1935 PACKARD MODEL 1201 CONVERTIBLE VICTORIA
COACHWORK BY DIETRICH
Engine No. 388346 C
Red with a fawn top, and cream leather interior and trim
Engine: L-head straight eight 320 ci., 130hp at 3,200rpm; Gearbox: three speed manual; Suspension: front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: vacuum assisted drums all around. Adjustable shock absorbers. Left hand drive.
The early 1930s proved to be difficult times for the Packard Motor Car Company. With diminished sales, a smaller buying pool and a significantly depressed American economy, true innovation and change were needed to re-secure the Packard name as the worldwide leader in quality automobiles. In early 1932, Packard guru, Alvin Macauley, named his son Edward as head of the newly created Packard styling division. Within the month, Edward Macauley brought in Alexis de Sakhnoffsky as consulting art director to the company in order to reshape the cars without sacrificing the prestigious design associated with the Packard name.
Many consider Packard's Eights produced between 1935 and 1939 to be the finest automobiles ever produced by Packard Motor Car Company. This Packard offered the exceptional quality of a hand built Senior Car.
In 1935, Packard introduced not only more horsepower, but major improvements in suspension and steering, which made the cars much easier and more comfortable to drive. In these austere times this move protected the company, with immediately successful sales in this first year of over 24,000 units. Alongside them the mainstay Super and Standard Eight models continued to be two of the most popular lines the company offered. They proved a serious competitor for the Cadillac Motor Car Company in the swiftly dwindling luxury car market as one of only a few American automakers that continued to produce quality automobiles.
The Twelth Series Eight saw standardizing of aluminum cylinder heads across the board, with 6.5:1 compression ratio bringing up to 130bhp and 90 mph performance. In line with this the model was given a visually more sporting presence than its predecessor by the 5 degree incline to the radiator shell, and pontoon rear fenders. Packard also continued to attract the finest of coachbuilt bodies to adorn their superb chassis, Dietrich's Convertible Victoria being one such design. Ultimately of the most practical style, offering fully enclosed or motoring it was priced at $3,200 - towards the top end of their pricing. Their use of rear hinged doors, typically only seen on custom Super, Eight and Twelve models, gave the cars an overall impressive look as typified by this example.
Purchased by Harris Laskey in the Mid-1990's, he tastefully executed a complete frame-off restoration, both cosmetically and mechanically. Known for his meticulous eye for details and his special use of exterior colours, Harris chose to emphasize this sleek body in a lush "Lipstick Red". He matched the cream pinstriping to the cream interior and convertible top. All the chrome equally matches the workmanship. It remains complete with period details, such as Bakelite door trims.
Since the completion of this full restoration, this car has been only driven sparingly, and remains in fully restored low mileage.
A new owner of this car will provide many years of enjoyment. Recognized as a Full Classic by the Classic Car Club of America, it is eligible for a wide variety of events, from Concours d'Elegance, to the driving pleasure of Tours. This Packard is an elegant addition to anyone's collection and is truly an excellent opportunity to own one of Packard's finest.