Packard Eight Phaeton
The lingering Great Depression had a tremendous impact on the fine-car manufacturers in North America, brutally reducing sales to a mere fraction of their pre-1930 levels. Nonetheless, Packard continued to make careful improvements each year and managed to maintain its enviable market share.
Packard’s Tenth Series models introduced new X-braced frames, along with driver-adjustable power brakes, downdraft carburetion, automatic chokes and dual-coil ignition. Styling was also updated with new, smartly skirted fenders and a V-shaped radiator shell borrowed from the 1932 Twin Six. Inside, a new dash and upgraded trim were added. Detail refinements marked the Eleventh Series of 1934, and in short, the Tenth and Eleventh series cars are often considered the ultimate Packards of the Classic Era.
The 1934 Packard Eight Phaeton offered here is impressively original and unmodified. It benefits from the single-family ownership of Packard enthusiasts and was the personal vehicle of Elisabeth Ireland Poe, known as Pansy, who owned the Pebble Hill Plantation near Thomasville, Georgia. Following the death of Mrs. Poe, the Pebble Hill Foundation took over the operation of the estate, with the Packard being displayed there until being offered for sale. While the interior was reupholstered at some point and the electrical system was upgraded to 12-volt operation, the rest of the car remains remarkably original, bearing the wonderfully age-appropriate patina of the past 77 years.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2010 at the Shotwell Gustafson Pavilion at Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, Michigan.
120 bhp, 319-cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 136"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel