Packard’s 11th series, introduced in August of 1933, is held in the highest regard by marque aficionados, many of whom believe these fine automobiles represent the height of Packard’s excellence in the Pre-War era. One look at the gorgeous full-figured styling of the 1934 Packard and it is easy to see why few argue with the fact that this is one of the finest, most beautiful American classics ever produced. Not only was the 11th series beautiful to look at, it was also one of the best driving automobiles in its category with exceptional torque from the inline 8 cylinder engine and a chassis that combined outstanding road holding, ride quality and an ease of operation that was unmatched by its rivals.
Mechanically, Packard’s traditionally conservative approach to engineering continued, with an emphasis on reliability, durability and drivability. Available in three distinct models; Eight, Super Eight and Twelve, the 11th series was offered on multiple wheelbases and with a wide variety of in-house standard and “custom catalog” bodies by the favored coachbuilders such as LeBaron and Dietrich. At least 41 different combinations of wheelbase, engine specification and body style were offered to clients, assuring a high level of exclusivity regardless of the options they chose. The biggest changes for 1934 included skirted front fenders that extended almost down to the front bumper, which itself had also been redesigned and would continue the use of weighted, fluid filled ends that helped to dampen vibration on the road. Many enthusiasts consider the 11th series to be the pinnacle of Pre-War Packard style and substance, and count it among the very best cars of all time.
This stunning 1934 1104 Super Eight is an outstanding example of Packard’s finest, fitted with rare dual cowl Sport Phaeton coachwork and fully restored to a very high standard. Packard’s in-house design number 761 was distinguished from the standard Phaeton by the addition of a cowling and windscreen fitted over the rear passenger compartment, the Sport Phaeton has a decidedly more purposeful and sporting appearance, and sitting atop the 142” wheelbase chassis, has incredible presence as well. The Sport Phaeton was available only via special order through the Packard catalog, and it is believed that no more than five were built. Finished in triple black with red highlights, this is a beautifully restored, magnificently presented and highly desirable automobile.
Recently part of a large collection of significant prewar automobiles, this car benefits from meticulous care and maintenance. The coachwork has been fully restored and remains in outstanding condition with beautiful paintwork atop excellent body panels. The all-black body is highlighted with subtle red coach stripes, red wheels with wide-whitewall tires, accented with finely judged chrome adornments. This being a high-specification Super Eight, it is very well equipped with numerous accessories and fittings. From the front, it features dual Pilot-Ray driving lamps, a Packard Cormorant mascot, and chrome trumpet horns. Dual side-mount spare wheels are encased in body-colored covers and a pair of C.M. Hall spot lamps are fitted to the cowl. In the rear, a color-keyed metal trunk rides on a factory trunk rack, which features its own built-in bumper. The chrome plating has been restored to a concours-quality standard and remains in excellent order.
Occupants are treated to a fully restored and finely detailed interior, trimmed in black leather on the seats and door panels. Maintained in top condition since the restoration and used sparingly, just a bit of light creasing is found on the driver’s seat, while excellent black carpet, gorgeous woodwork and finely restored chrome round out the presentation. Likewise, the dash has been beautifully restored with woodgrain finish on either side of the centrally mounted instrument panel as original. Factory original dials and switches have been fully restored to high standards in the correct brown-colored fascia with polished bezels. Front and rear door tops are finished in handsome wood trim with decorative inlays, and in the rear, a locking cabinet is built into the back of the front seat. The top is trimmed black canvas, and a full complement of side curtains is included should the next keeper wish to tour.
Packard’s 384.8 cubic inch L-head inline eight is one of the great engines of all time; smooth, torquey and powerful enough to move even the long wheelbase cars along with ease. On this car, the engine has been impeccably detailed in signature Packard green paint, with a silver crankcase, as original. Engine ancillaries, and chrome hardware and fittings are in excellent, show-quality condition. This car has been driven lightly since the restoration was completed and maintained to a very high standard, and as a result the engine shows little in the way of use. Similarly, the undercarriage remains clean and extremely well-presented.
Impeccably maintained as part of a large collection of prestigious automobiles, this Packard 1104 Sport Phaeton is an outstanding example of this rare and beautiful model. With single-digit survivors, this represents an incredibly rare opportunity to acquire a stunning motorcar that is capable of performing equally well on the show field as it is out on the road, where Packard’s engineering excellence can truly shine.