Introduced in August of 1933, Packard’s new 11th Series debuted beautiful styling that, for many, represented the pinnacle of elegance and sophistication in the classic era. The concept of streamlining was in its infancy, and the slightest hints of its influence first appeared on the 11th Series – namely in the v-shaped radiator and headlamp lenses, deeply skirted front fenders, lowered ride height, and slightly raked windscreen. Compared to the 10th Series, changes were minimal, yet impactful, and there are plenty of enthusiasts who believe the 1934 Packard is the most beautiful American car of the period. Aside from the revised styling, the mechanical specification mainly carried over from the previous model – which was hardly a fault given the superb engine and chassis options available. The robust X-brace frame featured the excellent steering, powerful brakes, and refined ride quality that Packard buyers came to expect.
The eight-cylinder range consisted of three models at its foundation – the 1100, 1101, and 1102, each differentiated by their wheelbase. All three models shared the same 120 horsepower, 319 cubic-inch L-head inline engine, synchronized 3-speed gearbox, and vacuum-assisted brakes. Above the Eight sat the larger-engine Super Eight and the Twelve, yet it would be unfair to classify the Packard Eight as a “base model” in modern parlance. Prices for the 1100 started at $2,350 and stretched to $3,200 dependent on the coachwork – enough to buy at least four new Fords with plenty of change left over. The Eight was aimed at the owner-driver who demanded the prestige of Packard ownership in a versatile, driver-friendly package.
Equipped with Packard’s handsome five-passenger sedan coachwork, this 1934 model 1100-703 is the recipient of a very high-quality restoration. While this attractive body style was one of the most popular in its day, many have been sacrificed through time by restorers working on open roadsters and convertibles. It is quite rare to encounter an 1100 sedan so thoughtfully and lovingly restored as this car. While the restoration is older, the 1997 AACA Senior National First Prize badge underscores the quality of its detailing and presentation. Finished in classic black with straw yellow wheels and coach lines, this charming Packard has an understated presence. While the restoration has mellowed with time, it remains quite attractive. The black paintwork is in fine order all around, though some minor imperfections are noted upon inspection. Plating on the bumpers, headlamps, radiator shell, and other body fittings is excellent, with a uniform finish consistent with the restoration’s age. Dual side-mount spare wheels feature body-color metal covers, and a period-style trunk rests on the trunk rack, complete with a custom upholstered cover. The 11th Series’ fully skirted fenders, lower ride height, and raked tilt-open windscreen give this sedan a distinctly elegant profile.
Inside, gray fabric upholstery adorns the seats and side panels. The soft trim is in lovely order in both the front and rear compartments, showing signs of light use in the time since the restoration. Slight discoloration of the driver’s carpet is noted, while the upholstery in the rear compartment is excellent and appears to have had little use. Passengers enjoy a spacious rear bench with built-in cigar lighters, ornate wood-grain trim, a folding footrest, opening rear quarter glass, and privacy blinds. More wood-grain trim features on the front window surrounds and on the dash, which houses an array of Waltham instruments in a finely detailed chrome panel.
Displacing 319 cubic inches, the L-head inline-eight is rated for 120 horsepower at 3,200 RPM. These famously robust engines were renowned in their day for their exceptional refinement, and this example lives up to the legend. The synchronized three-speed manual gearbox, light clutch action, ample torque, and precision-engineered chassis and steering create an effortless driving experience. Enthusiasts have long sung the praises of classic era Packards for their excellent road manners, and this example does not disappoint. The engine presentation is up to the standards set by the rest of the car – with correct paint finishes on the crankcase, block, and accessories. It shows signs of occasional use while remaining clean, orderly, and authentically detailed.
Offered at what is undoubtedly a fraction of the restoration costs, this Packard ideal for touring enjoyment with the whole family. Designated a Full Classic by the Classic Car Club of America, it is eligible and well-suited for their diverse range of events, including CARavan tours. Elegant styling, robust mechanicals, and a lovely, well-matured restoration come together to make this Packard 1100 a tremendous value in the world of classic era motorcars.
Offers welcome and trades considered