Packard took an evolutionary approach to the new 8th Series which debuted in August of 1930, choosing to make subtle refinements over sweeping changes. The car debuted at the height of the Great Depression, so sales expectations were low, and while the 8th Series lived up to the standard expected from Packard, there was little their dealers could do to curtail falling sales due to the struggling economy. Putting economic worries aside, the 8th Series was a particularly fine motorcar. The range consisted of the base 826, deluxe 833, and the flagship 840/845 models, their respective model numbers relating to the wheelbase in inches. Packard improved the base engine by utilizing the larger valves and intake ports of the outgoing 734 Speedster. Horsepower output for the 833 was now at an even 100, while the larger 840 and 845 made 120 horsepower. Stylistic changes were minimal, carrying over the same confident elegance of the previous model. The 833 range offered the most variety, with eleven catalog body styles available. As the entry-level 826 was sold only as a sedan, the 833 provided customers a broader array of equipment, style, and luxury.
Despite all of the promise, sales of the 8th Series were down across the board, totaling 15,450 cars in total. By comparison, Packard sold more 726 sedans than they did all of the 8th Series. In a desperate attempt to boost sales, they decided to roll out the substantially revised 9th Series well ahead of schedule in June of 1931. Even during these trying times, Packard weathered the storm of the Great Depression far better than most of their luxury car counterparts, and they continued to produce America's finest cars throughout the Classic Era, even if they happened to be in smaller numbers than expected.
Presented here is a lovely Packard 833 wearing rarely-seen 5-passenger coupe coachwork from the factory catalog. We seldom encounter closed cars restored with such attention to detail, and this gorgeous example is undoubtedly a refreshing sight. Records reveal the first owner was from Buffalo, New York, although little else about the earliest history is on file. The recent history picks after being acquired by Mr. J. Bowshier, who purchased the Packard from a widow living in Springfield, Ohio. At the time he discovered it, the 833 was a superbly preserved, unrestored car displaying 50,000 miles on the odometer. He left the Packard mostly untouched except for making it roadworthy and maintained it in his collection for several years. It traded hands to a collector in Michigan who, in 2011 commissioned the very high-quality restoration the car wears today. After carefully stripping the original coachwork to bare metal, the car was refinished in this striking two-tone livery of Riverhead Green and Bonaventure Green, finished off with a bold red stripe. At the same time, restorers rebuilt the engine and added a Borg-Warner overdrive unit behind the original four-speed gearbox for improved touring ability. The most recent owner is a collector and driving enthusiast, who has maintained this lovely Packard in outstanding condition.
The two-tone green paintwork is a particular highlight, finished to a very high standard with a glassy-smooth finish and beautiful detailing. Similarly, the brightwork is outstanding with concours-quality plating on the headlamps, bumpers, and body fittings. Accessories include a chrome radiator stone guard, Depress Beam headlights, Goddess of Speed mascot, sun visor, dual side-mount spares with chrome covers, and a trunk rack. Blackwall Excelsior tires mounted on green painted wire wheels with chrome rings, and hubcaps lend a sporty, purposeful appearance.
Inside the spacious five-passenger cabin, gray twill upholstery covers the seats and interior panels. The upholstery is in excellent condition, including the gray carpets and headlining. Features include privacy roller-blinds in the rear windows, beautiful woodgrain trim, and upholstered sun visors. A pleasing feature of this body style is the roll-down rear quarter windows, which, combined with the opening door glass and hinged windscreen allow for an open and airy passenger compartment. Switches and instrumentation are in excellent condition, including the art-deco McCord heater in the passenger's footwell.
The most recent owner enjoyed driving all of the cars in his collection, and this Packard 833 was no exception. It has been kept in top mechanical order, while still presenting well enough for casual shows and club events. The 320 cubic-inch inline-eight has the correct Detroit Lubricator updraft carburetor and displays correctly in Packard green paint on the block with a silver crankcase. Under-hood presentation is that of a former show-quality car that has seen some miles, properly finished with light signs of age. Similarly, the undercarriage is appropriately neat and tidy for an excellent tour car.
With superb colors and an outstanding restoration, this rare Packard 833 Coupe is a marvelous choice for the enthusiast seeking a beautifully prepared, CCCA Full Classic for touring and show. It represents a tremendous value, with a beautiful restoration that could not be repeated for the asking price.
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