Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Brunn & Company
*Please note this vehicle is titled by its engine number.
From the Phil Hill Family CollectionAnnis Van Nuys Schweppe, Los Angeles, CaliforniaThe Phil Hill Family, Santa Monica, California (acquired from the above in 1966)
“Some cars are nothing more than transportation. Others are nice conveyances to have tucked away in the garage. But a few very special automobiles get to be, well, members of the family. Like a well-loved cat or dog. Around our house we’ve had several pets, but the favorites have been a wonderful clumber spaniel called ‘Cholmondely’ (pronounced Chumley), a cat named ‘Enzo’ and a 1938 Packard with a Brunn All-Weather Cabriolet body.” – Phil Hill, Road & Track September 1993
And for the Hill family, “the Brunn” truly was a member of the family. Acquired by Mr. Hill in 1966 from the estate of Annis Van Nuys Schweppe, the daughter of noted Los Angeles developer Isaac Newton Van Nuys, the 1938 Packard Twelve was a largely original car with some 30,000 miles then on the odometer. Though certain cosmetic and mechanical issues needed to be addressed, it was Hill’s rebuild of the engine that was most strenuous. While the labor itself was not intensive, Hill’s deadline was his fast-approaching wedding. By June 1971, the car was complete just in time to accompany the newlyweds on their wedding day.
Hill went on to show the Brunn at concours events where it regularly and handily took home awards. More importantly, the Packard was used to carry his daughter and son, Vanessa and Derek, home from the hospital after their births and chauffeured his other daughter, Jennifer, for her own wedding.
Given the near 50-year ownership and loving care the Brunn has received, the car remains in lovely condition, retaining much originality. Hill always felt that these late Packard Twelves represented the finest of the V-12 and V-16 automobiles from the Classic Era. Furthermore, Hill prized this particular example for its extraordinary custom coachwork. Believed one of just three All-Weather Cabriolets built for the 1938 Twelve, this remains the sole example with the hidden spare wheel.
An elegant Packard Twelve with high-quality coachwork of the period, “the Brunn” remains an icon of an era that attracted Hill and many other enthusiasts some 50 years ago. A September 1993 Road & Track article by Hill characterizes his respect for the Packard Twelve and this particular car. It should also be noted that “the Brunn” retains its black California plates, which it has carried for decades.
Given this Packard’s ideal specification, significant rarity, wonderful condition, and charming history, it is surely one of the more notable classics to come to market in recent memory. This is a rare opportunity to acquire one of the most beloved cars from the Phil Hill Family Collection, one that should not be missed. THE PHIL HILL FAMILY COLLECTION
While Phil Hill needs no introduction amongst car enthusiasts, his automotive passions beyond racing are perhaps less known. Both a collector and a world-class restorer, Phil’s enthusiasm, knowledge, and love of early American cars was nothing short of impressive.
His deep understanding of the workings of an automobile only enhanced Phil’s ability as a driver; and when his racing career ended, it was a natural progression for him to become a leading restorer. Best in Class and Best of Show wins at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance confirm both the correctness and quality of his work.
The Phil Hill collection has remained a benchmark amongst compilations of Brass, Nickel, and Classic Era automobiles, and Gooding & Company is privileged to offer two very significant examples on behalf of the Phil Hill Family Collection. Both Packards offered here boast long-term, caring ownership, and each has a uniquely individual story to tell. This presents a significant opportunity for the true enthusiast.