Beginning with their very first models, an exceedingly small pool of competitors could contend with the opulence, build quality and cache of the vehicles manufactured by the Packard Motor Car Company in the first half of the 20th century. Founded famously as the answer to a challenge from Alexander Winton of the Winton Motor Carriage Company to build a better horseless carriage than one of Winton’s own first run 1898 models, the marque always endeavored to design and create the very finest possible automobiles in the marketplace, and their price-tags reflected it. Subsequently, the company became known as the king of the “Three P’s” – America’s automobile monarchy – with Packard ruling over Pierce-Arrow and Peerless.
Successful from their inception and having grossed nearly $25M in 1928, unlike many of the other independent marques, Packard was also uniquely positioned to weather the Great Depression, although the economy did call for a change in strategy. Consequently, the example of the 626 we’re offering for sale is the last of a breed, a Standard Eight built just prior to October 1929’s Black Tuesday. And it‘s an exceptionally nice example at that, having undergone an extensive professional restoration that could easily push the $100k mark if commissioned today. In fact, the restoration was so correctly and tastefully executed that the car was awarded a CCCA (Classic Car Club of America) National First Prize.
Accordingly, the car’s aesthetic and mechanical condition is fantastic throughout and it receives as much attention (if not more) than anything we’ve ever taken for a weekend drive. Finished in a timelessly sophisticated two-tone green color scheme with black accents, the paint is in excellent condition, marred only by the most minimal of imperfections (a chip here and there, some minimal crazing in a seam, etc.), none of which are significant enough appear in any pictures. All of the chrome, rubberized roof, glass and fittings are exceptional and the hand-detailed wheels are wrapped in pricey and correct Firestone whitewall wheels. The panel fit is exceptional and the car is free of bondo or any other evidence of rust. The interior is also impeccable, finished in all of the correct materials and free of any significant wear at all. The seats, dash, headliner, floors and interior panels are all excellent. The work put into the car didn’t end with cosmetics. Extensive work has been put into the engine and mechanicals to ensure that the car runs and drives as it should. It starts easily, its 3-speed transmission shifts cleanly and its 5.2L eight-cylinder engine pulls strongly. The car is truly enjoyable to tool around in on a lazy afternoon, both for the driver and those admiring it from a distance.
This is a rare opportunity to acquire an impressive ’29 Packard that would cost considerably more (in both time and money) than our asking price to recreate. Very little would be necessary to make this a serious show contender, but it can be indisputably respected and enjoyed as it is for anyone less discerning than a Concours judge. Whether being added to a serious Packard collection or just for use as a stunning weekend driver, this car is going to make its new owner very, very happy.