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Lot 45
1931 Packard 840 Deluxe Eight 2/4-Passenger Roadster


Selling on Wednesday


• CCCA Senior National First Prize winner
• Retaining the original data tag
• Handsomely equipped with 1932 factory upgrade kit
• CCCA Full Classic® status and event eligibility
• Sporting, yet elegant and upscale body style
• Renowned touring capabilities and great presence

Eighth Series, Model 840. 384.8 cid L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, 120 HP, four-speed manual transmission, solid front and live rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel mechanical drum brakes; wheelbase: 140.5"

Many of today’s collectors and marque enthusiasts consider Packard’s Eighth Series models – particularly the Model 840 and Model 845 Deluxe Eights – to firmly rank among the company’s best automobiles of the 1930s. Introduced on September 9, 1930, these top-of-the-line models came to market after the Model 826 and 833 Standard Eights and the Model 833 Individual Custom Eights, which debuted the previous month. With a long wheelbase measuring 140.5 inches, the 840 models featured a forward cowl placement for a more rakish profile, creating one of the best platforms for a wide array of elegant bodies supplied by the Packard factory and the era’s finest custom coachbuilders.

Mechanically speaking, Packard’s Eighth Series models represented the peak of development for Packard’s venerable inline eight-cylinder engine, displacing 319.2 cid with 100 horsepower in Models 826 and 833, while the 384.8 cid, 120 horsepower engine powered the larger 840 and 845 Deluxe Eights. World-renowned for smoothness and nearly-silent operating characteristics, Packard’s eights now benefited from improved manifolds and a valve arrangement derived from the rare, high-performance 734 Speedster of 1930, while a fuel pump superseded the prior vacuum-tank system. Chassis lubrication was accomplished via the innovative Bijur “one shot” system. Other updates reinforced Packard’s renowned reputation for quality, durability, and panache. It is also worth noting that Packard’s Seventh- and Eighth-Series cars were equipped with four-speed transmissions in contrast to the usual three-speed units of competing manufacturers, delivering greater drivability and performance and rendering these Packards quite desirable for touring enjoyment today.

Most Packards of the early 1930s were production cars – well-built, luxurious, smooth, powerful, and quiet. Even these were relatively expensive, selling for the price of five or six brand-new Fords or Chevrolets. While Packard entered the Great Depression with a commanding market share, robust exports, and a strong balance sheet, slowing sales by 1931 prompted company management to cut prices to help move remaining dealer inventory. Sales of the late Eight-Series cars were further enhanced with the addition of a comprehensive kit from the factory updating them with a look consistent with the new-for-1932 Ninth Series – including the 1932-style radiator shell and grille, horns, and bumpers. Often, this desirable option was offered by Packard dealers at no extra charge.

Priced from a considerable $3,490 when new, this dashing 1931 Packard 840 Deluxe Eight 2/4-Passenger Roadster is a very fine example in striking two-tone red that continues to benefit handsomely from a very well-preserved restoration with quality workmanship abundantly clear. According to the original ID tag still affixed to the roadster’s firewall, it was delivered new on April 16, 1932 by the Packard Motor Car Co. of New York. Sporting the factory upgrades and remaining quite striking in presentation, it is a CCCA Senior National Award winner, that has resided in some notable private collections of fine prewar automobiles.

As expected, this dashing Deluxe Eight Roadster features a host of period features and options, including a 1931-specific Daphne at the Well radiator mascot, plus twin horns, front-fender lights, spot lamps, and wind wings. Trimmed in leather, the luxurious cockpit features a striking woodgrain dash panel, beautifully inlaid upper door-panel accents, and comprehensive instrumentation. The engine bay and legendary eight-cylinder powerplant are similarly well-presented, with correct features and components throughout. Since being acquired by the current owner, a respected collector from the Pacific Northwest, it has recently undergone a freshening that included bringing back some minor imperfections and details to a higher standard. It is very good mechanically and can be used for events and tours without hesitation. A folding rear luggage rack and jaunty rumble seat, dual side-mounted spares, and chrome wire-spoke wheels round out this impressive Roadster. Rightly recognized as a CCCA Full Classic® automobile with outstanding eligibility for a veritable multitude of desirable events, this 1931 Packard 840 Deluxe Eight 2/4-Passenger Roadster is a simply outstanding “blue chip” find in every respect.

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