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1926 Packard with Interesting Story


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I've been going through old photos and was reminded of the 1926 Packard owned by Jim Messer of Chattanooga. I wonder of the current owner knows the story behind the car.

In 1926 twin brothers in Chattanooga named Scruggs bought a new Packard to take a trip to Florida. Just to be clear on their deal they drew an imaginary line across the top of the car and agreed one owned the front half, the other owned the back half. Since neither of them drove they hired a chauffeur. The chauffeur practiced a few days before the trip and when they were ready to go he went to the filling station to fill up with gas. The two brothers got into a huge squabble as to which one should buy the gas -- the one that owned the fuel tank or the one that owned the engine. The car was returned to the garage where it sat until about 1960. Jim Messer obtained it with less than 200 miles. still wearing its 1926 license tag, still with some of the protective paper over the door panels, presumably with the original gas in the tank from the dealer. The brothers never did get to Florida.

It sounds like a tall tale, but having met the remaining twin I can assure you it's true. I was a teenager at the time and really coveted an air-conditioned 1942 180 limousine that shared the garage along with a half dozen other cars. The entire family was,, well,, eccentric and there are a number of other interesting stories I could tell about them.

As was the practice at the time, Jim totally restored the car; new paint, upholstery and all -- no HPOF class in those days. He drove it 14,000 mile to shows the first year -- not many trailer queens back then, either. He usually cleaned and repainted the underside of the fenders after each trip.


A 1962 photo of the car:


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