1921 Packard Single Six Runabout
Vehicle No. U2902
Motor No. U25291
Series 116. 52 hp, 241.5 cu. in. L-head inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, suspension, solid front and rear axles with semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension, and rear-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 116 in.
Packard always excelled at introducing ‘lower-cost’ offerings that were not lower in quality. One of their first such efforts was the Single Six, which debuted as part of the First Series of 1921 as an alternative to the prestigious Twin Six. As the name indicated, the Single Six offered a lone sextet of cylinders. Priced in Cadillac territory, it was a relatively bargain for its power and superb engineering, and its bodywork was handsomely designed with the same impressive grandeur as the Twin Six. Historian Tim Martin notes that many six-cylinder Packards of the First Series were produced but that the sporty 116, on its namesake ‘short’ 116-inch-wheelbase chassis, was always a small subset. Only five 116 Runabouts are known to remain in existence.
This particular example was cosmetically refinished decades ago, likely in the 1950s and 1960s, and is still wearing those handsomely patinated finishes today, with paint that holds a suitable design and a very comfortable interior. Much of the exterior trim is painted, with only a handful of nickel accents, resulting in a rather menacing appearance. The engine compartment appears original but clean and tidy. Recently serviced in preparation for sale, the car runs and drives well, with surprising power for its age and size – it is a disarmingly fast little automobile.
An ideal Nickel Era Packard for the enthusiast of rare and unusual examples, this 116 has much to recommend it. Just ‘ask the man who owns one.’