From the collection of the late Jack Tattersall 1934 Packard Eight Eleventh Series 5,235cc Phaeton Registration no. BMF 175 Chassis no. 378 364
Car no. 711-1001
Few companies progressed more quickly from the horseless carriage era into the age of the grand touring car than the Packard Co., with brothers J.W. and W.D. Packard at the helm. As early as 1916, Packard launched the sensational new Twin Six, the world's first production twelve cylinder motor car which, along with the six and eight cylinder cars of the 1920's, put Packard high on the list of the world's top manufacturers. The unstressed engine units offered a happy combination of smooth performance and reliability and even in the difficult times of the late 1920's Packard never sacrificed their ideals. The chosen transport of movie stars and industrial magnates, Packard's sensational products were equally at home posing on the Hollywood boulevards or as chauffeur driven transport to the Wall Street office.
Packard were not unaffected by The Wall Street Crash and, like Rolls-Royce in England, knew that they had to cater for the upper middle market as well as the higher echelons if they were to survive. Although the mighty Twelve, with its impressive V-configuration engine, was top-of-the-range in 1934, the 5,235cc Eight lacked nothing of the quality of that model, though was more socially acceptable in a country digging its way out of recession. The straight eight-cylinder L-head engine developed 120bhp at 3,200rpm, delivering power smoothly through a three speed, all synchromesh gearbox and featured such technical luxuries as the Luvax-Bijou automatic chassis lubrication system and vacuum servo-assisted Bendix brakes. Although Packard hand picked only the best coach builders and catalogued offerings from LeBaron, Brewster, Rollston and Dietrich, few surpassed Packard's own in house coachwork, no less than thirteen different factory body styles being offered for the Eight in 1934. Packard manufactured these models in both left and right hand drive configuration, being more than aware of the increasingly important export market.
This car, to right hand drive configuration, was exported to London agents Leonard Williams and first registered with Middlesex County Council on 19th April 1934. Its early history is not recorded however it is believed to have been sold in the 1950s by Le Mans racer Duncan Hamilton to a Richard Walsh of Peaslake, Surrey, passing then via R.Burn of Woking into preservation with Harry Shell of Hertfordshire, Hon.Sec. of the Classic American Auto Club of G.B. Shell sold the car to fellow American car aficionado, the late Colin Buckmaster of Suffolk, and it was he who commissioned the no expense spared restoration, much of the work being entrusted in the 1970s to respected restorer Arthur Archer. Many of the restoration bills are on file and are worthy of inspection, both Archer and Buckmaster being sticklers for detail. The car featured on the front cover and in Editor Michael Brisby's road test in The Automobile magazine in August 1984. Buckmaster was later to turn his attention to Stutz motor cars and in 1985 Jack Tattersall prised the Packard away from Buckmaster, the car remaining in the Tattersall motor house for some twenty five years an indication of the esteem in which this car was held by this collector/connoisseur.
Now beautifully presented in cream livery with brown coachlining and brown leather upholstery, the car is generously equipped with Marchal lighting, Lucas trumpet horns, twin side-mounted spare wheels and rear view mirrors and a useful rear luggage carrier. The car started and ran smoothly on our recent visit. It is offered with a good history file, old tax discs and MoT certificates, an old buff logbook and Swansea V5 and V5C documents.