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Lot 26
1951 Packard 400 Patrician


From the Miller Family Packard Collection

CHASSIS NO: 24529537

• Just 26,690 miles from new
• Highly original car in exceptional condition
• Finished in Packard Matador Maroon Poly with a Packard Corona Cream roof paint
• A seldom seen example of Packard's top-of-the-line sedan in 1951

327 cid L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, single Carter carburetor, 150 HP at 3,900 RPM, Ultramatic automatic transmission, independent front and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel Servo hydraulic drum brakes

Starting from the company’s founding in 1899, Packard had forged a reputation for building cars of exceptional quality that evolved relatively slowly, a strategy that suited its position in the marketplace as a maker of high-priced, exclusive automobiles. After WWII, however, that market began to change. Frequent reengineering and annual styling facelifts became the norm as buyers became ever more fashion conscious. And while the USA's 'Big Three' motor manufacturing corporations - Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler - could afford frequent retooling, independent Packard simply did not have the necessary resources. Unable to satisfy the public's insatiable appetite for new designs, Packard lost ground to its chief rival, Cadillac and by 1951 had slumped to 16th in the motor manufacturing league table. Nevertheless, there was an all-new line-up for 1951. The highest trim level available was the Packard Patrician 400. The Patrician 400 replaced the previous model year's Super 8 model range. Patricians and 300s also sported a slightly revised grille which included chrome "teeth" in its oval area in 1951. That change occurred to the 250 Series soon after introduction.

The Patrician 400 was available only as a premium, four-door sedan, outfitted with high-grade upholstery and chrome trimming within. A Packard sales brochure boasts, “Packard proudly presents the newest new car in the world!” Designed by John Reinhart, the 24th Series Patrician debuted as the replacement for the line topping Custom Eight. Built from 1951 until the demise of Packard in 1956, it was the swan song for the once legendary manufacturer. Power for all Packard models came from their venerable inline eight-cylinder engines. 200s used a 288-cubic-inch unit with 135 horsepower; all others had a displacement of 327 cubic-inches, delivering 150 horsepower. The Patrician was fitted with the latter, the best engine Packard had to offer. For unequaled smooth operation, its engine featured nine main bearings instead of five, as in the other engines, without an increase in power.

Splendidly presented, this elegant Patrician 400 was the top-of-the-line model available. Distinguished by its luxurious interior, ample chrome, and three chromed ports on the rear fender, the 400 was only offered as a premium sedan. Well-equipped with an Ultramatic automatic transmission, power windows, power seat, exterior sun visor and twin spotlights, it is one of 9,001 Patrician 400s built in 1951, the most successful year of production. With a mere 26,669 miles on the odometer, with exception of one quality repaint, this is about as untouched and original as any 1951 Packard that can be found. Even the spark plug wires are believed to be original. “They are only original once” is a perfect way to describe how a low mileage luxury car such as this, drives - tight, quiet, and solid - just as a Packard should. Finished in Packard Matador Maroon Poly with a Packard Corona Cream roof paint over contrasting untouched original light brown cloth interior, this Patrician is attractive in every way. In the Miller Family Packard Collection for many years, it is offered as a unique and rare opportunity to join the world of post-WWII Packard ownership with the most feature-laden model offered in '51.

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