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Matt Harwood

1934 Packard Eight Sedan, 95% ORIGINAL!

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Posted (edited)

*SOLD*

Another remarkable survivor in superior condition, this 1934 Packard is only on its third owner. It's also the most heavily documented pre-war car I've ever seen, with complete service records, the original invoice, and all the original accessories such as the license plate frame (as shown in the 1934 Packard Accessories Brochure) and the ultra-rare Packard Handy Kit, which includes stuff like tar remover, body polish, spare light bulbs, and upholstery cleaner. It is known to the Packard 1100 Registry and is widely regarded as the nicest unrestored 1100 in existence.

It wears its original, Packard-applied code F Abington Blue paint, and while it's a bit thin in spots, it still looks decent. Not show quality anymore, but certainly nicer than 80-old-paint should look. There are quite a few amateurishly done touch-ups that could probably be improved upon, or just leave it as-is and enjoy without worries, which is what I would do. There's no rust and no signs of accidents, although I'm guessing the unusual front bumper guards were installed after one too many bumps to those big front fenders, which I believe were repainted many, many years ago. Chrome is quite good, with very minor pitting on the taillight housings and optional "lady with doughnut" hood ornament. Other accessories include dual sidemounts with metal covers. locking mirrors and trim rings on all six wire wheels.

The interior is extremely well-preserved save for some modest wear on the driver's seat. The carpets are a little threadbare, but things like the woodgrained dash and moldings are excellent, and the rear seat area looks practically new. It has been equipped with an optional Startix system, but was disconnected by the current owner for personal preference reasons, not functional ones, and the same is true of the Bijur system, which is complete but capped so it doesn't make a mess on your garage floor. Perhaps most shockingly, the accessory AM radio is complete, as are all the gauges, which are simply gorgeous. It has been fitted with aftermarket turn signals for safety, and all the chrome interior fittings are excellent.

After several years in storage, it has been recently and extensively serviced by David Heinrichs of Heinrichs' Vintage Car Shop, including removing the cylinder head, new gaskets, rebuilt carburetor, new ignition components, and cleaning out the coolant passages. It starts almost instantly and drives beautifully, with typical Packard torque and performance, and never goes above 170 degrees indicated on the gauge. It is equipped with the optional high compression cylinder head on the 320 cubic inch straight-8, and with 4.69 gears it happily cruises at 45-50 MPH. The transmission shifts smoothly with no noises and excellent synchros, the brakes are astoundingly powerful (the adjustable power assist works as it should) and the ride is supple in a way that's hard to describe. It has a great grumbly exhaust note that is totally vintage, and newer Dayton blackwall tires have been fitted which suit it perfectly.

To be honest, if I hadn't purchased my 1929 Cadillac a few years ago, I would be all over this car in a heartbeat and I still haven't ruled out putting it in my own collection somehow. If you've never driven an all-original car, it will open your eyes as to how good these cars really were and how smooth, tight, and well-engineered they feel on the road. A stately Full Classic that represents arguably the best year of Packard design in a very road-worthy package. Thanks for looking!

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Edited by Matt Harwood
SOLD (see edit history)

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What a find! Just when you think there are no well-preserved, unmolested '30s Full Classics left. Wonderful to see such survivors. Anyone can buy a restoration, but g'luck finding another like this. My present and longtime Packard's plenty for me, but anyone looking for a solid '30s example, this looks nice. And it's all the more authentic for having recent blackwalls, a thoughtful touch.

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Wow, a really nice car....you've come up with some gems. And, Matt, I must comment on something that I don't believe has been discussed before....your descriptions are second only to Jordan Playboy fame....your comments are spot on and very entertaining...."and the ride is supple in a way that's hard to describe. It has a great grumbly exhaust note that is totally vintage..." is subtle but oh so entertaining and enticing....

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Thanks for the kind words, guys. This car is actually owned by a fellow forum member, and it's no joke--I really would love to own this one for myself. It drives superbly and has that all-of-a-piece feeling that is hard to duplicate with a restoration, no matter how good. The owner's vision was to get it mechanically fit, but leave the cosmetics as-is, and I'm inclined to agree that this is the right choice with this car. I'm very fond of this one.

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Whats the wheel base on this fine automobile?

Whats the weigh too?

Thank You,

Dale in Indy

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Wheelbase is 129 inches, which I've found is just about the right size for a car you want to drive. Big enough to be impressive (it stands eye to eye with a Ford F150 and is every bit as long), but easy to maneuver through traffic. My '29 Cadillac is 140 inches, and the extra length is quite noticeable in comparison.

I don't know the exact weight, but if I had to guess, I'd say in the neighborhood of 4200-4500 pounds.

The thing that impresses me most about this car? The brakes. They're extremely powerful compared to other cars of the era and as a result, it feels a lot safer on the road. I don't have a prayer of locking up the wheels on my Cadillac, but I suspect that this one would bounce your forehead against the steering wheel if you really stood on the binders. Some of that is surely due to the power assist, but it appears that brake technology got a lot better between 1929 and 1934. Very impressive.

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