While Packard surprised industry watchers with the launch of its new “Junior” models in 1935, the venerable luxury-car company continued to satisfy its staunchly loyal high-end clients with the prestigious Twelve, supplemented by the new Super Eight. Introduced in September 1936 for 1937, the new Super Eight formed part of Packard’s Fifteenth Series and was available along three wheelbase lengths, with ample power delivered by the superb 320 cubic-inch, L-head straight-8 engine of the prior Fourteenth Series.
Important Packard “firsts” for the Fifteenth Series further improved refinement and drivability via the advanced independent front suspension and hydraulic braking system. Accordingly, the refined new Super Eight models were highly versatile and ideal for both top-quality production-type and luxurious custom coachbuilt bodies, bringing traditional Packard excellence and quality to a wider customer base. While produced in far lower numbers than the “junior” models, the Fifteenth Series Super Eights were important to Packard’s fortunes during the challenging 1930s, with 5,793 produced in all.
Demonstrating the uncanny versatility of the 1937 Fifteenth Series Packard Super Eight models, this fascinating example features a Brewster-built Town Car body, numbered 9016. It is understood that this body was originally constructed for one of the limited-production Brewster-Fords of the mid-1930s. Delivered to Ford Motor Company on 16 August 1934, the Town Car was sold by them to E. J. Bermingham, a businessman from Chicago, Illinois. Notations to the chassis records add, “Chassis re-sold to Universal Auto Wreck. Body mounted on Packard Super 8 for Mr. B,” strongly suggesting that Mr. Bermingham’s Brewster-Ford was wrecked, and he elected to have this Brewster body fitted to this Packard Super Eight chassis. The work is believed to have been performed in March 1939, and according to the previous owner, Brewster expert Don Weir, it is likely that Brewster performed the body fitment, considering the records regarding this work along with the quality of the body installation itself.
Beautifully presented with a well-maintained older restoration, this 1937 Packard Super Eight Town Car is finished in an appealing two-tone dark blue paint scheme, complemented by gray pinstripes and disc-style wheels. The paintwork is very attractive overall, and appears well-maintained over the years since its restoration, showing a few minor age-related imperfections. Desirable period accessories and features include Packard’s signature “Goddess of Speed” radiator mascot, Packard-scripted Trippe Speedlights, dual side-mounted spares in steel cases, dual rear-view mirrors, and a luggage rack mounting a covered trunk.
The highly inviting chauffeur’s compartment features a removable roof panel, black leather upholstery and tan carpeting, wood grain door caps, a “banjo” steering wheel, and a visually striking instrument panel. Much of the front compartment is in well-preserved original condition. Unlike many town cars, this Packard has a surprisingly spacious driver’s compartment, making it comfortable for taller drivers. Passengers enjoy a remarkably well-preserved rear compartment. Original broadcloth covers the seats and some interior panels, while the door panels and carpets appear to have been replaced. Other highlights include a McCord under-dash heater, sliding glass division window, folding jump seats, vanity compartments, roll-down privacy blinds, and a lovely Waltham eight-day clock. Powering the car is a proper and very well-detailed, 135-horsepower 320-cubic-inch inline-eight-cylinder engine, authentically presented in Packard Green with gloss black ancillaries and mated to a three-speed synchromesh manual transmission.
Exemplifying the versatility offered by Packard’s Fifteenth Series Super Eight model lines, this handsome Brewster-bodied Town Car has enjoyed light use and sympathetic care through the years and remains in very fine order throughout. Predictably, it has made several show appearances, including California’s Rodeo Drive Concours and numerous Packard Club events. Blessed with known history, this CCCA (Classic Car Club of America) Full Classic® carries wide event eligibility, including CARavan tours, where its mechanical sophistication and elegance will make it a true standout.
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Stock number 7421
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