<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708

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Lot 14
1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe
Coachwork by LeBaron

Sold for US$ 329,500 inc. premium
1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe
Coachwork by LeBaron

Chassis no. 189776
Engine no. 189708

384.8ci. L-Head Inline 8-Cylinder Engine
Single Packard Carburetor
120bhp - 4-Speed Manual Transmission
Semi-elliptical Leaf Spring Suspension
4-wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes

*Innovative LeBaron coachwork served as design prototype for 1932-'34 production Packard Coupe Roadster
*One of only three known to survive
*Owned for 70 years by the Meyer family in California
*Restored by Packard experts Hill & Vaughn in Los Angeles
*Featured in The Classic Car, by Beverly Rae Kimes


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

In 1931, the Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe by LeBaron represented the pinnacle of the Packard product line. Its inline eight-cylinder engine was the most powerful offered by the company that year, and its semi-custom bodywork by LeBaron gave it an air of style and exclusivity atop its 145-inch wheelbase, the longer of the two factory options for the Model 845. LeBaron's distinctive coachwork features an innovative convertible top that folds flush with the rear deck, a sophisticated feature in an era when convertible tops usually sat atop the rear bodywork, and one especially welcome to occupants of the rear rumble seat.

Of the more than one thousand Deluxe Eights built, fewer than 100 are said to have received custom coachwork; of those, perhaps 50 were bodied by LeBaron as Convertible Coupes. Today, only three are known to survive, of which this car is one. Though rare, the LeBaron Convertible Coupes proved influential. For 1932, Packard would borrow LeBaron's design almost line-for-line to create the production coupe roadster offered through 1934.

Beyond its LeBaron coachwork, the Deluxe Eight is noteworthy for its 384.8 cubic inch engine. Featuring Packard's aluminum side-valve cylinder head (the L-head) and with fuel supplied to a carburetor manufactured for Packard by the Detroit Lubricator company, the engine puts out 120 horsepower at 3,200 rpm. Fuel is delivered by a mechanical fuel pump, which replaced the vacuum tank for the 1931 model year. A four-speed manual transmission delivers power to a live rear axle. The front axle is solid, with semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension at both ends and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. When new, this car commanded in excess of $5,000.

As the Great Depression wore on through the 1930s, even a stately convertible like this Packard LeBaron was forced to abandon its life of leisure for one of manual labor. By the early 1940s, it was being used as a tow-truck at Walter Paine's Chevrolet garage in King City, California, where it was purchased by tomato farmer Leo Meyer. The Packard continued to serve as a tow vehicle until Mr. Meyer began to appreciate its design and decided to retire it from farm duty. He traded the tow crane that had been mounted on its rear to Mr. Paine in exchange for the original body panels, and returned the Packard to its original form as a LeBaron Convertible Coupe.

In 1965, Leo Meyer gave the car he called "the ol' Packard" to his son Robert as a birthday present. Robert kept it in storage for more than a decade before he contacted Los Angeles-area Packard experts Hill & Vaughn, operated by Phil Hill and Ken Vaughn. Hill, of course, had been the 1961 Formula One World Champion, winning the title for Ferrari and becoming the first American to do so. Hill was also a longtime Packard enthusiast, and he was delighted to tell Robert Meyer that "the ol' Packard" was a coachbuilt semi-custom convertible coupe, and a very rare car.

In November 1977, Meyer engaged Hill & Vaughan to perform a 100-point restoration. Upon its completion in May 1980, the car was registered in California as "1931PAC." In 1986, it received a fresh coat of updated Burnt Orange and Russet Brown paint as well as mechanical maintenance, and in 1991 it achieved Senior Premier honors from the Classic Car Club of America (badge number 0951SP). The car was displayed at concours d'elegance throughout the West Coast, winning some 20 consecutive awards including many First in Class and Best in Show honors by 1989, as noted in a letter of that year from Hill & Vaughn. In 1991, it was featured in The Classic Car, authored by noted historian Beverly Rae Kimes for the Classic Car Club of America.

The car remained in California with the Meyer family for seven decades before being sold into a well-known East Coast collection, where it remained for several years before crossing the block at Hershey, Pennsylvania in 2015. The car has been well-maintained during the tenure of its most recent owners, and its condition remains superlative. Offered once again on the West Coast, this sterling semi-custom Packard represents a rare opportunity to own not just one of the most exclusive Eights of its era but also an exemplary restoration by Hill & Vaughn. Though no longer recent, the restoration has stood the test of time, as has the beauty of the LeBaron coachwork.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, this vehicle is titled under the engine number and the vehicle's title will be in transit.
Contacts
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
<b>1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 189776<br />Engine no. 189708
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