1934 Packard Twelve Model 1106 Sport Coupe by LeBaron. Collection of Robert and Sandra Bahre. Photograph © 2013 Peter Harholdt

1934 Packard Twelve Model 1106 Sport Coupe by LeBaron
Collection of Robert and Sandra Bahre, Alton, NH

The American manufacturer Packard offered discerning consumers the opportunity to buy high quality, large and powerful automobiles. These were often conservative in styling, but this changed with this V-12 powered Model 1106 Sport Coupe of 1934, which, with the exception of its vertical and high-shouldered grille, looks little like other Packards. A close-coupled fastback, this coupe evidences styling cues used by Figoni & Falaschi, Saoutchik, Carrozzeria Touring, and Letourneur & Marchand―coachbuilders that were at the forefront of the design world. Yet, this Packard was built by LeBaron, which despite its French-sounding name was as American as New York, Bridgeport, and Detroit, where the company was variously based.

The new Sport Coupe embodied many design hallmarks attributed to the Art Deco style: a sloping roofline was echoed by the curves of the voluptuous pontoon fenders, while the curved upper shape of the full rear fender skirts matched the contour of the fenders themselves. Continuing the theme, the trunk opening was almost circular. Distinctive almond-shaped motifs were used for the rear quarter windows, backlight, and many smaller details. Other distinctive visual features include the triangular rear quarter interior lamps, bold chrome windshield moldings, curved hood louvers, and the stylized emblems for the fender skirts.

The style of this Packard—streamlined, sleek, and modern—appealed to affluent buyers far more than Chrysler’s more radical Airflow. Yet, this relatively bold car was ideal for someone who wasn’t afraid to be seen and talked about.

Sponsored by: 
Mark Lambert and E. Gray Smith, Jr.
In memory of E. Gray Smith
Nashville’s Packard distributor from 1923 to 1956

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