1928 Packard 443 Custom Eight Convertible Coupe
Vehicle No. 228330
Engine No. 226440A
1928 was a watershed year for Packard, ending production of its successful high production Six in favor of going all-in with its prestigious and long-lived inline Eight.
The demise of the Six in mid-1928 brought new features to the Fourth Series Eight with an innovative oiling system that when the choke was applied sprayed a film of oil on the cylinder walls to lubricate the cylinders when cold and during warmup and an oil filter, also new for 1928. And as the Six was phased out a new lower cost line of Standard Eights was introduced priced $500-$600 below the range topping Custom Eight.
The Custom Eight was easily distinguished from its Standard Eight counterpart by dual side-mounted spares (the Standard had a single rear-mounted spare) and hood side vent doors instead of the Standard’s louvers. All 1928 Packards rode on 143” wheelbase chassis and had smaller 20” wheels, wire on the Custom Eight and steel disc wheels on the Standard Eight.
Power for all Packards came from the proven 385 cubic inch nine main bearing side-valve inline eight engine with 109 horsepower, an engine that had so much torque at low rpm that Packard needed only a 3-speed transmission, countered by four-wheel mechanical drum brakes.
This beautiful 1928 Packard Custom Eight Convertible Coupe is an older restoration that was meticulously done and has been consistently maintained to retain its excellent appearance and function. Finished in a pearl white metallic with rich maroon fenders, it has maroon wire wheels with chrome lock rings, wide whitewall tires and dual sidemount spares with strap on rear view mirrors. For modern touring it has been upgraded with a modern overdrive giving it excellent, relaxed performance at today’s higher speeds while retaining its correct period vacuum fuel tank and Packard updraft carburetor. Under the hood this older restored Packard 443 Convertible Coupe is exceptional, clean, tidy and neatly arranged.
The chassis and inside of the fenders are maroon to match the body and fenders. The windshield is hinged at the top for ventilation and it is correctly outfitted with Parabeam drum headlights and matching small drum cowl lights. There is a wire mesh radiator stoneguard, Goddess of Speed mascot and Motometer temperature gauge. The top is subtle beige cloth over the roll up door windows in keeping with Packard’s refined image.
The interior is upholstered and trimmed in matching maroon leather including the rumble seat and there is a luggage rack at the rear as well as a right side access door to the rumble seat footwell for occasional luggage or golf bags. It starts promptly cold or hot, runs beautifully and has a surprisingly roomy passenger compartment with front-hinged doors for easy entrance and even graceful exit.
The lightly creased seat upholstery attests to the limited use this Packard 443 Custom Eight Convertible Coupe has seen since it was restored. Gauges are crisp and clear although the fuel gauge no longer works and the speedometer cable has not been modified to work with the added overdrive (allowing the driver to answer the standard police question, “Do you know how fast you were going?” with an honest, “No”). The chrome on the cowl lights is beginning to show age but the rest of the chrome is very good.
1928 was the height of the Roaring Twenties, celebrating the Jazz Age with flamboyance and enthusiasm, and this 1928 Packard 443 Custom Eight Convertible Coupe exemplifies both the optimism and the spirit of the times with its two plus two sporting coachwork, exemplary older restoration and exceptional preservation.
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