Featured here is a stunning 1938 Packard Convertible Coupe V-12.

38 packard twelve specs
1938 Packard Twelve Convertible Coupe








Packard Motor Car Company

The Packard Motor Car Company, headquartered in Detroit Michigan, was founded by two brothers and their partner.  James Ward Packard, William Doud Packard and George Weiss. These were the original three partners. The name of the company at first was the Ohio Automobile Company but was soon changed to the Packard Motor Car Company. The partners received an infusion of cash from a wealthy Detroit investor thus the move to Detroit Michigan. The investor was Henry Bourne Joy who today has a busy Detroit road named after him, Joy Road on the city’s west side.

packard 12 photosHow did Packard Motors survive when other luxury carmakers did not? The Packard Motor Car Company was set up with one production line which could produce more than one model of car. This was important. Most automakers couldn’t do that and it saved Packard a lot of money.

The Packard V-12

The Packard Twelve was produced from 1933 to 1939 with over 35,000 examples produced. It is considered by many to be one of the finest automobiles produced by Packard. Most of the Packard production Twelve’s received factory bodies. Only a very small number received custom coachwork by quality coach builders such as LeBaron and Dietrich.

The original Packard Twin Six came on the market for the 1916 model year and it didn’t take long at all to became extremely popular with wealthy motorists. Though the Twin Six was first discontinued in 1922, the moniker was used again for Packard’s new twelve-cylinder engine. The Twin Six name however did not last long because Packard dropped it in favor of the more easily understood “Twelve.” It was an all new step for Packard and the new name helped to emphasize the many styling and engineering refinements found in the new model. While the new Twelve cylinder engine displaced an additional 49 cubic inches (12% more) than the original 1916 Twin Six, the horsepower output was another story. This 12 percent larger engine actually almost doubled HP from 90 to 175.

The Packard Twelve would remain it’s most powerful offering through 1939 when the model was discontinued for good.

Packard Models for 1938

For 1938 Packard produced a V-12, V-8 and the V-6. All came in many styles.

1938 Packard V-12 Convertible Coupe Specifications

The 1938 Packard V-12 engine was an  L-head V12 displacing 473 cubic inches and putting out 175 HP.

Standard gear box is a 3-speed manual.

Beginning in 1937, all large Packards converted to hydraulic drum brakes along with Safe-T-Flex independent front suspension for added safety and a better ride. The SafeTFlex suspension was an unequal upper and lower A arm type with the largest possible lower A arm composed of two different arms bolted together at a ninety-degree angle.

Ford copied the Safe T Flex idea in the sixties and achieved a smoother ride than their competitors. Eventually, just about every automaker copied it.

Wheelbase is 134.5 inches.and overall length is 217.3 inches.

1938 Packard total production was 55,718 vehicles. Out of this number there were 566 V-12’s built. Makes these models pretty rare today.

38 packard 12 convertibleNew car price in 1938 was about $4,400.

See additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below…

1948 Packard Custom Eight

1935 Packard E-12 Coupe

Reference material for this article includes..Packard: A History of the Motor Car and the Company by Beverly Kimes..Packard by Dennis Adler..Collector Cars by the Editors of Consumer Guide.

1938 Packard V-12 Convertible Coupe Collector Values

As we have mentioned above, the 1938 Packard V-12 is a rare automobile. Only 566 were ever built.

38 packard specificationsIn general, the Packard Twelves produced from 1933 to 1939 are considered by many to be the best automobiles Packard ever built.

Asking prices for available.showroom condition models can be found from the $100,000 to over $300,000 range.


(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)