Packard Custom Eight Phaeton
With new styling overseen by famed designer Ray Dietrich, the Seventh Series Packard models debuted on August 29, 1929, sporting lower, sleeker lines and the beautifully flowing front fenders so emblematic of the Classic Era. New headlamps and the repositioning of the cowl lights from the cowl to the front fenders were other notable stylistic changes. While a wide range of custom bodies were available from the finest coachbuilders of the time, most Packards were production cars – well built, luxurious, smooth and very quiet nonetheless. Even these were frighteningly expensive, selling for the price of a very nice house.
Mechanically speaking, 1930 marked the first time Packard did not build its own carburetor, opting instead for an outsourced Detroit Lubricator updraft unit to feed its eight-cylinder engine. A new low gear was added to the three-speed gearbox to create a smooth-starting four-speed. Cooling was improved by a redesigned water pump with dual fan belts, and the slightly sloped grille was fitted with thermostatically controlled shutters. Five more lubrication points were added to the 1930 models, and Packard claimed the standard Bijur lubricator dash control with its “Pull Daily” handle accomplished the work of “43 men with 43 oil cans.”
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.
106 bhp, 385 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front and live rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 140.5"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel