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FOR SALE: 1930 Packard 740 Convertible Coupe

Matt Harwood

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The important things to know on this lovely 1930 Packard 740 convertible coupe are 1. it scored 99.25 out of 100 points three weeks ago at a CCCA Grand Classic, achieving its Senior status, and 2. it's owned by a good friend of mine who is a craftsman of the highest order. He purchased this car 18 years ago in boxes, an aborted restoration started by someone who quickly found himself over his head. Over the next 15 years, he gave the car a comprehensive restoration to the very highest standards working extra hard to get everything right. It is one of very, very few cars of any kind at any level where everything works as the factory intended, ranging from the pre-oiling system that diverts oil to the cylinder walls when you pull out the choke to the gas gauge to every single switch, light, and knob. Only the odometer doesn't work, and it only stopped a few days ago so we're investigating that. The .75 point deduction a few weeks ago came because he forgot how to turn on the back-up light (the headlights have to be on), so they marked it as INOP, although it works properly.

The two-tone blue paint combination is the car's original color scheme, discovered as the car was being disassembled on pieces of the shock absorbers and under the rumble seat lid, and the colors were duplicated as exactly as possible. This car appears to be one of the rare cars that really did have a color-matched undercarriage from the factory, but my friend chose to paint it basic black during the restoration, as he felt that the body-colored chassis was just too much. Fit and finish are exemplary in every way, from doors that fit with a gentle push to a hood that latches without effort, and the paint has a spectacular shine. I can't find a single flaw on its surface, and I really looked. The running board rubber has never been stepped on, as he has special carpets he uses for climbing in and out and all the chrome is show quality.

The tan leather interior is simply beautiful and expertly stitched by a well-regarded upholstery shop. Matching door panels look right and even little details like the windlace around the windows is wonderfully made. The woodgrained dash is fully restored, the gauges are all completely functional including the fuel gauge and even the clock keeps time. The Bijur lubrication system is complete and operational, although he does not use it--it's empty and once a year he removes all the fittings, screws in a special grease zerk he made, and manually lubricates all the joints, then carefully reinstalls the Bijur piping. Have I mentioned that he's a pretty detail-oriented guy? The blue carpets are unmarked and the tan canvas top fits superbly. He's only put it down once to make sure it works correctly, so there are zero wrinkles or pinch marks anywhere. The rumble seat is also fully upholstered to match and includes details such as a foot rest and a switched light for nighttime convenience (yep, it works!).

Packard's 384 cubic inch straight-8 pulls like a locomotive and starts easily with a little bit of choke. He pointed out that there's low oil pressure when starting because the oil is being diverted to those pre-oilers I mentioned, but once you close the choke, it springs up to a nice, healthy 30 pounds at idle. The engine is immaculately detailed, perhaps over-detailed, what with a polished aluminum crankcase and smoothed and filled head, but it looks superb. Detailing is exact at every level and it still runs a fully functional vacuum tank and Detroit Lubricator carburetor. The transmission is a 3-speed non-synchromesh unit, but it slips through the gears with a quick double-clutch and the brakes are shockingly effective. There's awesome torque at any speed and it seems pretty happy cruising at 45-50 MPH. Lester wide whites on restored disc wheels are a look I (obviously) like a lot.

Simply spectacular in every way, this is a Packard that is ready to compete or tour at any level, and the lovely combination of great colors and sleek bodywork make it one of the most attractive cars of the period. We're asking an entirely reasonable $169,900 and we're always open to offers. Thanks for looking!















Edited by Matt Harwood
SOLD! (see edit history)
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