Older restoration recently and extensively freshened. Excellent running example with proven tour history. Full weather equipment including side curtains and trunk. Newer tires, rebuilt engine, ready to tour!
This Packard 833 phaeton was first restored in the 1970s and wore the familiar color combination that was popular at the time: brown, orange, and tan. Workmanship was excellent and for the most part, it was holding up beautifully, but it was starting to look a little dated. Four years ago, the body was partially disassembled and the brown and orange areas were repainted a bright Packard blue, updating the look without requiring a complete tear-down. The reason for that, of course, is because this is a favorite tour car and taking it off the road would have been problematic—it’s just too good at driving. The result is a handsome and very flashy phaeton that demonstrates why Packards are so popular, year after year. You’ll note that the bodywork is quite good, with no signs of rust or botched repairs in the past, and it’s likely that this car has always been clean, straight, and well-maintained. The new blue paint has a great shine and thanks to a simple tan pinstripe that matches the body’s primary color, it has a period-correct appearance without looking over-done. Most of the chrome probably dates to the 1970s restoration, but it’s excellent throughout with very few signs of age.
The interior dates to the 1970s restoration. It’s in good order and the patterns are correct, but the 40-something-year-old leatherette is showing some signs of age. On the other hand, this is a car to drive, not to show, and you want the car you drive to place low demands on the owner—for this purpose, the interior is just right. Slide in and don’t worry about scuffing expensive fresh leather. Driving in less than ideal weather? Don’t sweat it, a little water won’t hurt it. Have passengers? You won’t ever worry that they’re going to hurt something that needs protecting. The low-demand way this car goes about its business is quite liberating. Custom switch panels were added under the dash for turn signals (on the left) and presumably the spotlight (on the right) which is not currently wired. Rear seat passengers enjoy capricious legroom thanks to the massive 133-inch wheelbase and such niceties as a robe rail, foot rest, and storage compartment built into the back of the front seat. Overhead there’s a neatly fitted tan canvas top that folds into a neat bundle and looks quite sporting, especially if you fold the windshield flat as well. This car also includes a full set of side curtains for all weather touring and the factory top saddles are removable to keep the flanks clean when the top is up.
The 833 carried Packard’s legendary 320 cubic inch straight-8, which was rated at an easy 100 horsepower in the 8th Series. But the horsepower isn’t the story—as with most Packards, it’s all about the torque. That 9-main-bearing straight-8 pulls like an electric motor with about the same amount of noise and vibration. It’s silent and smooth. It was rebuilt some years ago and carefully maintained ever since, and has proven itself as a reliable tour car. There’s been recent work and detailing, so it wears correct Packard Green engine enamel on the block atop a beautiful aluminum crankcase, new stainless hardware, plus a Stromberg updraft carburetor, correct distributor, and a fuel pump which was new in the 8th Series. The modern air filter and bright red spark plug wires aren’t quite authentic, but given how well it runs we’re hesitant to change anything. The cooling system does its job and this Packard runs cool even on the hottest days and the generator keeps the battery topped up with ease.
The 4-speed manual transmission shifts cleanly, although it takes some practice to master the clutch, and with 4.09 gears out back, it’s a reasonable 50 MPH cruiser. Brakes were still mechanical, of course, but they’re effective. Steering is heavy at a standstill but feather light at speed, and combined with the supple suspension (note that the leaf springs still wear metal gaiters) this is a comfortable car to drive. The wheels were stripped and refinished when the blue paint was sprayed and it wears 7.00-19 Lester wide whitewalls that really look great on the low-slung phaeton.
We have personally known this car for more than a decade and it has never missed a beat on tour. It has been owned by a talented fellow who knows his way around things mechanical and keeps his hardware in top form. It’s also reasonably priced for an open Packard and in just the right condition for worry-free enjoyment on the road. If you’ve been looking for your next Packard, this is a fantastic choice. Call today!
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Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections on any car in our inventory prior to purchase.