1948 Packard Custom EightConvertible Victoria
Year of manufacture1948
For its first new postwar models of 1948’s 22nd Series, Packard freshened its 1941-vintage design with a new lower body structure, creating an aerodynamic flowing-fender effect. In a booming postwar market that craved outsized, immensely comfortable automobiles of streamlined design, the new model retailed strongly, with nearly 90,000 Packards going to their first owners in 1948. Nonetheless, there were some great rarities in the ranks, including the costliest Custom Eight Convertible Victoria, which boasted unique front-end sheet metal, an egg-crate grille, and double-bar rocker panel moldings—as well as, more importantly, the most powerful 160-brake horsepower straight-eight under the hood. Only 1,105 Custom Eight Convertible Victorias were produced.
The Convertible Victoria offered here was, according to its original vehicle number tag, delivered by the J.P. Mooney Company of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, on 10 December 1947. Its intervening history is largely unknown, but it eventually made its way to a caretaker in Florida, from which it was acquired by Charles Gillet via his longtime advisor Al Prueitt of Al Prueitt and Sons in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania. Dave Prueitt recalls that the car was one of the few automobiles purchased by Mr. Gillet having already been restored, and that they brought it to a couple of concours over the years; it also received a Preservation Award here at Hershey in 2006.
Still in beautiful order in its rich metallic Agate Blue, the Packard is reported to run and drive strongly, with such optional features as the Electromatic Vacuum Clutch still working properly. It is equipped with a period-correct Edmunds cylinder head and intake manifold, with dual two-barrel carburetors, which Mr. Prueitt notes “does not really make it much faster than stock—but they were already fast, so that is not a bad thing!”
This is one of the most comfortable, lavishly appointed, and most satisfying of all postwar Packards.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf21.