Pebble Beach-winning Packard to be sold by RM
And it will be joined by an Isotta Fraschini originally commissioned by film star Rudolph Valentino, both cars from the Cassini Collection
It's not often a genuine Pebble Beach winner comes up for sale – but RM Sotheby's is to offer the 2013 Best of Show-winning 1934 Packard Twelve along with a class-winning 1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Roadster originally commissioned by Rudolph Valentino.
Both cars are from the collection of Judge Joseph and Margie Cassini, veteran Pebble Beach entrants with multiple previous wins to their names. They'll be offered for sale at the RM Sotheby's auction, which takes place at the Monterey Conference Center, California, on the 24-25 August.
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The 1934 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Convertible Victoria bodied by Dietrich was a popular Best of Show winner at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It features tapered fenders, with full skirts over the rear wheels and streamlined running boards that were installed on only two cars, this and a phaeton.
It's believed to have been part of Packard’s 'Traveling Salon', a group of show cars that toured the USA. At the end of its tour, the car was bought by Ricardo LaCosta II, an attorney and future judge from a well-known Puerto Rican family.
When LaCosta’s passed away, the Packard was sold and was later used as a taxi cab in Puerto Rico, before returning to the US in the early 1960s. It moved on to the collections of two well-known restorers, who began work on the car, but was sold in 2012 to Joseph – himself a New Jersey Superior Court Judge – and Margie Cassini, well-known collectors of many of American and European Full Classics.
The Cassinis have always tended to concentrate on one or two cars at a time, restoring them to top level concours-winning perfection. This was the case with the Packard, which underwent a 14,000 hour restoration at RM Auto Restoration. It retains much of the original Dietrich body hardware with which it was delivered, as well as its original chassis, engine, and firewall tag.
The Packard made its debut at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it won first in class and Best of Show. It has since won Best in Class and Best of Show at the 2016 Concours d’Elegance of America at St John’s, and Best in Class at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in the same year. It's estimated to sell for $4,500,000 to $6,000,000.
'This Dietrich-bodied Packard Twelve is one of the most important and rarest American Classics to ever come up for sale,' says Gord Duff, global head of auctions at RM Sotheby’s. 'The one-off fenders give the car a considerably sportier design, clearly pulling inspiration from the Auburn speedster and French coachbuilding of the period. The quality of the restoration is nothing short of over the top, and with known history from new, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. The Dietrich Twelve is among the most significant American Classics, and quite possibly the world’s best Packard.'
Rudolph Valentino's Isotta Fraschini
RM Sotheby’s will also offer the Cassinis' 1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Roadster by Fleetwood at the Monterey sale. It was originally commissioned by film star Rudolph Valentino, who is said to have been personally involved in the car’s design, which was carried out by LeBaron of New York City, with the body construction handed over to the Fleetwood Metal Body Company, also of New York.
However, Valentino passed suddenly at the age of 31, and never drove the car. Instead, it was completed and debuted at the 1926 New York Auto Salon and then displayed in the window of Isotta Motors, to be admired by Valentino’s mourning fans.
The car was later sold and gifted to American socialite Peggy Hopkins Joyce. It went through several important American collections over the following years before being bought by the Cassinis in 2001, who commissioned RM Auto Restoration to restore it to original condition. It went on to win several awards, including Best of Show at the Meadowbrook, Greenwich, Lehigh, and St Michael’s Concours d’Elegance, the Elegance at Hershey, and of course, Best in Class at Pebble Beach.
It was more recently returned to RM Auto Restoration to be further improved and fitted with a correct pleated interior and a soft top in the original design and material ahead of the 2017 Pebble Beach featured class of Isotta Fraschinis. It was subsequently awarded Best in Class again, a remarkable achievement. It is estimated to fetch $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 at the [RM Sotheby's Monterey sale].
For more information, see the RM Sotheby's website.
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