- Dietrich design, CCCA Full Classic®
- Well-appointed and collector-maintained
- Excellent mechanical condition
- Desirable and attractive body style
- A comfortable, drivable open classic with superb eye appeal
Hopes were springing eternal in August of 1933, that gray skies were going to clear; it was time to put on a happy face. Packard, America's premier luxury car maker before America's worst depression, was looking for prosperity to be right around the corner when they introduced their 11th Series of fine automobiles. Their lineup presented the most refined, luxurious, and trendsetting cars of the day. Engineering was above reproach, performance was enviable, styling was unbeatable and only the finest craftsmen were employed to create these legendary automobiles. Packard was confident that their elite clientele would soon be flocking back into their showrooms across the nation wanting the best America had to offer. From the entry level Eights to the sophisticated Twelves, Packard had something for everyone. That is, everyone who had any money left to purchase one of these handsome vehicles. For those who wanted style and performance, the Super Eight line was unbeatable. Starting with the lowest priced 1103 sedan on the 135-inch wheelbase, this was followed by the 1104 Series on the 142-inch chassis which offered 12 catalog models including the Model 767, the handsome Convertible Victoria. For those who were looking for a bit of dash and flair and seeking motoring excitement, the fabulous Victoria Convertible was just what the doctor ordered. Styling at Packard had been penned by Raymond Dietrich while working with the Murray Corporation. Ed Macauley, Packard's Styling Director, also enlisted the talents of Alexis de Sakhnoffsky who contributed his unique sense of form, flow and streamlining, complementing Dietrich's original work. For 1934, the Super Eights exuded quality as well as a combination of luxury, comfort, quiet operation, and on-the-road performance, all which Packard was justifiably famous for. Despite sagging numbers of buyers, the quality was still every bit as near perfection as ever, and you could still ask the man who owned one and get the proudest response of confidence.
Arguably one of the most attractive and sought-after models in the Super Eight line was the Victoria Convertible. With superior craftsmanship, it presents the elegant designs that Dietrich created, and this example is finished in pleasing shades of tan and burgundy and highlighted with brilliant red pinstriping. Each front fender is fitted with the optional enclosed dual side-mounted spare tires which would have tacked on another $65 to the $3,640 base price. Interior space for this beautiful convertible allows comfortable seating for up to four adults on supple fine-grain leather in a pleasing tan color; the integrated rear trunk provides room for enough luggage for a weekend jaunt. For longer excursions, an optional fold-down trunk rack is affixed. Fitted with a proper set of six chrome wire wheels, this lovely Packard rolls on a set of Firestone 7.00 x 17 "High Speed" white sidewall tires. Centered in the dashboard is one of the most attractive collections of instruments, of which all gauges are functioning as originally designed in this example. Showing just over 49,500 miles on the odometer, believed to be from new, it has it all including a "cats-eye" cigar lighter. The data plate shows the car was delivered from Packard's Boston outlet and the plate number indicates this to be a rather early production example. Reports from the consignor are that this car has been in the hands of caring ownership since the 1950s and was treated to a complete restoration in the early 2000s with a subsequent owner freshening this convertible about 10 years ago.
Always well-cared for, today this example presents itself in excellent condition. In a test drive, we were impressed with the ease of starting and the 384-cubic-inch inline Packard eight-cylinder engine roared to life. Shifting was effortless and steering was just as responsive 90 years after its construction as the day it rolled off the assembly floor. Even the vacuum-assisted brakes work quietly and smoothly. The chrome work is showroom quality and those distinctive Packard headlights, accompanied by their miniature counterparts on each fender, let people know this is a car of the highest distinction. Gliding down the road with the Goddess of Speed mascot leading the way, it is approriately fit for both concours level exhibition and touring and will be well received at important car events throughout the nation.