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1939 Packard Twelve conv. sedan for sale on BaT


27stutz
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There's a 1939 Packard Twelve currently for sale (auction) online on Bring a Trailer. Car doesn't belong to me or anyone I know, but since BaT is very much comment-based, the comments section could use some expertise from the likes of the CCCA members who frequent this forum - the BaT community is mostly sports car guys. Link to the online auction:

 

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1939-packard-1708-twelve-convertible/

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Great driving car if you like them big.  In 1939 only 20 such convertible sedans were built, and if I remember correctly 12 or 13 of them exist.  Huge blind spot in rear quarters when top is up.  At least one owner when new wanted little removable windows in the side of the top rear quarters, so she could see out of the back seat when being driven around.

 

Should bring over 100K pretty easy, looks like a great driver if one is looking for such.

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I drove a 39 last year and I agree with Dave's comments.   I prefer 38 for the floor shift, but some people like the column because you can stuff another person in the middle of the seat.

 

This car needs the white walls thrown in the trash along with the hood ornament,  otherwise a nice car.

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50 minutes ago, alsancle said:

And the trippe lights!   What is with people ruining their cars with crap hanging off them.

You forgot the bumper guard!  These have a nice looking front end except when cluttered like that.  The hood ornament just looks silly on this car.

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

And the trunk!   Throw that in the trash too.   The two tone looks pretty good.    These are smooth powerful cars.   I'm thinking it is a 125k car in today's market.

 

 

I'm not(125k)........look at the paint and upholstery. I know of other similar cars for sale at the number the car is currently at........70's. If it goes six figures, then BAT is the new place to sell cars to people who are not following the market.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I missed the fact that paint is weak.  Already in the 70s though, so getting closer to 100 is possible.  I agree lots of things to clean up on this car, from gewgaws to too much chrome.

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4 minutes ago, Cadillac Fan said:

Chromed radiator cover and headlights: 🤮

 

 

Popular, and almost a requirement in India. While it is certain you could order one that way, not too many people in the US did.

 

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If the shell, headlamps were painted, the front bumper guard removed along with the trunk at the rear and the glass mascot , the Trippe lights could almost be tolerable.

I agree to many accessories do not make a car look well and detract from the lines that the stylists /designers intended.

My own 1930 Packard touring has a pair of driving lights up front that were in the accessory catalog for 1930 that I found and used instead of the trippe lights that were on the car when I bought it. I put the Saf-De-lites on because I wanted something there to use to wire up for directional signals. Modern drivers don't pay attention to directional signals , so hand signals are totally unknown to them .  After decades of  hand signals not being paid attention to that I used, it got to the point I would give them another hand signal but that was deemed obscene. At the rear of my car I made small brackets and mounted them to the bumper guard and on top of those have cowl lights that I use as directional signals in the back.  The parking lights on the top of the fenders up front don't work well for directional signals - to small for modern drivers to realize they are there.

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15 minutes ago, Cadillac Fan said:


 

Because it ruins the look of the car.  🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

 

 

Yes, you are 100 percent correct. The circus wagon look was never in style for great cars...........

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1 hour ago, Walt G said:

If the shell, headlamps were painted, the front bumper guard removed along with the trunk at the rear and the glass mascot , the Trippe lights could almost be tolerable.

I agree to many accessories do not make a car look well and detract from the lines that the stylists /designers intended.

My own 1930 Packard touring has a pair of driving lights up front that were in the accessory catalog for 1930 that I found and used instead of the trippe lights that were on the car when I bought it. I put the Saf-De-lites on because I wanted something there to use to wire up for directional signals. Modern drivers don't pay attention to directional signals , so hand signals are totally unknown to them .  After decades of  hand signals not being paid attention to that I used, it got to the point I would give them another hand signal but that was deemed obscene. At the rear of my car I made small brackets and mounted them to the bumper guard and on top of those have cowl lights that I use as directional signals in the back.  The parking lights on the top of the fenders up front don't work well for directional signals - to small for modern drivers to realize they are there.

 

 

We no longer bother with turn signals on our pre war cars........just like Walt said.........general public is too stupid to understand a flashing parking or driving light. Hell, in Florida no one uses turn signals on modern cars. 

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A question for the Packard experts here.   My area of old car knowledge is the 1929-30 Studebaker Presidents.   On a 1929 vintage open Studebaker the floors had fitted rubber mats.  Not carpets.  I noticed that this open Packard has a carpet covering on the front floor instead of rubber.   By 1939, did Packard’s high end cars use carpet on the front floors in open cars instead of rubber?   

Edited by Mark Huston (see edit history)
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I owned this car in 2003/2004. A great car although poorly presented by the current seller. I sold it to a fellow in the DC area who threw away the original green leather upholstery (it was in fine condition) to put in the brown. Then it was sold to someone in New Zealand. Everything everyone is complaining about (bumper guards, Lalique hood ornament, wrong whitewalls, trunk rack and trunk, Trippe lights and even the steering wheel) was added by one or both of those two owners that came after me. It came back to the States and sold at Gooding Scottsdale 2019 to one of the high profile dealers in Missouri who fabricated out of thin air the story that it was originally owned by Chicago Tribune owner McCormick (it wasn't - I have full ownership history), doubled the price and, I assume, sold it to the current owner. I will find some photos to post from my ownership...

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3 hours ago, 27stutz said:

I owned this car in 2003/2004. A great car although poorly presented by the current seller. I sold it to a fellow in the DC area who threw away the original green leather upholstery (it was in fine condition) to put in the brown. Then it was sold to someone in New Zealand. Everything everyone is complaining about (bumper guards, Lalique hood ornament, wrong whitewalls, trunk rack and trunk, Trippe lights and even the steering wheel) was added by one or both of those two owners that came after me. It came back to the States and sold at Gooding Scottsdale 2019 to one of the high profile dealers in Missouri who fabricated out of thin air the story that it was originally owned by Chicago Tribune owner McCormick (it wasn't - I have full ownership history), doubled the price and, I assume, sold it to the current owner. I will find some photos to post from my ownership...

 

 

The best fiction being written today can not be found in Barnes & Noble. You find it in auction descriptions and used car advertisements. 🤭

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Wow! What a beauty. This must hurt a bit....but at least most can be re-corrected. BTW shouldn't we have an unwritten rule that Lalique only goes on a Bugatti, IF, HS or something French?

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1 hour ago, prewarnut said:

Wow! What a beauty. This must hurt a bit....but at least most can be re-corrected. BTW shouldn't we have an unwritten rule that Lalique only goes on a Bugatti, IF, HS or something French?

 

There is actually a written rule.   It says that Lalique only goes on the shelf.

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6 hours ago, 27stutz said:

Here are some shots of the car back in 2004, without all the crap added to it.

Very nice! Understated, dignified. I like it! The blackwalls make a big difference as well. A Packard should never scream "Look at me!" especially dating from the harsh financial realities of the 1930's.

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Yes, looks much nicer un-cluttered.  I still have a hard time getting past that entire front grill shell being chromed.  Very off-putting, and that must have cost a fortune, that's a HUGE piece to chrome, and it never was such from the factory.

 

Even though I know someone might say "Well, they'd do anything to sell a car", my guess is that Packard officials might even say no to that adornment.

 

I always got a kick out of the instrument panel, the speedometer on the left and the radio "55-150" or so on the right.  People ask what that dial is, I tell them the high speed speedometer, as over 55 mph the one on the left isn't as accurate.

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4 hours ago, trimacar said:

I still have a hard time getting past that entire front grill shell being chromed.

Reminds me of a story my Dad use to tell of a great uncle who owned a 1930's Chrysler (no idea what model or exact year) Anyway, he worked at a chrome plating facility. He ran everything he possibly could through the process. I have often wondered if that car survived and what head scratching might have occurred.

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Folks insist the chrome shell is not original - but it is. I had photos of this car in the 50s and the shell was chrome. Seems unlikely somebody would have chromed it pre-1955. From what I understand, the chrome shell was always an option and if you look at early thirties Packards many of them have the chrome shell. It was still an option in '39 but by then the aprons or sides or whatever they are called were one piece with the shell, so it was all or nothing for plating. I was slightly horrified when I first saw it but after I discovered it was authentic and I lived with it for a while, I grew to like it...

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In 1939, if you were willing to buy a Packard 12, can you asked them to take it outside and burn it to the ground after you payed for it, they would. I don’t think there is any doubt that extra chrome up front was common on the cars shipped to India...........how common was it in the US? No clue. I can say this to 27 Stutz.........I could never have that look “grow on me”. It sure is a unique styling option. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I believe Dave Mitchell did a lot of work on that car, and I have a vague recollection that he spoke very highly of the car when it came up at some prior auction.

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On 7/26/2021 at 9:41 AM, edinmass said:

 

 

I'm not(125k)........look at the paint and upholstery. I know of other similar cars for sale at the number the car is currently at........70's. If it goes six figures, then BAT is the new place to sell cars to people who are not following the market.

Hi Edinmass.  I am trying to private message you but the website says I have not met the minimum content requirement.  Can someone tell me what that means?  

 

Thank you

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The Missouri dealer's web page for this car, with the McCormick story, is still online.  The description says "With incredible provenance..."  Maybe there should be an unwritten rule that says "incredible provenance" usually means "non-credible provenance."  This is a good reminder that you must always do your own homework on any claim of an unusual feature in a car's history, if the feature is considered part of the car's value.

 

Thanks, 27stutz, for making truth available.  You've made one small corner of the old-car selling world a little better.

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Are the fenders supposed to match the bodywork or not? I read that the body is original paint while the fenders and sidemounts have been repainted. Did the painter screw up or did they just try to make it two-tone but chose colors that don't differentiate themselves very well?

And the chrome nose is jarring.

 

Seller should have taken the $112,000 and run.

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

 

Seller should have taken the $112,000 and run.


 

80 was a take it and run number.

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Is there Packard documentation that you could order the chrome radiator cover/nose as late as 1939? 
 

 

Sounds like it was an obligatory option to export to India. Did the factory chrome these export cars or would the dealer that ordered the car, on their own, chrome the nose?

 

 

 

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