c.1937 Packard Eight Sports Special Chassis no. to be advised Engine no. 240026
Dissatisfaction with his Winton motor carriage is said to have spurred James Ward Packard to build a superior automobile. Aided by his brother and two defectors from the Winton company, Packard set up shop in his electrical engineering factory in Warren, Ohio, from which the first Packard car emerged in November 1899. The Packard's innovative engineering and superior build quality were soon attracting the attention of wealthy clients, William D Rockefeller purchasing two at the New York Automobile Show in November 1900. 'Ask The Man Who Owns One,' was adopted as the company's advertising slogan. Introduced in 1924, the Eight was notable as the first Packard to employ four-wheel brakes. Its sidevalve straight-eight engine developed 85bhp from 5.9 litres and the Eight line-up initially comprised ten models on two wheelbase lengths. In 1927 the engine was enlarged to 6.3 litres and a smaller 5.2-litre Standard Eight introduced for 1929, the larger engine continuing to power the Custom and DeLuxe Eights. The latter was renamed 'Super Eight' for 1933, by which time all Packards featured synchromesh transmission. Introduced for the 1935 season, the 'One Twenty' Eight, also known as the 'Junior Packard', represented the company's first foray into the medium-priced market sector. On the 1937 range Packard premiered its new independent front suspension. Known as 'Safe-T-Flex', this system employed unequal-length upper and lower A-arms, coil springs and horizontal shock absorbers. Another new introduction was hydraulic brakes on all four wheels. At time of cataloguing it had not been possible positively to identify this eight-cylinder Packard 'special', though the presence of independent front suspension means that it dates from 1937 or later. Confusingly, the engine number '240026' belongs to a sequence used for the Standard Eight of 1929. An unfinished project, the car boasts a newly professionally made, ash-framed body clad with aluminium panelling. Its mechanical condition is not known, though the apparently rebuilt engine turns over and the gears select. There are no documents with this Lot, which is offered without reserve.