Packard Model F Tonneau
Few early motor cars are as historically significant as the 1903 Packard Model F Rear-Entry Tonneau offered here. While it shared its 12-horsepower single-cylinder, four-stroke engine with the prior Model C, the Model F, which debuted in 1902, clearly marked the shift in automobile designs from the early and frail buggy-type cycle-cars to vehicles recognizable as “true” automobiles.
The Model F was the first Packard with artillery-style spoke wood wheels and introduced a three-speed selective sliding-gear manual transmission, which became an industry standard. For 1903, Packard refined the Model F with a wheelbase increase to 88 inches and a sleek sloping hood, inspired by the contemporary French Renault. Priced from $2,250 for the two-passenger roadster and from $2,500 for the rear tonneau, just 179 Model Fs were sold in 1902 and 1903.
While the Model F was Packard’s most expensive automobile when introduced, it was quite economical to operate. In fact, the Model F achieved remarkably good fuel efficiency, with 27.5 mpg recorded in a 1902 economy trial. Further proof of the Model F’s sound engineering came during the summer of 1903 when “Old Pacific,” driven by Tom Fetch and Marius Krarup, completed a run from San Francisco to New York, a truly remarkable achievement on the virtually non-existent roads of the era!
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2011 at the Hershey Lodge, Hershey, Pennsylvania.
12 bhp, 183.8 cu. in. single-cylinder four-stroke engine, three-speed sliding gear manual transmission, live front and rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and rear-wheel mechanical brakes.
Source: RM Auctions