1934 Packard Super Eight Convertible Sedan
Vehicle no. 763-41
Frame no. 753432
Motor no. 753351
Dietrich Body no. 6654
Series 1104. 145 bhp, 384 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed synchromesh manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension with variable-pressure shock absorbers, and vacuum servo-assisted four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 142 in.
Hailing from what is widely considered the most prestigious and beautiful year of Packard, this handsome Super Eight Convertible Sedan boasts wonderful and satisfying authenticity. Its original vehicle number plate identifies it as having been the thirtieth example built, sold new by the Packard Motor Car Company of New York on June 14, 1934. It is further confirmed as retaining its original coachwork by the surviving Dietrich body number plate, which remains in place.
Longstanding rumor is that the original owner was Henry Morgenthau, Jr., then beginning his eleven-year service as United States Secretary of the Treasury, and that it was kept at the Morgenthau family home at Bar Harbor, Maine. The car was subsequently acquired by pioneering classic car dealer and auctioneer, Lew Lazarus, before joining the California collection of Larry Ruppert. In the early 1980s it was purchased by a southern California collector, who sold it to the current owner in 1988. At the time the car was still very much as it appeared for many years, including Standard Eight bumpers carrying a siren, red emergency light, and flag stanchions – apparently prepped for parade duty!
In over three decades of ownership, the current owner has carefully sorted the car. Early in his care the car was outfitted with a new Rhode Island wiring harness, had its transmission rebuilt, and was fitted with correct Super Eight bumpers by Bob Smith of Orange, California. At the same time new high-speed gears, made by the respected Phil Bray, were fitted to the rear axle, enabling relaxed highway cruising.
More recently a new top was fitted, although the car’s other cosmetic finishes are largely the wonderfully patinaed features it has had for decades. The surfaces of the seats were reupholstered years ago and the top replaced, but the armrests and door cards are original. The division window, which helps enable comfortable sedan-style motoring when the top is raised, works well. Offered with the car is a correct Super Eight dashboard insert for the new owner to install, as well as a trunk with three pieces of fitted luggage, and a pair of new side stanchions for the division window, made from brass in the owner’s skilled hands.
Over the years a favored machine for regional touring and shows, this is an ideal all-weather CARavan car or relaxing summer cruising automobile for its new owner – combining charming patina with the known mechanical excellence of a Packard, here in its most desirable 1934 guise.