1937 Packard Model 115C for sale 101093301
1937 Packard Model 115C
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1937 Packard Model 115C

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Classic Car Overview

To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys Fort Lauderdale event, 29 - 30 March 2019.
$100,000 - $120,000

  • Extremely rare and fascinating Swiss coachbuilt Packard
  • Believed to be one of no more than six built
  • One of two believed extant
  • A well-preserved older restoration that presents beautifully
  • Ready to tour or show

Packard Motor Car Company produced some of the most attractive factory coachwork of any company during the pre-war period. As a result, few Packards received custom bodywork. There are some notable custom bodies out there, but even the famed Dietrich and LeBarons of 1934 were still basically factory-styled cars. Packard preferred to control the looks of their cars, and when they did offer coachwork by other builders, it was often to their own design or selection.

Things were a bit different in Europe. Tax laws and duties made imported cars prohibitively expensive. In certain countries, if the car was imported as a chassis and equipped with European coachwork and accessories, a significant portion of the duty could be avoided. Consequently, a handful of American chassis made it to Europe and received custom coachwork upon arrival. This is the case with the handsome Packard offered here. Swiss coachbuilder Hermann Graber, who had set up his Carrosserie Hermann Graber operation in Wichtrach, near Bern in 1925, possessed considerable and successful experience with body construction for a number of manufacturers, including various American-built chassis by the late 1930s. Graber was, and remains, best known for his coupe and cabriolet designs, as well as his impeccable quality standards during a career that continued uninterrupted until his eventual death in 1970.

This original left-hand-drive 1937 Packard 115C Cabriolet, numbered 115C-1088, is one of as few as an estimated six examples bodied by Graber in Switzerland when new. Only one or two other Graber-bodied Packards are known to have survived. As offered, this exceedingly rare and sporting car continues to present quite well and remains attractive, even considering the age of its restoration, which is believed to have been completed in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The white leather upholstery remains particularly fine, indicative of quality workmanship, and the canvas top is complete, undamaged, and properly equipped with a headliner.

It has been reported that the rare Packard starts easily and seems to drive very well with no known issues, with light handling and good power. It is desirably equipped with a heater/defogger and the original radio. Eligible for Approved Classic status under the Classic Car Club of America by virtue of its custom coachbuilt body by Graber, the 115C has been a great joy to the consignor during his ownership. Fascinating and highly attractive, this rare Packard 115C Cabriolet offers a number of great possibilities for enjoyment by its new owner, both for tours and to show.

To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/fl19.

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