Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum, Part 4

1926 brought minimal changes to Packard from the previous model year but the big one was the "Duco" two-tone paint job. That eventually became almost ubiquitous in the auto industry in the 1950's and 1960's — but styles change and, by and large, most modern autos are back to a single paint color.

I was more intrigued by the horn — a real horn. It must have been a blast, tooting on this one to warn the horses to make way for a Packard.

What an elegant offering, Model 243, 7-passenger Touring car offered an 8-cylinder, 357.8 cu. in. engine with 3-speed transmission. All for only $3,950.00.

The museum touts this vehicle as a "fantastic example of Packard history". It is a 1928 4th Series truck with custom towing apparatus built by the Manley Crane Co. of York, PA. It was originally owned by the Klausing Motor Co., an authorized Packard franchise.

It was used to provide breakdown service for their customers.

The engine has 8 cylinders and 384.8 cu. in. to generate 115 horsepower. The original cost was $3,680.00.

1929 marked the beginning of the Great Depression but Packard's target market was the more affluent who were less impacted by the economic downturn. This is a handsome 1929 Packard Series 633 with an 8-cylinder, 319.2 cu. in. engine.

This Close Coupled 5-Passenger Club Sedan was quite popular in the era, costing only $2,835.00. The style provided a nice-looking 5-passenger family car without the more ponderous look of the 7-passenger sedans.

Note the integrated parking lights just above the spare well which were miniatures of the headlights.

I think I would have looked quite dashing tooling around town in this 1929 Packard Model 645 Dual Cowl Phaeton with coachwork by Dietrick. Instead, the honor went to Mr. Kasper G. Schmidt (Schmidt Brewing Company, Chicago, IL). While we are name-dropping, note that Gary Cooper, already a famous movie star by this time, also was a proud owner of a "645" Dietrick Phaeton.

Do take careful note of the "Goddess of Speed" hood ornament. Also notice that the Moto Meter is now gone — I presume the temperature gauge is now on the dashboard.

If you had such ornamentation on a modern auto, I suspect it might last all of ten seconds after you parked your car on a dark street before someone ripped it off for their own collection.

Packard was the leader in the prestige car market with figures showing a 50% market share of all formal automobiles. Unfortunately, what was by most measures, a great year for Packard was overshadowed by the uncertainty due to the Stock Market crash.

Last for today is a 1930 Packard Series 740 3-Window Coupe with Rumble Seat. It featured an 8-cylinder, 319.2 cu. in. engine with 3-speed transmission. The original cost was $3,650.00.

The spare tires were covered, thus no longer exposed to the elements — with rear-view mirrors mounted on the covers. Curiously, the mirrors were extra cost items, running the buyer some $225 EACH!

We close today with the rumble seat which, according to an 1899 dictionary, was a "seat for servants in the rear of a carriage". There was no protection from the elements — but it sure looks like it would have been fun.

To be continued...


Life is good.

B. David

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