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August 6, 2015

Die-cast: Automodello 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria

by Mark Savage
This gorgeous dark blue model is the rarer Tribute Edition.

This gorgeous dark blue model is the rarer Tribute Edition from Automodello.

Automodello creates stunning 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible

Packard was a big deal prior to World War II, a player, one of the top makes in this country and recognized overseas for its quality and luxury.

Even in 1934 when the Depression was at full song, Packard was turning out fancy machines for the upper crust and its Twelve, named after its impressive 12-cylinder engines, was top-shelf.

Automodello likes Packards, this being its second Twelve release in the last two years. The former 1:43 model was the 1938 Twelve Victoria convertible, while this is the stately ’34 Twelve Victoria, with body designed by Raymond Dietrich. As with many Automodello models, there are three versions.

The History

Dietrich worked for many car companies over his career, including Lincoln, Studebaker, Franklin and Erskine. He co-founded LeBaron and was Chrysler’s first design director. Side note, he also designed the famous Gibson Firebird guitar in the 1960s.

But the Twelve was Packard’s flagship and took on the heavy hitters of its day, from Cadillac to Lincoln. This model was known for its long, lean hood and V-shaped grille, plus the streamlined reclining angle of its windshield.

The Model:

The main offering here is a brilliant deep red Packard with tan convertible top and a separate tonneau cover to use if you prefer to display it with the top down, an excellent choice. The tonneau fits well and since this comes in a sturdy acrylic case it will remain dust free if displayed that way.

First, Automodello’s designer, Raffi Minasian, nails the beautiful long lean lines of the ’34 Twelve and all the seams and creases for the hood, trunk, doors and the engine cowl louvers look perfect. None of these open on the 1:43 resin model, so gaps are no concern.

Beyond the overall look what grabs you is the delicious detail Automodello includes. The intricate wire wheels with Packard logo on the hubs are stunning set inside the wide white-sidewall tires. The wire wheels show up again in the twin spares inset into the flowing front fenders. But those spares’ covers are delicately styled too with a gold ring around them on the outer and main surfaces, plus a chrome mirror atop each wheel and chrome support extending from the body’s side holding each wheel.

The standard red and tan '34 Packard is elegant and offers fine exterior detail.

The standard red and tan ’34 Packard is elegant and offers fine exterior detail.

The split V-shaped grille features fine photo-etched metal and the door handles and Packard hood ornament not only look to scale, but seem jewel-like.

There’s slim silver trim splitting the hood and separating the split windshield panes, plus delicate wipers and an interior mirror. Less noticeable, but a fine detail, are three silver hinges that would allow the doors to open rearward on the original.

Crisply executed headlights and two external horns frame the handsome grille and dainty turn signals rest atop each fender. Black and chrome running boards would provide easy entry and exit of this large luxury liner, while in back is a luggage rack to enhance trunk space.

Inside the red review car had a tan interior with wood look 3-spoke wheel along with a wood-look dash face and trim around the car’s cockpit. Instrumentation appears authentic in design and placement and doors feature chrome window and door knobs while the floor-mounted shift lever features a chrome shifter ball. Carpet is flocked to scale.

Automodello tells us each model’s paint and trim are polished by hand to give them Concours-quality appearance, plus the automotive quality paint used makes the resin absolutely glisten.

This red standard edition lists at $127.95 and is limited to 299 models while the even more beautiful (in my book) Tribute Edition in dark blue is $149.95, with just 150 made. Automodello also plans a rare black Homage Edition with black top and tan interior for $199.95, with only 24 to be made.

Vital Stats

Car: 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria by Dietrich

Maker: Automodello

Scale: 1/43

Stock No.: AM43-PAC-34D/Tribute Edition

MSRP: $127.95/$149.95 (Tribute)

Link: http://www.diecasm.com

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