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gorgeous early 1920s touring car what is it?


md murray

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Packard used two different sizes of Rudge Whitworth wire wheels in the period roughly around 1918 to 1924.   Rudge 80 were used on the small six cylinder model.  It seems just a few of the Twin Six were fitted with Rudge 100.  They were probably a special order item,  and the wheel maker was Buffalo for both. The wheels on the six do not appear to have worn well in general judged by the ones I have seen over the years, compared to those of the same size on Mercer or A model Duesenberg.  The latter have a better fit on the hubs, which likely is because Duesenberg would have made their own hubs.  From the beginning in 1921-2,  Duesenberg could not have used standard issue hubs,.   Rears were totally unlike those for any other car, because the hub and axle were machined from a single steel billet, with a hole bored through from end to end,  probably intended to reduce incidence of broken axles.   Mercer Rudge 80s were made under licence by Standard Roller Bearing.  Probably one of the wealthiest men in Melbourne was Sir MacPherson Robertson,  who bought a considerable number of Packards, possibly more than one at a time.  He was a large scale manufacturer of chocolate bars.  He had a large factory area, all painted white; and I believe the vast majority of his employees were women and girls, for whom exercise commendable care and respect.  He was also a large scale public benefactor, for instance , he had a public secondary school built for girls. MacRobertson Girls High School has been run by the Victorian State  education department , after costs and staffing were said to have been paid initially by Sir MacPherson Robertson himself.   He also paid for Sir John Monash, an architect and engineer, to build a new bridge over the Yarra River in Melbourne.  Monash was the general whose command towards the end of WW1 is generally credited for bringing an end to the slaughter.      I have considerable remains of one of Robertson's Twin Six Packards.  I understand it was stored in a building on one of the family's properties in the Dandenong Ranges.  The Denny family who purchased the remains of the Runabout with Rudge 100 wire wheels told me that a very large tree had fallen across the building and the Packard, and they only saved what was undamaged.  We bought the engine, gearbox, and instruments from the dash.  Years later I was able to buy other important parts from one of the Denny family.  I now have almost enough parts from other sources to construct a car similar to the original ; though the front section of the body , which has the distinctive features seen in that car,  is so rusted that I tell people it looks as though it has been attacked by rats with tungsten carbide teeth.    The engine I have has a 1922 casting date on the crankcase; and above the serial number stamped on the gearbox is the identification  "3-25".   This indicates a third series Twin Six with 125 inch wheelbase.      Decades ago I bought a front axle with Rudge 100 wheels from an old car wrecking yard in Melbourne.  It is from a 1924 Packard 8 with front brakes.   If you refer to page 236 of Ralph Stein's book  "The Great Cars" for his comments on driving Henry Austin Clark's Twin Six,   you will understand why those Packard front brakes will be part of my project.

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The major parts of the Muriwai beach racer were retained and after several ownership changes were restored many years ago by Tom Cloudsley.

 

Sadly Tom is terminally ill but his car will remain with his family who intend to keep it is use.

 

It is a great car, and faster than his 1930 733.

 

This photo was taken before it had a few extra dress up items added.

 

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I wonder if the two cars in the first photo I posted are the two mentioned in this article - even though they were in different parts of the country.

 

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/PBH19201224.2.65?query=Packard&start_date=03-12-1920&end_date=31-12-1920&snippet=true&title=PBH

 

It would seem that the local agent was trying quite hard to promote Packards - even though he was in a relatively small, and relatively remote, town.

 

He tried several makes - including Oldsmobile and Armstrong -Siddeley.

 

Unfortunately the bailiffs were in by June 1922.

 

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/PBH19220609.2.113.3?query=Packard&items_per_page=100&start_date=03-12-1919&end_date=31-12-1922&snippet=true&title=PBH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The initial photo is a late Packard Twin Six 1921-23 Model 3-35 factory-bodied seven passenger touring.  Note the polished nickel-plated radiator shell and drum headlights on forked stanchions which were becoming popular on higher-priced cars in the early 1920's.  The Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels also contribute to a look which gives the immediate impression this could be a Rolls-Royce. 

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5 hours ago, 58L-Y8 said:

The initial photo ...  Note the .. drum headlights on forked stanchions

thank you -Yes the forked stanchions are what threw me. Combined with that right front fender top which looks smooth and totally non-Packard but I guess its just the photo-looking more closely I can see the familiar Packard form in the rear fender.

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Ivan, I understand MacPherson Robertson had two twin-sixes. A roadster -- I think that's your one --, and a California Hardtop. There is also this tourer, so he may have had three. I read that sometime in the 20's he visited the Packard factory. Also, a newspaper photo of a line up of MacPherson Robertson's Packards.

 

 

 

 

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MR.jpg

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