1937 Packard Twelve Convertible Coupe

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1937 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster

175 BHP, 473 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, three-speed selective synchromesh manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, rear live axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, four-wheel vacuum-assisted hydraulic drum brakes.

  • Fitted with its original Packard Vehicle Number plate
  • An impressive and nicely sorted example of Packard’s Twelve-Cylinder Coupe Roadster
  • Accompanied by restoration and service invoices totaling $162,000 from several noted specialists
  • Engine rebuild completed in 2018 by Parker’s Packards

Vehicle No. 1039-236
Motor No. 906255AA

Following the success of the V-12 Twin Six model offering from 1916 to 1923, Packard reintroduced a freshly-engineered Twin Six in 1932. In order to distinguish the significant engineering differences from the earlier Twin Six, the model was known as the Twelve from 1933 onward.

The Packard Twelve of 1937 is highly desired by collectors and driving enthusiasts for its wonderful styling which includes a wonderful combination of stylistic and mechanical advancements. The nicely raked radiator shell is complemented by fenders, headlights, and taillights which have all been nicely streamlined. Additionally, 1937 is the first year that Packard introduced independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes, both of which enhance Packard’s legendary reputation for impressive power and modern driving characteristics.

Mated to the 139 ¼-inch 1507 chassis, the Coupe Roadster was one of Packard’s most successful designs which is highly sought after today. According to research by the late historian Dr. Charles Blackman, perhaps as few as 70 examples of the 1507 Coupe Roadster were built. Today perhaps as few as ten of these magnificent cars remains extant. Importantly, this particular example retains its original factory Vehicle Number plate which verifies it as an authentic example, and as of only the 36th example built.

This car was originally delivered through Wilshire Motors in Los Angeles in February 1937. The Packard did not travel far from its original locale, as it was acquired from an owner in Los Angeles or Ventura County around 1970 by Jim Brucker, Sr. who is known for amassing a collection of several hundreds of cars which he rented to studios for use in film and television shows. At the time the car was stated to have been unrestored and painted gray. Notably, many of the cars in the Brucker Collection were later famously in his MovieWorld – Cars of the Stars Museum.

At the time Mr. Brucker acquired the car, it was rumored to have once belonged to film legend Clarke Gable, a story that has since become part of the car’s folklore. While such tales are now viewed with skepticism, it is a documented fact that Gable had a passion for cars. He was photographed with his Twin Six Coupe Roadster over the years and also owned notable vehicles like the Duesenberg JN and SSJ, a Packard Darrin, Jaguar XK 120, and Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing.

A compelling piece of evidence is a photograph from 1937 showing Clark Gable beside a 1937 Packard Coupe Roadster (on file). Additionally, an article in the May 1938 issue of Screenland magazine features Gable driving a 1937 Twelve Coupe Roadster. The car’s history file includes an original copy of this Screenland issue, adding to the intrigue of its provenance.

The Packard was sold by Mr. Brucker around the late 1970s to Don Koll of Newport Beach who maintained a small collection of cars. After some years with Mr. Koll, around 1994 his collection was acquired by The Imperial Palace Auto Collection in Las Vegas. It remained with the Imperial Palace until 2002, when it was acquired by Mr. Jeff Guss of New Jersey, from whom the current owner acquired it in 2006.

Today, 1039-236 is offered on behalf of the estate of its owner of eighteen years. In his ownership the car judged 100 points at the 2012 CCCA New Hampshire Grand Classic and was awarded senior badge 2849. It was also previously judged at subsequent CCCA events in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Notably, in his care, this Packard received attention from several of the best known Packard specialists on the East Coast, including Chris Charlton’s Classic Car Services; Steve Babinsky’s Automotive Restoration’s, and Parker’s Packards, the latter of whom fully rebuilt the motor in 2018.

This car runs and drives excellently with a smooth exhaust note. In addition to a working radio and heater, all the gauges are functioning properly and directional signals have been added for touring. The maroon paint is starting to show slight mellowing throughout but has an overall pleasing appearance, although we note that slightly different shades of maroon on the rumble seat lid. The body panels are well-aligned and the doors open and close perfectly, the rubber seals throughout are also in good condition, and the chrome is in very good condition. The tan leather interior is also in excellent shape, with nice woodgrain, and the black convertible top is complemented by a matching black boot. The car is also accompanied by a color matched metal trunk that is not currently mounted. Since its mechanical overhaul in 2018 it has only been driven 600 miles indicating careful and consistent usage.

Accompanied with this Packard is a 2 1/2-inch binder of documents representing the owner’s research notes efforts including correspondence with previous owners; the owner’s diary of driving notes and service notes; CCCA judging sheets; and restoration and service invoices through 2018 amounting to over $162,000. I am honored to present such a rare and exceptional Packard and invite your inquiry and inspection.

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This automobile has been sold, thank you for your business!

Listing Type: Automobiles
Year: 1937
Make: Packard
Model: 1507
Body Style: Coupe Roadster
Transmission: 3-Speed Manual
Condition: Older Presentable Restoration
Location: Smithfield, RI 02917
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