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Lot 24
1948 Packard Custom Eight Coupe


From the Miller Family Packard Collection

CHASSIS NO: 225592611

• 1 of only 790 22nd Series Custom Eight Coupes produced
• Just 26,000 original miles
• Full restoration commissioned by Mr. Miller
• Desirable accessory visor and grille guards
• Equipped with desirable overdrive

22nd Series. 356 cid L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, 160 HP, Carter two-barrel carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 127"

Packard pulled through the Great Depression by doing what the major “Three Ps” competitors Peerless and Pierce-Arrow could not do, and that was to build a new factory, design a new car from the ground up and introduce mass-production techniques for a mid-priced automobile to be built alongside the “senior” cars introduced as the 120, as 1935 cars. Paradoxically for Packard, the savior “cheaper” cars became the millstone over time by diluting the prestige of the marque. Before the Second World War, Packard was still building senior 356-cubic-inch inline-eight cars separately from the smaller cars, which ran much smaller inline-sixes and inline-eights of 245 and 282 cubic-inches, respectively. As with all other manufacturers, Packard was able to sell any cars they were able to produce in the immediate postwar years. Utilizing the more modern and finer Clipper styling for all cars, they saved money and modernized the styling of the senior cars at minimal cost. It also allowed for all cars to be produced on one assembly line. By the time these Eights came along, the competition was bringing out new cars with new styling, and Packard was at a disadvantage. Packard therefore reskinned the cars below the greenhouse to eliminate the vestiges of fender sweeps. The cars looked bulbous, yes, but the massive look was definitely liked by American buyers. These 1948-50 cars gave Packard financial breathing room until all-new cars could be developed for 1951, but even though they were a stopgap measure, they are respected now.

The Eight line of Packards had 288-cubic-inch engines throughout the three-year production, rated at 130 horsepower in 1948 and 135 horsepower thereafter. They cars rode a 120-inch wheelbase as used on the prewar and postwar Clipper cars which preceded them. These cars utilized a 120-inch wheelbase for 1948 and 127 inches from 1949 on. A long-body seven-passenger sedan and limousine were offered on 141-inch wheelbase. The senior Custom Eight line had the massive nine-main bearing 356-cubic-inch engine, rated at 160 horsepower. The 127-inch wheelbase and long nose was used out of necessity. 148-inch wheelbase seven-passenger sedans and limousines were also supplied to order for 1948.

Packards are special to collectors. They are the most popular marque with the Classic Car Club of America and from first car in 1899 to last in 1958, they remain on many enthusiasts’ must-have list. The reasons are many: quality, styling, prestige, and, yes, reputation. Regardless of which year and model you prefer, it is likely a high-quality car with superlative driving manners compared to its peers, and styling makes it stand out. And while some of that is subjective, there is no one who believes that a Packard is an ordinary car.

This beautiful, top-of-the-line, 22nd Series, 1948 Packard Custom Eight has been in the Miller Family Packard Collection for more than 30 years. It is 1 of only 790 coupes produced, and highly sought-after by collectors today. Mr. Miller sought out this particular car due to its 26,000 original miles and determined that it was an outstanding example to restore. It is finished handsomely in rich Cavalier Maroon with a luxurious matching interior complete with accessory sun visor and bumper guards; a rare find. Seldom seen and rarely offered for sale, this handsome fastback presents a unique opportunity to acquire one of the most desirable Packard coupes there is.

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