1930 Packard 734 SpeedsterSOLD
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Estimate: $125,000-$175,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $121,000

145bhp, 384.8 cu. in. L-head eight-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi- elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 134.5"

The Packard Speedster was the brainchild of chief engineer Jesse Vincent. The first car, a boattailed roadster, was built by shortening and narrowing a runabout body and fitting it to a 126.5-inch wheelbase 626 Standard Eight chassis. The engine was a 348.8 cubic inch Custom Eight unit, fitted with a high-compression head and high-lift camshaft to produce 130 brake horsepower. A production version was introduced in February 1929, first as a rumble seat roadster, later including a four-passenger phaeton and a sedan. Speedsters sold for $5,000, about twice as much as a Standard Eight, and only 70 are reported to have been built.

For 1930, the Speedster line expanded to include a two-passenger boattailed runabout and a Victoria. Two engines were offered, a detuned 125 bhp unit or a more powerful 145 bhp version with high compression head, finned manifold, larger valves and a two-barrel carburetor. Top speed was in excess of 100 miles per hour. All cars featured a tachometer, finned brake drums and 19-inch wire wheels (though disks were optional).

The car being sold is a very skillfully built composite boattail Speedster. Believed to be on the chassis of a 1930 Standard Eight car, it is presently identified with chassis number 186334, denoting a Seventh Series Deluxe or Custom Eight car delivered on June 11, 1930 to the Packard branch in New York City. The body is from a boattail Speedster, Style 442, possibly one of the cars known to have been scrapped. It now carries engine 184881, also from a 1930 Custom or Deluxe Eight car. It has, however, such Speedster equipment as a high compression head, a two-barrel updraft carburetor and a special finned manifold, which combine to produce 145 bhp. It also has a 3.31:1 rear axle for high-speed touring. The conversion has been made in a thoroughly professional fashion, and the car is hardly distinguishable from an original Speedster. It is in very good running condition, and is capable of impressive acceleration.

Sold to Switzerland in the early 1990s, its engine was totally overhauled in 1994 at 65,555 miles, including the fitting of a new camshaft. A set of new Firestone tires was installed in 2001 at 69,637 miles. It has been equipped with an electric fuel pump in tandem with the original system, and was given a new Optima Yellow battery in 2003. It is fitted with Pilot Ray driving lights that turn with the wheels, and an original Cicca air horn. It has been stored in a humidity-controlled garage when not in use and comes with a tailor-made car cover, canvas top, side curtains and full cockpit cover.

Used extensively by recent owners, it has participated in the Great American Race and taken part in Swiss Packard Club meetings and Packard Europe meetings in France, Belgium and Austria. It completed the Carovana Romantica Sicily in 2004, and competed in the Black Forest Packard Meeting and Concours d ’ Elegance in Baden- Baden, Germany in 2006. It received a first prize at the Concours d ’ Elegance at the Raid Basel – Paris in 1998.

The car has Swiss documentation, and is licensed there as a Veteran car. All duties and taxes are paid in Switzerland; it is also FIVA registered. It is the epitome of the coveted Packard Speedster and carefully rebuilt to authentic Speedster specification. An outstanding performer, it stands ready to give a new owner every conceivable satisfaction.

Reference Number 11238

as of 7/14/2007

Car 1930 Packard 734 Speedster
VIN 186334 
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