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Lot 524: Packard Model 1-25 Twin Six Touring

Grand Palais Sale, Bonhams (7 February 2013)

By 1915 Packard Motor Car Company had firmly established its reputation as the maker of one of the world's finest motorcars. They would continue to develop its products aggressively, often taking substantial risks to do so. Despite the great performance of the Model 30, Packard pushed on with a new six-cylinder car for 1912. The first Packard six would be known initially as just that -- the Six, later taking "the 48" as its name. A magnificent automobile in every respect, it truly was America's Silver Ghost. Today, 48s remain rare and exclusive and are somewhat lesser known than their competitors of the day. The smaller but still nice looking 38 would join the 48 in the following year. Packard, always looking to push things forward, began work on its most ambitious project to date. Under the capable leadership of the brilliant engineer Jesse Vincent, a plan to produce a twelve-cylinder automobile was hatched. Packard would harness their experience gained in building v-type aircraft and marine engines. The challenges of producing such an engine at the time were enormous. If successful, the twelve-cylinder engine would clearly place Packard at the forefront of the world's auto manufacturers. By late 1915, production began on the model christened the "Twin Six." The name brought to mind Packard's six-cylinder experience and success. The resulting engine was a triumph. The smoothness, power, and flexibility were unheard of at the time. Those who were experienced with driving more conventional cars of the era were shocked by the smooth power and free-revving quality of these engines. Enzo Ferrari was so impressed with the smoothness of the Twin Six engine that he used it as inspiration for his own V-12 engines years later. Fitted in a chassis that was an evolution of Packard's previous models, the engine drove through the venerable and smooth shifting three-speed transaxle. Customers had the option of 125 of 135 inch wheelbases, logically corresponding as models 1-25 and 1-35 in their first series. One of Packard's greatest features was its exceptional in-house coachwork. Packard's deep pool of in-house stylists had developed an extensive range of handsome bodywork to adorn their new flagship model. Unlike coachbuilt cars of the period, Packard had the ability to unify the styling of the whole car. A Packard hallmark well into the classic period, the Twin Six was equipped with some of the most finely styled "jewelry" of the day. Every light, bezel, and gauge was carefully designed for this new model. The form of the Packard radiator shell was repeated in the headlights, speedometer, and taillight. This car is listed on the Grundy Packard registry as having a known history that stretches back to the immediate post war period when it was sold by Palace Garage of Sonoma, California. Shortly after this the car would become the property of collector William 'Bill' Harrah of Harrah's Casino fame in Reno, Nevada and would remain with him for two decades to 1973. It subsequently passed through a handful of noted dealers including Tom Crook and would finally leave America to become the property of Roger Scheibe of Rustenberg in South Africa. We believe that it was from this ownership that the car passed to Charles H. Brown. Clearly a car that has been refurbished cosmetically, this does not have the appearance of being a Harrah's rebuild, and is therefore thought to have taken place in more recent times. This has included a repaint in its sky blue scheme which is matched to a dark blue hood, tonneau cover and hood bag. The upholstery is in black leather and also appears to have been renewed some time ago. Most importantly, the car retains many of the hallmark detail features of the marque and model, such as speedometer and clock. Surviving examples of this model in Five Passenger, short wheelbase form are rare, again with an illustrious history under its belt and coming from the stable of a true enthusiast of both Packard and the Twin Six, it is deserving of close attention.

Lot Details
Auction Grand Palais Sale
Bonhams, Paris, France
TypeCar
Lot Number524
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€48000
Hammer Price (inc premium)€55200
Year1916
Condition rating4
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors