1934 Packard 1101 Eight 7-Passenger Touring
Engine no. 374045
Body No. 710-11
For Packard the Eleventh Series 1934 Eight might have been its standard offering but by the standards of just about any other automobile manufacturer it was an heroic automobile.
With a silky smooth L-head inline eight engine of 319 cubic inches and 120 brake horsepower at 3,200 rpm, the Packard Eight was large and powerful enough to deal effortlessly with all but the largest, most elaborate and heaviest formal coachwork. It was offered in three versions, the base 129 1/2 1100 series with a 5-passenger sedan body, the 141 1/4 long wheelbase 1102 series with 7-passenger sedan and limousine coachwork and the standard 136 1/2 1101 series with a total of ten cataloged bodies ranging from rumble seat coupes and coupe roadsters to luxurious convertible victorias.
By the mid-Thirties closed coachwork was far more popular than open cars. Technology and press capacity had advanced to the point where all-steel coachwork, even large panels for 5- and 7-passenger sedans, could be formed economically and the welding techniques to assemble them economically and accurately were well established. Wood framing was almost eliminated from production coachwork and fits and durability were better than ever.
Tucked snugly inside a tight, warm, dry metal box with luxurious broadcloth upholstery and good ventilation and heating mid-Thirties buyers could be forgiven for thinking that open touring cars with side curtains were best left to winter vacation homes in Florida and summer places along Mid-Coast Maine.
Fortunately for todays collectors that is exactly what this 1934 Packard 1101 Eight 7-Passenger Touring Car is.
As far as can be established it has spent its entire life in the picturesque community of Somesville within a few miles of Richard C. Paine, Jr.s Seal Cove Museum. It was acquired in January 1956 from Mary L. Ludington and is aside from an old repaint apparently completely, charmingly, irreplaceably original. Its odometer shows 48,825 miles while the June 21, 1957 service sticker from Haynes Garage in Northeast Harbor (Tel. Br. 6-3773) on the door post shows the mileage then as 48,820. Given its history and condition it is highly probable that it has had only two (or perhaps two family) owners from new and has been part of the Paine collection since it was just 22 years old.
It must have been recommissioned each July when the family came back to Somesville for the summer, then returned to storage when the summer house closed in early fall, having seen little use and that only in fair weather.
It is finished in black with black leather interior and a beige cloth top and is equipped with dual sidemount spares in metal enclosures with mirrors, wide whitewall tires on body color wire wheels, wind wings, a spotlight, rear seat armrest, jump seats and a folding footrest. The repaint is old, cracked and blistered but other than a repair on the right front fender the bodywork is sound, straight and solid with no rot. The doors close perfectly with even gaps and even the running board treads look nearly like new. The top is fragile, but the interior leather is amazingly good. Most chrome is decent, except the taillights which are peeling.
Better yet, it is the open seven-passenger touring car coachwork which looks so wonderful on the mid-Thirties Packards, a combination of rare well-preserved nearly completely original condition and an example of the most desirable and sought after open coachwork.
It is an amazing find, good enough to take anywhere with pride and confidence that no other car for miles will be so original, well preserved and built to such high standards. Its condition and preservation for over half a century by Richard C. Paine, Jr. is a tribute to the sympathy which he had for quality, well-preserved automobiles. Rather than compromise its originality Richard Paine chose to leave it alone so it could continue to tell its stories through ancient markings, lettering, decals, labels and the finishes and assembly techniques it received nearly three-quarters of a century ago in Detroit.