1934 Packard 1101 Rollston Town Car – The Vanderbilt Packard
Grace and Cornelius Vanderbilt
The Kingfisher and the General.
She was the Queen of Manhattan Society. Her party budget was legendary. No social event was in style without her gracing its invitation list.
She threw a party every Saturday. An invitation was the ticket to high society.
They were the King and Queen. He was the Vanderbilt who abandoned his fortune for the love of Grace.
She was a ticket to misery. They partied their lives away. The Packard was her transportation to the Opera and no Opera began in earnest without her.
He gave up his wealth for her. His life as an engineer was filled with invention. In fact he had hundreds of patents to his name. He served as a general in WWI and fought in the Mexican War. His was a much heralded life as the wealthiest general in the war. His Son, Cornelius IV was the poorest private.
Their Fifth Avenue Mansion stood next to the Plaza Hotel. They were the children of Newport’s massive mansion, the Breaker’s.
She stood up to the top madams of society. When she upstaged the Mrs. Astor she became the unchallenged Queen of society.
In the end they lived separate lives. He died in a houseboat adjacent to his yacht. She lived to celebrate World War II as society’s queen. Her son picked up the pieces writing a series of biographies of his parents.
They were the last of the great Vanderbilts and this is Grace’s Packard. Purchased new at Park Avenue Packard.
I found this car in 2011 after a 40+ year hiatus in Florida. Some articles were written about the find and published. It was then sold to a NY collector and historian who commissioned Ray Belsito of Webster Massachusetts to rebuild the woodwork the car desperately needed. Ray is a master craftsman with all 20’s and 30’s Classics with woodwork and this car continues to show his talents. The woodwork is now complete and ready for final restoration. The car is complete to my knowledge.
This is the only 1934 Packard Rollston Town Car. Rare with Automotive and American History.
Here’s a great article written by Old Cars Weekly.