1938 Packard Twelve
Year of manufacture1938
Annis Van Nuys Schweppe, Los Angeles, California
Phil Hill and Family, Santa Monica, California (acquired from the estate of the above in 1966)
Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2014)
, Fall 1972, pp. 32–34
, September 1993, pp. 94–100
, Winter 2015, pp. 34–43
Arizona Concours d’Elegance, Phoenix, Arizona, January 2015
All-Packard Concours d’Elegance, Orange, California, February 2015 (Most Elegant Prewar)
The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, Carmel, California, August 2015
Exhibiting a custom body elegantly styled by coachbuilder Brunn & Company, this 1938 Packard Twelve Model 1608 All-Weather Cabriolet has a history that is as significant as its styling is timeless.
Automotive legend Phil Hill purchased this very rare All-Weather Cabriolet from the estate of Annis Van Nuys Schweppe in late 1966. After Hill overhauled the engine in 1968, he began a complete restoration of the car in August 1970.
The restoration finished in June 1971, on the day before he and his bride Alma would be chauffeured in the car to their wedding. Owned for nearly 50 years by the Hill family, it was driven on countless family occasions and was enjoyed by worldwide racing icons. Hill drove five-time Formula 1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio around Los Angeles in “the Brunn,” and Dan Gurney tested the powerful V-12 as he drove through the Santa Monica Mountains with Hill and guests as passengers. Accompanying the sale of Packard is a 1975 letter from the coachbuilder’s son, Herman C. Brunn, to Hill, stating, “We were all thrilled to see that it looks just as good as the day it rolled out of our shop.” Mr. Brunn also remarked about the extreme rarity of this Packard’s hidden spare wheel feature, which he thought made for a sleek, clean silhouette.
The current owner purchased the Packard Twelve in 2014 and showed it at many concours events. The consignor then entrusted the car to renowned Packard expert Robert Escalante at Custom Auto Service in Santa Ana, California, for refreshing to peak condition, and it was given a mechanical inspection and tune-up, as needed. The work by Custom Auto Service included a new aluminum timing cover, cleaning of the fuel tank, a rebuild of the carburetor and fuel pump, and restoration of the clock and radio. To keep the car in excellent running condition, the owner has enjoyed it regularly on the road.
Included in the sale are publications featuring the Packard, and the original owner’s manual and service manual. The consignor, who is a vintner, has nicknamed this cabriolet the “Pinot Noir Packard” – appropriate in that as the years go by, this historic Packard continues to display its elegance and ages gracefully, like a fine wine. The next owner will undoubtedly relish the opportunity to own an automobile that represents one of the finest examples of the Classic Era and write its next fascinating chapter.