1936 Packard Eight Limousine
Original UK market car; few owners, the previous for 60+ years; 130bhp Super Eight engine; seven-seater with glass division; cosmetically tired but mechanically strong as an ox!
Founded at the dawn of the motoring age, Packard aimed its magnificent machines right at the top of the market, selling to the rich and famous alongside marques such as Duesenberg and Pierce Arrow.
The world over, the name Packard meant prestige, power and sophistication. Such was their reputation that during WW2 they manufactured the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine under licence, the only company allowed to do so outside of Rolls-Royce themselves.
Introduced in 1924, the Eight was Packard's first eight-cylinder car and also the first to employ four-wheel brakes. The nine-bearing sidevalve engine developed 90bhp at 3,000rpm from 5.3-litres, sufficient to propel the two-ton car to speeds of almost 80mph. Renowned for its smoothness, made possible by a heavy balanced crankshaft, a Lanchester vibration damper and innovative ‘floating’ rubber engine mounts, it also had enormous low-down torque, all contemporary V8s feeling rough and weedy by comparison.
Supplied new by sole concessionaires Leonard Williams & Co of London in August 1936, this rare seven-seater Packard Eight 14th Series sits on a 139” wheelbase chassis and, according to notes on file, has the 130bhp Super Eight engine. An old buff logbook shows that by 1948 it was owned by English China Clays of St Austell, moving to Kent at some point in the 1950s where it was owned by a Mr GV Smith of Dartford who kept it right up until his death in 2018 when ownership transferred to his widow, our vendor acquiring it in 2019.
A member of the Classic American Auto Club of Great Britain, Mr Smith was evidently extremely proud of the car and there are various photos of the Packard at shows during his ownership plus a professionally printed 24-page hardback book filled with photos of the car. Although there are precious few invoices on file apart from a rebuild of the dash instruments in 1980 and a cylinder head overhaul in 1991, the car has clearly been well-cared-for and it looks incredibly clean and shiny in the hardback book which is sadly undated but looks like it was probably printed in the early 2000s. There is an agreed insurance valuation certificate for £40,000 in 2017.
Although the paintwork has lost much of its lustre in the years since, the car is still impressively straight and sound, both above and below. Four old MOTs and a VOSA MOT history print-out show that the car was MOT’d every year from 2006 – 2012, although it only covered some 500 miles during this period. The vendor states that it is in good health mechanically, and it has certainly been starting promptly and running beautifully as we have moved it around on site, with bags of low-down grunt and good 40psi oil pressure.
Spares for these cars are still readily available at modest cost from America, as shown by modern parts catalogues on file. An original owner's handbook is also present.
With performance to match a Rolls-Royce or Bentley from the same era, this impressive Great Gatsby machine will turn heads wherever it goes and could doubtless generate a healthy income on the film or wedding hire circuit should the new owner feel so inclined.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Reg No: EMH820
Chassis Number: 392400
Engine Size: 5342cc
Docs: V5C; older V5C x 3; buff logbook from 1948; 4 old MOTs; original handbook; book of photos; few invoices; modern parts catalogue; technical literature; 2017 insurance valuation etc
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