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Lot 444: Packard Series 1700 4-Door Touring Sedan

Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia, Bonhams (3 June 2012)

The laws of economics dictate that lower prices lead to broader markets. Thus, when Packard realized it absolutely had to sell more cars to survive the economic chaos of the 1930s, it brought to market smaller and less costly mass-produced modelscars that had much greater sales potential than did the independent automaker's traditional, largely hand-crafted and very expensive, ultra-luxury lines. The Packard 120 Eight, introduced in 1935, successfully put Packard performance, prestige and quality within reach of that era's upper medium price car buyer. The Series 115 Six that followed for 1937 offered those same attributes at prices competitive with medium-priced American cars, most of which were also powered by a six-cylinder engine. The Packard Six was so well received that, during the late 1930s, one of every two Packards sold was a model from that price-leading line. All-steel body construction was just one improvement introduced on the 1938 Packard Six. That same year, the six-cylinder engine's displacement was enlarged to 245 cubic inches. Rated at 100 horsepower for 1939, its impressive torque enhanced low speed acceleration, and vehicle speeds of 90-100mph were attainable. Packard introduced its Series 1700 Sixes for 1939 in the autumn of 1938. The new cars were essentially carried over from the prior model year, with one major difference: for the first time, the gearshift lever was on the steering column, rather than on the floor. The popular 4-door sedan started at just $995. The 1939 Packard Six offered here is accessorized with a factory radio, heater, clock, front center bumper guard and upgraded hood ornament. This sedan was delivered by a Packard dealer in Peconic, Long Island to its first owner on October 3, 1938. It is thought to have been only sparingly used while at its first home, as Gene Beardslee, the believed second owner of the car, stated that the rear seat had never been sat in prior to entering his collection. Today the interior is in remarkable condition; one needs only to examine it closely to believe it is in fact original. The car was subject to a complete paint job and mechanical rebuild so it looks and drives great. The car was recently serviced, a leaking radiator core was discovered, and the radiator was recored to cure the troubles. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a real pre-war Packard from a noted enthusiast collection. Lavished with high-quality restoration work, and for so little money, this is truly one of the nicest Packard Six Sedans you are ever likely to find.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Greenwich, Connecticut
Lot Number444
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis numberI-282-2425
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4