385ci L-head Inline 8-Cylinder Engine
106bhp at 3,200rpm
Single Detroit Lubricator Carburetor
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes
*Exceedingly well-preserved and highly original Packard in the desirable Seventh Series
*Multiple Preservation Class and FIVA Award Winner at major events including Pebble and Amelia
*Just 15,628 miles recorded on the odometer, a figure indeed believed to be actual
*Desirable Dual Cowl Phaeton coachwork designed by legendary designer Ray Dietrich
*Equipped with many desirable optional extras and offered with the beautifully preserved original side curtains
THE SEVENTH-SERIES PACKARD
Like other manufacturers at the top of the market, Packard had been developing ever larger and more luxurious models throughout the 1920s. After the 1929 stock market crash, this meant that Packard was a manufacturer of opulent and expensive models that became increasingly hard to sell as the Depression deepened. In 1930, Packard sold just 28,386 cars, down dramatically from 1929. As sales plummeted, these grand automobiles were seldom seen. They receded into the secret carriage houses of the very rich, making them all the rarer and more desirable today.
In 1923, Packard had moved away from the annual model change adhered to by other manufacturers and introduced the "Series" concept, which did not necessarily follow the calendar year. Some series lasted for close to two years, while others had a "shelf life" of a mere seven months. Packard automobiles manufactured in 1930 are considered part of the Seventh Series. This series is especially attractive to collectors, as it was the last series to use piano spoke wire wheels that provide a true classic look. These lovely wheels were enhanced by a new fender line that ran from the crown of the fender to the running board, creating a single, beautiful, sweeping arc. Today, it is the epitome of classic elegance as it existed shortly before streamlining came to dominate automobile design.
The famous Seventh Series Packards were designed by the famed Ray Dietrich, who had modified the theme of his 1929 645 body styles with a lower, sleeker and more fleet appearance that left the 1920's behind. Born in 1894 in the Bronx, Ray Dietrich was employed by the famous coachbuilder Brewster in 1909, where he met Tom Hibbard. The two left Brewster in 1920 to form LeBaron which quickly became one of the most fashionable coachbuilders of its day. In 1923, Hibbard left for Paris with Howard "Dutch" Darrin to found Hibbard & Darrin, another legendary coachbuilder. In the ensuing years, as LeBaron began making custom bodes for Lincoln and Packard, Dietrich forged close ties in Detroit. The rest, as they say, is history. In the following years, Ray Dietrich used his incredible talent as a designer of fine detail, and his supreme sense of proportion to create what are now regarded as possibly the most exquisitely beautiful American designs of the classic era. While Dietrich worked for a number of Detroit manufacturers, within this exalted group of ultimate automobiles, the so-called Dietrich Packard's reign supreme.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
The prestigious reputation of Packard preceded the cars themselves; a manufacturer known specifically for building automobiles designed to last. Advertising and press brochures at the time of production declared, "Once a Packard - Always a Packard" ... A tagline that seems as if it were made specifically for the FIVA Award winning example offered here. Vehicle No. 185748 is a low mileage car and impressive for the condition of its original surfaces, mechanical function and the overall survivor qualities that it proudly displays to this day. The dual cowl body style it wears has long been regarded by collectors as being the most desirable configuration and is continually sought after by Packard enthusiasts.
Vehicle No. 185748 was delivered 92 years ago, in May of 1930, to Packard Montclair Company, Inc of Montclair, NJ. The known ownership history of the car begins with in both Connecticut and New Jersey (circa 1966). Associated with these early locales in particular is an original luggage suitcase that came in the car's rear mounted trunk-case that is labeled "Summer Dresses - Mrs. Payne". The first known owner of record for this Packard is John Westerfelt of Los Angeles, Ca, who acquired the car in the early 1980's. In 2010, Mr. Westerfelt passed away, leaving the car to a friend of his, a Cadillac collector in the State of Pennsylvania. In 2018, the car made its way to Scott Grundfor Company where a thorough mechanical sorting was performed along with general preservation processes to ensure the protection and future usability of this incredibly original Packard.
Fitted with what appears to be a 740 Dual Cowl Phaeton body, which is identical in size to a 745, it is our belief that this body has been on the car since new, or very close to it, since these vehicles were almost always custom ordered. The still vibrant largely original paint on the dark green body is impressive for its condition. In a stable state with expected patina throughout, the mere presence of the lacquer, single stage paint lends credence to the notion of a car that has led a charmed 90-year life with minimal use. The rear fenders have received a coat of in recent years to repair a light dent, while the front fenders still retain the original paint. It is of course rare for a pre-war car - let alone a model this desirable - to arrive in modern times in truly original and preserved condition, as most of these desirable American Classics have been restored decades ago.
As a compliment to the original paint, the ample chrome throughout the car is in excellent original condition. Of note, and in particularly well-preserved original condition, are the optional front grill that covers the radiator shutters at the front of the car along with the original and less prevalent Adonis (sliding boy) hood ornament. As a detail for Packard buffs, even the original green gem pieces on the headlights remain in place, as are the innovative original Pilot Ray driving lamps that move side to side in concert with the steering.
The interior of this survivor Packard is a fitting match for the other original aspects of the car. The driver's compartment is well preserved with original leather, paint, chrome, gauges and wood. The green leather that lines the doors is original as well, a feature of the car that is so undeniably rare for an open car from this era that it is fairly characterized as unique. Gauges and switches in the cabin function properly and remain in original condition. The rear seating compartment offers further original Packard quality to explore. The floor carpets are original as is the carpeting on the footrest while the original chromed frame of the footrest is in beautiful condition. Preservation repair work has been completed on the rear seat back leather and some areas of the original door panels in order to enhance durability for future use, and to prevent degradation while remaining all original.
The engine compartment of the car is perhaps the most well-kept original area of the car. This includes not only the mechanical components contained within the engine bay, but also the incredibly well-preserved painted surfaces. The black painted firewall and green painted block/head both consist of original paint. The lack of wear throughout the engine bay and the condition of the surfaces within it stand as testament to the 15,628 miles on the odometer, which are believed to be original to the car.
The presence of the original side curtains is particularly rare and is undoubtedly intriguing for the Packard connoisseur. Stored in the side pockets of the car for what appears to have been nearly all of the car's life, the original all-weather side curtains are in working order and still fit the car well, remaining in supple condition. Even rarer than the original side curtain fabric and stitching is the presence of the sown-in original Eisenglass windows, made of a flammable, fragile nitrate material and rarely ever lasts intact in modern times given how quickly it degrades in sunlight.
Vehicle No. 185748 is a multiple concours award winning pre-war preservation car of the most desirable model specs the Seventh Series Packard line had to offer. The rare, still vibrant, original paint is accentuated by the almost unheard of original interior leather, original chrome and the purest of engine compartments; all from an opulent era of Packard design now approaching 100 years in age. Born in the most arduous of times of financial upheaval, this Deluxe Eight Dual Cowl Phaeton is an impossible to ignore surviving example of America's desire to push onward and upward via the grand pursuit of luxury... all in the face of immense challenge. This special preservation Packard received a class award at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2021 and in March of 2022 it was given the FIVA award at the Amelia Island Concours for Best Preservation Vehicle of the entire show. With the car collecting hobby more and more focused on the true original and preserved cars, this offering of this desirable Seventh Series 'time capsule' Packard is a rare opportunity not to be missed.