1931 Packard DeLuxe Eight Sport PhaetonSOLD
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Estimate: 90,000£-110,000£
Estimate: €127,000 - €163,000
Estimate: $175,000 - $225,000

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of £94.988

From the Collection of Mr. Bernie Ecclestone

Model 840. 120 bhp 385 cu. in. inline eight-cylinder side valve engine, four-speed manual transmission, Bijur automatic chassis lubrication, solid front axle with leaf springs, live rear axle with leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanically-actuated drum brakes. Wheelbase 140in. (3,568mm).

In 1931, when most car manufacturers were introducing less expensive models to fight the Depression, Packard discontinued some of its less expensive models and emphasized custom offerings. The company wanted to reinforce its position in the luxury car market, believing the superior taste and financial strength of its customers would prevail. The resultant Eighth Series cars consisted of two different model designations – the 826 and 833 Standard Eight line and the 840 and 845 Deluxe Eight line.

Packard made several enhancements for the Deluxe models that year, including a Stewart Warner fuel pump, which replaced the vacuum tank, and automatic Bijur lubrication. Horsepower was increased substantially to 120bhp, thanks to better valves and manifolds taken from the engine of the defunct Speedster model.

As the name suggests, Deluxe variants offered more horsepower, a longer wheelbase, and improved trim and fittings over the Standard Eights, accounting for a substantial $1,000 price difference with most models. However, Packard’s strategy had served to work against the company’s financial health, as there proved to be little hope that the Depression would subside soon. As a result, only 626 Deluxe Eights were built in 1931.

Perhaps the most exciting body style offered on the Deluxe Eight chassis was the Deluxe Phaeton. The Deluxe Phaeton’s $3,490 price tag, however, proved to be too steep for all but a few select buyers and only a handful of these striking cars were built.

The car presented here is a left-hand drive example of one such Deluxe Phaeton, restored in 1978 by Blue Ridge Restoration in Virginia. In 1984 it was purchased by noted collector Philip Wichard from Richard Terrune, also of Virginia. Thereafter the car was acquired by Swiss collector Albert Obrist following Wichard’s death in 1995, before it finally found its way to the Ecclestone Collection in 1999.

The caramel-coloured and dark green paintwork as well as the tan top are generally in good condition although the fit of the body panels could benefit from improvement in certain areas. The dual cowl set-up appears to be original to the car. The chrome and brightwork meanwhile remain in good overall condition with certain elements, such as the Goddess of Speed hood ornament, very well detailed. Correct Packard wire wheels with Lester whitewall tyres are present as are the optional dual side-mounted spares with rear-view mirrors mounted to the chrome tread covers. Further features of interest include wind wings, spotlights, side curtains, Pilot Ray driving lights, and an accessory luggage rack.

The interior benefits from the same period-correct outfitting. All gauges, instrumentation, and hardware appear to be correct pieces. The tan leather upholstery is generally very good as is the beautiful wooden dash and excellent steering wheel. Mileage, as indicated on the odometer, is less than 39,000 miles.

As with other parts of the car, the engine bay’s appearance is consistent with an older restoration, although a thorough cleaning would return it to superb, show-quality condition. From the spark plugs to the Detroit Lubricator carburettor, every element appears to be period correct. The same professional workmanship is apparent on the undercarriage, which exhibits little evidence of deterioration and is properly finished.

With its elegant and luxurious appointments, this specific 1931 Packard 840 Deluxe is highly desirable by virtue of its relative rarity and factory original cowl phaeton coachwork. Despite its older restoration, it is certainly very deserving of a spot on any concours lawn.

Reference Number 13221

as of 9/14/2007

Car 1931 Packard DeLuxe Eight Sport Phaeton
VIN 190898 
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