The stunning piece of Americana was a five-passenger, two-door bit of ostentatious messaging, and it represented Detroit’s luxury cars at their 1930’s peak. For 1939 the Packard Model 1707 Victoria sent a message that the owner was a man or woman of means intent on showing off their taste for class and luxury.
The 473 ci cast-iron V12 engine produced 175 hp, was fed by a dual Bendix Stromberg downdraft carburetor, featured a three-speed, column-mounted manual transmission with Synchromesh. It also boasted innovative and relatively rare suspension bits such as front longitudinal arms and coil springs, a semi-floating rear axle and four-wheel Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes.
When first on offer, the Victoria convertible finished in gleaming silver sold at a startling (for the time) $5,230 USD. At that point in America, a loaf of bread cost just nine cents and a gallon of gas went for just 10 cents.
So this magnificent vehicle was not for the masses. These cars were fitted with a burled walnut dash, offered a push-button radio and a luggage rack which included a leather traveling case.
These sedans were meant to be exclusive, and nearly all of them were made to order. To convince Packard to build you one, it was necessary to plunk down a sizeable deposit with a dealer. But for your money, you would receive a look into the future with features such as those four-wheel hydraulic brakes to bring the yacht-sized beast to a halt.
But it was the interior of these cars that assured you of your success. This one is decked out in a fabulous trim of red leather and displays a sublime Art Deco dashboard with elegant trim work set in the burled walnut. These cars were so amazing that the steering wheel stands alone as a work of art.
Packard built just 20 of these museum pieces, and the one shown here is number 15 of that run.
All the Packards offered a level of style, materials and craftsmanship that the best of the prewar era could offer, and this Twelve marks the final moments of what would prove to be a watershed moment in automotive history.
You can bid on this beautiful 1939 Packard Twelve 1707 Victoria Convertible during the weekend auction at the Worldwide Auctioneers event being held today in Auburn, Indiana.