The depression had a tremendous impact on fine car makers in North America, reducing sales to a fraction of what they were in the early 1920s.
So it has long been regarded as ironic that many of the classic cars of the era emerged during this period.
Car maker Packard's response to the depression was to redouble its efforts, and compete with Cadillac and Lincoln head-on.
Among the cars which emerged around this time, the 1934 Packard Super Eight Sport Phaeton is often considered to be the ultimate Senior Packard. It was the last car with the classic swept fender lines before the advent of the streamlined look.
The front ensemble is truly beautiful, with a graceful 'v'-shaped radiator and matching headlights and fender lights. The '34 dash is a jeweled work of art surrounded by rich burled trim. Although many body styles were offered, the rarest and most desirable is the striking dual cowl sport phaeton.
According to the car's registration, this is the 29th example built, and will auction on Friday at RM Auction's Automobiles of Arizona event (Thursday, January 21 to Friday, January 22).
It carries an estimate of $225,000-$300,000.
The car has been extensively and expertly restored. The chassis was completely disassembled to the last nut and bolt, and the frame was sandblasted, primed and painted.
The suspension, brakes and steering components were similarly treated, with new bushings, brake shoes and hardware as needed installed to ensure that the car would be safe once again for road driving.
Its engine and its accessories were also completely disassembled and rebuilt to Packard specifications.
The car is also very well equipped with deluxe equipment (dual side mounted spare wheels with metal covers), chrome trim rings and a comprehensive set of lights, including a striking set of Woodlite brand headlights with matching cowl lamps and twin windshield mounted spotlights.
For many years, collectors have regarded the 1934 as being the epitome of all Packards, with truly exceptional styling combined with the smoothness and sophistication that has come to define the great Depression-era classics.
As automobile restoration costs continue to climb, and it is increasingly difficult to find a superbly restored example offered for sale, this is an extremely rare opportunity indeed for vintage car collectors.