1937 Packard 1507 Dietrich Convertible Victoria

Packard debuted its Fifteenth Series models in September 1936, including the 1937 Packard 1507 Dietrich Convertible Victoria. Dealers were delighted, as was the American public, for there was much that was new.
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At the bottom of the line, Packard introduced its first Six since 1928. Selling for as little as $795, it made it possible for more people than ever to realize their dream of someday owning a Packard.
At the top of the line, the Twelve (and Super Eight) sported independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes, both standard features on the One Twenty since 1935.
No matter, the Twelve was sold as an out-and-out luxury car, not for trendy engineering.
Packard boasted in the mid-Thirties that more than 1,000 families had driven Packards for 21 years or more. “Such a record — the greatest testimonial, we believe, ever accorded a fine motor car — could not have been created by salesmanship alone.”
Packard continued the theme in 1937, with an ad in the August issue of Fortune. “Socially — America’s First Motor Car,” read the headline above a painting of a Packard embarking for the International America’s Cup race. “At those sporting events which attract America’s first families, you will see more people who own and drive large Packards than any other fine car. This is a vivid illustration of Packard’s dominance of the fine car field — a dominance which accounts for nearly half of all the large fine cars sold in America today.”
Packard’s 1507 series Twelves rode a long 139-inch wheelbase. Power came from a 473-cubic-inch V-12, which churned out 175 horsepower, fully 25 more than the V-12 from Cadillac. But power wasn’t the point: “There is a deeper significance in the quiet of the Packard Twelve motor than mere solace to your ears. Such quiet is a reflection of standards so precise as to be almost incredible.”
The Packard Twelve seen here went the factory one better, for it’s a Convertible Victoria by Dietrich. Delivered on April 3, 1937, by Eastman Motors, Inc. of Norwalk

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, Connecticut, this Regatta Blue Twelve was restored in 1979. It went on to take a first in class at Pebble Beach that year and has won numerous awards since.
Backing up Packard’s claims, Americans of means snapped up 1,300 Twelves in 1937, a record for the decade and smartly ahead of Cadillac’s output of 474 V-12s. Total output that year hit 122,593 units, Packard’s all-time best.
Truly, if you “asked the man who owned one” in 1937, you too would have chosen a Packard Twelve.

How to Figure Out the Cost of Taxes on Your Car

So, let’s say that you’ve made the decision to ditch the clunker you’re driving and get a new (or new to you) vehicle. You’ve done the math and used the online payment calculators, and you know what you can afford. You’ve got your down payment ready, and you know how to haggle the price down to a number that won’t make your wallet burst into flames.
Oh, but wait! What’s this extra couple of thousand dollars on the final price? In addition to paying for tags and registration, you’ll also have to pay taxes on that new car. And depending on the state and local tax rates where you live

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, it can add a noticeable amount to your purchase price. The taxes can often be folded into your monthly payment, but you definitely don’t want to be surprised by them when it’s time to sign the paperwork.
Tax rates for vehicles can vary widely between states, and even by a few percentage points within a state

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. Sales tax usually starts with a state-wide figure that everyone pays. Some counties or municipalities add their own sales tax to the state tax, making it a little higher in some areas than others. There are also excise taxes on certain vehicles, like “gas guzzler” taxes for passenger cars that fall short of U.S. fuel economy standards. At times, the United States also imposes a “luxury tax” on cars with a higher than average purchase price.
Next, find out which taxes you can rely on paying at the time of purchase and how much these taxes might add to your final bill.

10 Must-have Gadgets for the 2012 Holiday Season

Here’s the good news on the topic of gift giving: Nobody has everything — especially when it comes to technology. That’s why high-tech gadgets can make ideal holiday gifts. Many fall into the category of something a person would love to have but might not need

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, which makes them seem like luxuries. And what makes a better gift than something you really want, but wouldn’t buy yourself?
Gadgets also make ideal gifts because there’s virtually no end to the possibilities. Every year, brand new products or updated models provide different and exciting options. Keep in mind

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, though, that if you’re going to go for the most sought-after gadgets, you might want to shop early. Popular tech items can sell out long before the holidays arrive. To get jump on that shopping competition, though, you first need to know what you’re in the market for. Read on to check out some of the coolest, must-have gadgets of 2012.