Reasonable Offers Encouraged
Packard was founded by brothers James Ward Packard , William Doud Packard and his partner George Lewis Weiss in the city of Warrne OH. James Ward believed that they could build a better horseless carriage that the Winton cars owned by Weiss (An important Winton stockholder) and James Ward, himself a mechanical engineer, had some ideas how to improve on the designs of current automobiles. By 1899, they were building vehicles. The company, which they called the Ohio Automobile Company, quickly introduced a number of innovations in its designs, including the modern steering wheel and years later the first production 12-cylinder engine.
While Ford was producing cars that sold for $440, the Packards concentrated on more upscale cars that started at $2,600. Packard automobiles developed a following not only in the United States, but also abroad, with many heads of state owning them.
In need of more capital, the Packard brothers would find it when Henry Joy, a member of one of Detroit's oldest and wealthiest families, bought a Packard. Impressed by its reliability, he visited the Packards and soon enlisted a group of investors that included his brother-in-law, Truman Newberry. In 1902, Ohio Automobile Company became Packard Motor Car Company, with James as president. Packard moved its automobile operation to Detroit soon after and Joy became general manager and later chairman of the board. The Packard's factory on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit was designed by Albert Kahn, and included the first use of reinforced concrete for industrial construction in Detroit. When opened in 1903, it was considered the most modern automobile manufacturing facility in the world and its skilled craftsmen practiced over eighty trades.The 3.5 million ft plant covered over 35 acres and straddled East Grand Boulevard. It was later subdivided by eighty-seven different companies, but alas is currently scheduled for demolition. Kahn also designed The Packard Proving Grounds at Utica, MI.
Throughout the nineteen-tens and twenties, Packard built vehicles consistently were among the elite in luxury automobiles. The company was commonly referred to as being one of the "Three P's" of American motordom royalty, along with Pierce and Peerless. Packard's leadership of the luxury car field was supreme.
This extremely rare car is one of just over 400 built and maybe a handful remaining. The Sport Phaeton had several unique attributes including a Pullman built Custom Body that featured a longer cowl, shorter windshield, and narrower profile, providing seating for 4. Riding on 24" Disc Wheels, the preferred wheel for speed and stability during the era, the car has a sleek presence about it. Packard had not yet introduced an 8 cylinder motor, so the First Series Six was the primary motor for their cars at this time other than the legendary Twin Six, which was a much larger car. This sporting design was the gentlemans sports car in the Packard line up in 1922, as the runabout only provided seating for 2, and was purchased primarily by rogues and other flashy dandies.
This car has an interesting history. About 6 years ago I got a call about a garage full of interesting cars that needed rescued. My friend and I went to the very nice Italian Villa style Mansion in one of Indy's most prestigious north side neighborhoods. The home was completely overgrown, the tile roof was leaking, the gutters were full of plant life, you could no longer traverse the drive around the back easily. We were greeted at the door by the daughter of the Old lady whose husband had owned the cars. There were newpapers stacked everywhere. You had to scoot in between years of stuff to get around the house. It was pretty sad. She showed us the cars which were in a basement garage, and a few (including a late V16 Caddy) were outside the garage under the veranda. Stalagtites were covering the cars under the veranda. Luckily this car and a woodie were nicely preserved in the garage. Of course unrealistic prices were being asked for the cars. We tried to talk some sense into the daughter, but she just thought we were trying to rip her off. Years passed. I got another call about the cars from another friend- evidently other siblings had stepped in and had the both of them sent to long term care facilities, and the cars were to be sold along with the mansion and its contents. I called another friend who I had told the story to and he bought this lovely car. He had lived around there as a child and remembered sitting in the car and pretending to drive it as a little boy. Therefore this car had been in this garage since at least the early 50's.
As found the car was what I would call an amazing original car. The top was intact but very fragile, the paint was failing in numerous places, the upholstery was largely intact, and it was rock solid! My friend, who is very talented in this regard, went about getting the car running, redoing the fuel system, radiator, rebuilt the front end, and then had all the nickel replated, the car was stripped and repainted and new top and parts of the interior were installed- the front seat and the bottom of the rear seat. It is as you can see it is a very sensitively restored car now with many intact original features-yes those are the original side curtains with new isinglass installed. I thought I would never get the third call about this car, as my friend has refused to part with it whenever I brought it up but here we are.
This is a rare opportunity to purchase a truly important and rare car with unquestioned history and provenance.
This is a Special Car.