<b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021
Lot 25
1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria
Coachwork by Maurice Proux
Sold for US$ 308,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
From the Collection of T.J. Day
<b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021 <b>1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria</b><br /> Chassis no. 179019/179021
1930 Packard Deluxe Eight 745 Convertible Victoria
Coachwork by Maurice Proux

Chassis no. 179019/179021

106 horsepower
385 cubic inch Inline 8-Cylinder Engine
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes
Live Axle Suspension with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
145½ inch wheelbase

*Optional Pilot Ray Headlamps
*Restored to Concours Quality
*French built coachwork by Proux


THE PACKARD DELUXE EIGHT

Packard was not bound by the conventions in the auto industry. It, with great justification, set its own standards both in its automobiles and in the way it presented them.

Packard didn't have model years, that was for the mass market manufacturers hoping to entice car owners to trade up for the newest, if little different, models to keep production lines running. Packard presented its cars in Series, not model years. It created the impression that Packard made changes to its prestigious automobiles only when Packard thought they were important enough to be warranted.

By the late Twenties, however, Packard was making annual changes. They were still presented as new Packard series but they came annually. It did preserve the illusion, however, by choosing its own introduction dates, usually in summer. That had the advantage of giving the new Packard series a period without competition from other marques' new models. In 1929 for the introduction of the Seventh Series it had one further advantage. The August 20 formal introduction gave Packard's Seventh Series models two months more time in the market before the stock market crashed in October and the new car market, even for luxury cars like Packards, began its Depression plunge.

Packard's Seventh Series comprised four models, the 726 Standard Eight offered only with factory sedan coachwork, the 733 Standard Eight on a longer 134 ½ inch wheelbase with a variety of catalog coachwork, the 740 Custom Eight had a 140 ½ inch wheelbase and the 745 Deluxe Eight topped the line with 145 ½ inches between the axle centerlines. The 740 and 745 had 385 cubic inch 106hp inline eight-cylinder engine and now had a 4-speed transmission with an extra-low first gear. It was particularly useful when caught in the morning rush to Wall Street or in evening traffic on the way to the opera or a popular soirée.

Eleven catalog bodies were offered on the 733, 740 and 745 models, all designed by Raymond Dietrich and built in Packard's own coachworks which turned out coachwork equal to or better than that of the prestige custom coachbuilders. A further offering of fifteen catalog customs were offered in the 745C Individual Custom line from LeBaron, Brewster, Rollston and Dietrich. Curiously, the standard 745's extra five inches of length was added to the hood, with the engines moved back five inches to preserve a common driveline with the 740. Packard built just under 1,000 Seventh Series Deluxe Eight 745 chassis.

It was an embarrassment of choice to which Packard in September added another model, Col. Jesse Vincent's 734 Speedster with a high performance engine making 125 horsepower, 140 horsepower with a 6:1 high compression cylinder head. Only 112 Speedsters are believed to have been built, but some of their engine upgrades were carried over to the Eighth Series.

Curiously, among the plethora of bodies offered by Packard there was no Convertible Victoria. This attractive, practical and discrete style combined seating for four with the full weather protection of rollup windows, a thick padded top folding top usually with three positions and blind quarters for privacy.

A client in France apparently recognized this oversight and determined to have what Packard had overlooked, turning to Maurice Proux whose carrosserie was in Courbevoie, Paris.
Proux was prolific, but during only a short period, appearing with some fanfare at the 1929 Parc des Princes Concours d'Elegance with a rather astounding seventeen well-received creations on prestige chassis including a 20CV Panhard with faux Cabriolet coachwork which won 1st Prize in its category, another Panhard with four-door sedan body and an Hispano-Suiza H6B. Where he had been before is unknown but from the quality of chassis with which he was entrusted, and the quality of the coachwork created in his atelier, it is apparent he was highly regarded and trusted when he set up shop. In 1930 a French journal of coachwork, l'equipment automobile, commented "Maurice Proux, to all appearances at the top of his profession, has lofty and correct ideas about form."

After 1932, Proux's ambitious undertaking disappears, probably a casualty of the Depression.
Based on an early Packard 745 chassis with its characteristic extended radiator fan shaft the Proux-bodied Convertible Victoria is conservative while still being elegant and distinctive. Elements of Packard coachwork from a Packard Club Sedan were incorporated in the passenger compartment but with all new steel panels. The firewall tag's number, 179021, is different from the frame's number, 179019 and Proux may have used the Club Sedan's firewall tag. A luggage trunk nestles between the rear fenders, magnificently extended by dual rear-mounted spare wheels and tires, accentuating the length of the 745 chassis and conferring a decidedly Continental look to the coachwork.

Proux created new fenders with a pronounced beaded edge that emerges from the peak of the front fenders, follows the sweep of the fender before disappearing again before the fender joins the running boards. A similar bead is applied to the rear fenders. The cowl and hood also are the work of the Proux carrosserie with the accent along the top of the body carefully shaped and not carrying the then-characteristic Packard "downtick" motif at the radiator join. The body line runs straight through from the radiator break to the back of the passenger compartment but Proux gave the doors a pronounced bottom curve in formal carriage style.

The interior appointments are entirely the creation of the Proux carrosserie including the window mechanism with exposed gear teeth on the window edges. Proux utilized the stock Packard dash and instruments but trimmed the interior is hand-finished walnut and burl beautifully outlined in a thin line of contrasting lighter wood.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Maurice Proux's Packard 745 Convertible Victoria creates an impression that is surprisingly conservative for the period, but also elegant and distinctive, appropriate to former owner Frank Miller, Jr.'s belief that it was built for a concours d'elegance in Cannes. Miller believed it was then purchased by the French ambassador to Argentina where it remained until the 1980's when it was purchased, sight unseen, by the Millers who brought it to the States and entrusted it to Packard expert and World Championship driver Phil Hill's Hill & Vaughn for a complete restoration. It took four years but when completed it was displayed at the 1984 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it was judged First in its Class and awarded the prestigious Most Elegant Open Car. Later awards included first in class at the 1986 Classic Car Club of America Grand Classic.

It was featured as Editor Dennis Adler's Collector Car of the Month in the December 1986 issue of Car Collector Magazine and in J.M. Fenster's 2005 Automobile Quarterly book "Packard The Pride".
Then in the late 90's it was acquired by T.J. Day for whom a comprehensive new restoration was immediately undertaken to bring it to 100-point condition. Completed in 2000, it has a new livery with Indian Yellow body sides and Siena fenders and hood top that highlights many of the subtle details of the coachwork. The luggage trunk is covered in complementary Umber while the cloth top and covers for the spare tires are a light Ochre. The interior is upholstered and trimmed in Beige leather with matching carpets. All Maurice Proux's intricate interior woodwork is highly polished and mirror finished. Gauges are bright and crisp and the exterior chrome is brilliant.
Equipment includes a Packard Adonis mascot atop the triangular radiator cap that was unique in 1930 to the Packard 745 and 743, basket weave chrome radiator stoneguard, Pilot-Ray lights and chrome wire wheels. Proux retained the Packard headlights with their crest in the shape of the top of the Packard radiator and a single Packard combination taillight that displays the same radiator top motif. Chrome wire wheels frame the Indian Yellow brake drums and are themselves set off by subtle blackwall tires that don't distract from appreciation of the body's lines.

T.J. Day was justifiably proud of this Packard and showed it on several occasions. Pictured with it on the show field his pride is reflected in his beaming face and his recognition that, as J.M. Fenster observed in "Packard The Pride", "The Packard convertible Victoria is typical of Proux in its stubborn refusal to rely on distractions to correct problems in form." It is a magnificent, meticulously restored, lovingly maintained example that has, in some views, hints of the style of Bugatti's Type 41 Royale in its erect windshield, curved door bottoms and balance of its coachwork's volumes.

A rare, probably singular, example of Maurice Proux's subtle, volume-sensitive, coachwork on Packard's prestigious, fast and comfortable Seventh Series 745 chassis, it is in excellent condition, ready to bring T.J. Day's satisfaction with it to a new owner.
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