Here we have another stunner spotted at a Packard show. She’s all-original, even the paint—impressive for an automobile that’s nearing her 100th birthday. The ’32 Packard 900-Series is a very rare automobile; despite its flashy design (note the “shovelnose” grille) and its accounting for nearly half of Packard’s sales that year, the nearly-astronomical average price of $1,800 combined with the high cost of manufacturing the beautiful body resulted in the design’s being dropped by ’33.
Packard sold just over 6,700 of these in its attempt to survive the Great Depression, which killed many great nameplates (including fellow “royal” luxury automobile marques Pierce-Arrow and Peerless). I’m not sure how many remain, though one did sell for over $100,000 in 2013. This particular Packard Eight 900-Series is a gem indeed—not only is she glamourous from nose to tail, the car has only logged 64,000 miles since her first owner in Connecticut to her fourth and present owner (so far as I know). Of the mere twenty-two coupe roadsters in the world’s Packard Club, this is the only one ‘living’ in Ohio.
It’s safe to say the man or woman who bought this 900 would go on to buy another Packard—while Packard led all luxury manufacturers with 33.6% of all car sales, Packard could really boast when it came to its returning customers; ninety percent of Packard buyers came back for more. As the old Packard slogan went: Ask the man who owns one.
Perhaps the first owner of this car listened to Jack Benny’s radio program, which had its debut in 1932—or perhaps, stopping along some quiet country road, the owners heard from a restaurant waitress or farmstand owner that the Lindbergh’s baby had been kidnapped, mourning for the American hero and his family even as they prayed Charles, Jr. would be safely recovered (alas, it was not to be). Continue reading