Packard Eight Phaeton

In 1936, Packard was notable in the extremes. The medium-priced One-Twenty model line was selling well in its second year of production, with more than 55,000 cars providing needed cash in the Depression-weary market. At the other end of the catalog, the Packard Twelve offered prestige, though its price range of $3,820 to $6,435 held sales below 700 units. Between these extremes, however, lay the bulk of “senior” Packard production, the Eight and Super Eight models. These two series offered a near-identical range of body styles, differing mostly in wheelbase and engines. Since these two series were almost indistinguishable by sight, it is not surprising that the less expensive Eight outsold the Super Eight by a factor of three to one.

The 1936 model year comprised Packard's Fourteenth Series, and the Eight was available in an ambitious 17 body styles on three wheelbases. The largest of these, Series 1402, shared a 139-inch wheelbase with the Super Eight but used a smaller engine. Except for the convertible sedan, all Series 1402 cars seated seven or eight passengers.

The bodies for Packard’s 1936 open cars were built by Murray Corporation of America but wore a “Dietrich” emblem, a legacy from designer Raymond Dietrich, who came to Detroit from LeBaron and had set up his own design house, Dietrich, Inc., in partnership with Murray. Dietrich, Inc. supplied bodies to Lincoln, Franklin, Chrysler and Pierce-Arrow, as well as Packard. When the custom body trade ebbed in the early 1930s, Murray nudged Dietrich out but kept his name and applied it to their prestige models. In 1936, the Phaetons were Packard's only true open cars without side windows, and they were among the last of their kind, although a few were built to special order on the Packard Twelve in 1937.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona and in March of 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

130 bhp, 320 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 139"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright

Gallery: Packard Eight Phaeton