It’s hard to overstate the influence of Raymond Dietrich. He’s the creative mind behind iconic designs spanning genres and generations, and is responsible for establishing the design language that defined entire brands. After co-founding LeBaron and doing design work for Lincoln, Studebaker, Franklin, Erskine, and Checker Cab, he became the first head of design at Chrysler. Decades after his retirement from the auto business, he was hired by Gibson Guitars in the 1960s to design what would become one of the most iconic and recognizable instruments of all time—the Gibson Firebird. But for many, his custom Packards will remain his signature works, and the 1934 Convertible Twelve Victoria is perhaps the most coveted and respected.
The Twelve was Packard’s flagship—the car positioned to take on the best from Cadillac and Lincoln throughout the depths of the Great Depression. It was named for its engine, which was ideal to power Packard’s top model. It was initially called the Twin Six in honor of the flagship Packard from a decade earlier, but was rebadged the Twelve to confer the image of power and prestige. Dietrich’s design elements take that to the next level—particularly the 1934 model, whose V-shaped grille and long cowl that flows all the way back to the windscreen offer unsurpassed elegance for four very lucky passengers.