Check out full results here.

Photo – Dragone Auctions

Finally, Bonhams’ second Goodwood sale of the year. We only featured one car from this sale, the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Fastback, and it failed to sell. The top sale, however, was this 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona for $801,151. Check out more results here.

Photo – Bonhams

October 2016 Auction Highlights

We’ll pick up in October where we left off in September: with Bonhams and their Zoute sale in Belgium. The top sale was this 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1600 Speedster that brought $653,361.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Porsche 911R we featured broke the bank, too, bringing $538,062. Complete results can be found here.

Now onto the biggest sale of the month: RM Sotheby’s in Hershey, where one of the Duesenberg‘s we featured came away as the top sale at $2,090,000. The other Duesey, the Prototype Model J, brought $340,000. The Regal was the only no-sale among our feature cars and our Most Interesting award (not to mention well bought) goes to this 1929 Lincoln Model L Five-Passenger Brougham by Brunn that was bought new by gangster Legs Diamond. It sold for $38,500.

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Other well-bought cars included this Oakland Touring for $44,000 and this Pullman Touring for $51,700. The other Pullman brought $66,000 while a previously-featured White Yellowstone Park Bus sold for $88,000. And finally, the Chalmers sold for $71,500 and the Winton $160,000. Full results can be found here.

Mecum’s Chicago sale ended on October 8th and this 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback was the top sale at $245,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

The Reo The Fifth Touring car we featured failed to sell, having been bid to only $9,000. Click here for complete results.

Artcurial liquidated a collection in France that featured a variety of American vehicles, where the top seller was this 1932 Packard Deluxe Eight Model 904 Convertible Victoria in the style of Rollston for $58,696.

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Matford we featured brought $20,010 and the Meteor $8,004. Click here for more results.

Silverstone Auctions held an all-Porsche sale in October and this 1972 911 S 2.4 Coupe was the top sale at $243,925. Click here for complete results.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

1911 Packard Limousine

1911 Packard Model 30 Limousine

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Model 30 Packard was new for 1907 and lasted through 1912. It was their stalwart and most popular model. This particular car is listed as a “UEFR” – which likely means it was a 1912 model – but production of the UE series Model 30s actually began in the summer of 1911. Make of that what you will.

It is powered by a 7.1-liter straight-four putting out about 60 horsepower. Eight body styles were offered for 1911 and this open-drive Limousine was among the most expensive, costing its owner approximately $5,450 when new. This car was sold new to a lady in New Orleans where it remained until 1947.

In 1947 the car was in the possession of the chauffeur of the original owner and he traded the machine to a 19-year-old college student for a bottle of whiskey. Yeah. Good luck making that deal today. That 19-year-old, exhibiting a case of “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” drove the car back to Houston from the French Quarter. It’s been in Texas since and has never been restored but has been used gently over the years. It’s an amazing survivor. Only 1,250 “UE” Model 30s were built and the Limousine is rare. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $137,500.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Hershey 2018, $71,500.

Hidden Treasure

I was recently invited into an old garage that the new owner has been cleaning up for some time. The story is a couple of guys bought it in the late 1950s and began just piling old cars (sometimes in pieces) in a two-level garage near Cincinnati. It was one of many properties they had. When the owner of this place passed, a car guy from a new generation bought it and everything in it. He’s been clearing it out, selling some stuff but keeping the interesting bits.

The former owner once worked at a Packard dealership and when it closed he ended up with the leftover stock. One of the most interesting finds in the basement of the garage were these NOS Packard bits:

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The boxes might look worn, but this stuff was never used.

There were shelves and shelves of parts including even more Packard parts that may have been 60+ years old but had never been used:

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This was one of a few shelves of newly organized parts

There was actually an entire pre-war Lincoln chassis hanging from the ceiling and a bunch of Lincoln parts in the basement:

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That’s a big Lincoln chassis… strapped to the ceiling. There’s some nice Pierce-Arrow fenders and doors up there too.

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Pictured: pre-war Lincoln. Some assembly required.

There was an old box in the basement full of papers and some digging returned cool finds:

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Checks going back to the late 1920s. This one is from 1932.

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A small advertisement on the back of an order sheet for radiator repairs in the 1930s.

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This thick leather-bound book featured some Pontiac sales literature that appeared to be from around 1940.

What’s fascinating about this sort of place is that they are becoming harder and harder to find. It’s not often you unearth a treasure trove of old car stuff. And even though this one has been cleaned and straightened, it’s still really interesting.

And check this out, hanging on the wall is the body (body number attached) from a Maxwell. The Selden tag is still affixed, dating it to pre-1911.

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It doesn’t look like much, but that’s a piece of history.

The new owner is a lucky guy and for those of us that share the interest in the history of the automobile, it’s an interesting place. I was lucky enough to be invited in and I thank him for his hospitality. This just goes to show you never know what is hiding in that nondescript building down the street and that there is hidden treasure all around you. I’m going to try and seek out more. And hopefully someday, someone will rescue that Lincoln chassis and the rest of the parts and get it back on the road.