Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum, Part 3

Continuing our tour of antique autos, we find a 1923 Packard Model "126" Doctor's Coupe with coachwork by Holbrook. It has a six-cylinder, 241.5 cu. in engine.

This model was used primarily by doctors of the era to make house calls. [Does anyone besides me remember house calls?] The rear seat area contained a special compartment to store the doctor's medicines and bag. The passenger front seat folded out of the way to make the rear seat more accessible for patients who had to be transported.

The original cost was $3,550.00 which would have been enormously expensive in those days — when the most popular model of a 1923 Ford Model T only cost $393. Did doctors really make that much more than the average worker in 1923?

Next is a 1924 Packard Model 2-26 5-Passenger Sedan equipped with a six-cylinder, 268.4 cu. in. engine. The original cost was $3,605.00.

Totally new and revolutionary for Packard this model year was the 4-wheel braking system which included an automatic STOP light (look inside the spare tire) which illuminated when the driver depressed the brake pedal.

I was very much taken by its hood ornament which was combined with the Moto Meter mounted atop the radiator.

This is one fine-looking automobile — a 1925 Packard Model 326 Runabout. It featured a new six-cylinder engine with 288.6 cu. in. displacement. It was the company's star performer and accounted for 83% of the company's total production for this model year.

I love this real wood steering wheel. So much class — not like the plastic things we have in modern automobiles (even if they look like wood they are generally still plastic).

And what unusual door handles. Maybe not so unusual then — another sign of the transition between horse-drawn carriages and automobiles.

Also new this model year were the Golf Storage Compartments which are accessible from both sides of the vehicle (note the access door just aft of the driver-side door). SOLD — I want one. If only the cost were still $2,785.00.

Also in this view, you can see the new five-lug Budd-Michelin All Steel Disc Wheels. No more spokes!

Even in 1925, the Police needed to provide transportation of miscreants to jail. This Paddy Wagon was based on a Six Series Model 333 C Truck chassis.

Not all custom body Packards were as beautiful or expensive — but this is a fine example of a Paddy Wagon/Ambulance that could be used in multiple ways.

The decal of Fort Lauderdale is on the doors but I suspect this is a more recent enhancement — the artwork looks much too modern to date to the 1920s.

Also a 1925 Packard, this is a Model 243 7-Passenger Touring Car. The engine has eight cylinders and displaces 357.8 cu. in. The original cost was $2,885.00.

It is a very classy automobile from a time when cars were starting to exhibit good design to complement the utilitarian aspects of its primary function as transportation.

It includes some nice little touches such as this step plate for passengers entering or exiting the vehicle.

And I guess it had to have such nice touches because it was owned by President Calvin Coolidge. I can close my eyes and picture the President being driven about town in this beautiful vehicle.

To be continued...


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com