Synonyms for magnificence from merriam-webster.com:
augustness, brilliance, gloriousness, glory, gorgeousness, grandeur, grandness, majesty, nobility, nobleness, resplendence, resplendency, splendidness, splendiferousness, splendor, stateliness, stupendousness, sublimeness, superbness
Or, one picture can portray magnificence:
From en.wheelsage.org a picture of a 1932 Packard Twin Six Sport Phaeton bodied by Dietrich. The idea for this post came from a book, American Auto Legends, Classic of Style and Design, which is basically a collection of great photographs accompanied by a little bit of text. One of the cars featured in the book is this Packard.
This is not my favorite Packard—that honor belongs to the 1956 Caribbean convertible—but this car is an embodiment of magnificent, in my opinion. This car is also a manifestation of rarity because, if I understand correctly, only two of this particular model were actually built in 1932.
Twin Six means the car was powered by a V-12 engine; only 549 of all Twin Six examples were produced in 1932. In calendar year 1932 the unemployment rate was almost 24 percent! (c.f. The US unemployment rate for July, 2019 was 3.7 percent.) This V-12 had nothing to do with Packard’s original Twin Six engine that was introduced in May, 1915 for the 1916 model year. The historical consensus is that the first Packard V-12 was the first V-12 engine produced although some historians make claims for a company called National. 1932 was the first model year for the new iteration of the Packard V-12; the engine displaced 446 cubic inches and produced 160 HP, quite an output for that time. Cadillac’s V-12 made 135 HP.
The exigencies of modern production and the homogenization of automobiles today mean that we will probably never see the 21st century equivalent of a car like this. As mentioned before, a bill introduced in the US House of Representatives in 2015 was supposed to make it possible for companies to build replicas of cars like this in low volume. I think that bill remains in legislative limbo.
I would never restomod an original version of this car—even I, Mr. Restomod, would think that a sacrilege—but I would love to own a car that looks exactly like this, but with modern underpinnings. I wonder if 3-D printing will, someday, enable the production of such a car.
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