CCCA Annual Meeting, Palm Beach, Florida, 2022, Primary First Place, Senior Badge
AACA Spring Meet, Florida, 2013 Senior First Place
AACA Spring Meet, Florida, 2012 Junior First Place
The Packard V12 is revered among classic car enthusiasts for its combination of advanced engineering, ease of operation, stately design and exceptional build quality. Just 446 Twelves were built for the 1939 model year, Packard’s final entry in the decade’s multi-cylinder competition.
Offered here in rare Convertible Coupe guise, this was Packard’s most sporting body style offered on its Twelve chassis.
While the current CCCA roster lists 38 examples of Packard V12s for 1939, just one of these carries Convertible Coupe coachwork, promising this Packard’s next owner entry into rarefied automotive circles.
While the bulk of Packard V12 production was reserved for more formal closed sedans and limousines, the performance prowess of the Twelve was best realized in its sporting Convertible Coupe configuration. This body style offered the flexibility of open or closed driving pleasure with the option of carrying two additional passengers in its rumble seat. The convertible top folds nearly flat, creating a striking profile when lowered.
This unique Twelve’s cowl tag indicates that it was delivered to Packard Toledo Inc. on November 4, 1938 with an assigned Packard vehicle number of 1239-2006. Marque expert Eugene Cohen of Sarasota, Florida, acquired the car in 2009 from a Tennessee-based enthusiast who had started to disassemble it. Mr. Cohen immediately embarked on a complete restoration. His 30-plus years of experience with other Packard V12s served him well, as he personally completed the engine rebuild.
During restoration this car was completely disassembled. The engine was rebuilt, then the crankshaft’s hard-chromed journals were metalized, chromed and machined to stock specs. Next, aluminum Egge pistons were installed. Like most V12 Packard engines rebuilt to specs and sorted properly, it purrs like a kitten and is so quiet you hardly know it’s running.
Following restoration, the car earned First Place awards in AACA competitions in both 2012 and 2013. Cohen’s exhaustive efforts and driving experiences are detailed in the June 2015 issue of Hemmings Classic Car, where the car is featured on the front cover and appropriately captioned as “V-12 Supremacy.” The cover photo shows the car as it appears today, finished in black paint with a gray top and complemented by dark red leather interior.
Every part and component were restored . . . and all of the hard work paid off. The current owner seized on the opportunity to once again have it evaluated in detail when it was judged in competition at the CCCA’s January 2022 annual meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida, garnering a First Place award and earning senior badge no. 3368.
This striking V12 is truly a dream to drive and to show. Its features include independent front suspension, a rare burled walnut steering wheel and a rumble seat with correct leather arm rests. It is often referred to as a “2/4 passenger” coupe roadster because of the rumble seat.
This Convertible Coupe comes complete with metal side-mount covers fitted with dual rearview mirrors, Packard driving lights, trunk rack, whitewall tires and radio.
The features speak of its power and control, in addition to its elegance:
• powered by a L-head 473.3 cu in V12 engine offering 175 hp
• 3-speed selective synchromesh transmission with floor-mounted gearshift controls
• independent front suspension
• rare burled walnut steering wheel and instrument panel
• rumble seat with correct leather arm rests
While it’s a large, luxurious motorcar, this 1939 Packard corners lightly and drives easily, thanks to the vacuum-assisted hydraulic brakes and clutch.
Unusual for the 1939 model year, this example features the more sporting floor shift.
Because of the torque, this Packard can accelerate from almost a dead stop in high gear. And, even better, the steering is so smooth that you’d think it had power assist.
Packard stopped making the V12 at the conclusion of the 1939 model year, making it the ultimate Packard coupled with the most refined, beautiful body style.
This award-winning example perfectly represents the end of Packard’s senior model offering and, to many, the end of the Classic Era. Presented in show-ready condition, it will serve its new owner equally well on the open road as at a Concours d’Elegance.
The last of the mighty V12 Packards, this rare Model 1707 combines luxury with performance, strength and striking good looks.
Although restored 10 years ago, it is a testament to the last owner that the Packard was kept in such pristine condition that allowed it to win a CCCA award this past January 2022.