1934 Packard Super Eight Seven-Passenger Sedan
1934 Packard 1105 5-7 Passenger Sedan:
Vehicle No. 754-72
Motor No. 752393
145 bhp, 384 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed synchromesh manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension with variable-pressure shock absorbers, and vacuum servo-assisted four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 147 in.
Nineteen thirty-four has widely been considered Packard’s “ultimate year,” the height of its Classic Era styling and engineering, led by a very gently raked vee’d radiator shell flanked by matching headlamps, subtly skirted flowing fenders, and handsome bodywork in a wide roster of styles. The mostly costly eight-cylinder models were built on the longest 147-inch 1105 Super Eight chassis, with a 145 bhp straight eight under the hood; the chassis was available as both a seven-passenger sedan and a limousine with division window. Sadly, few of these elegant cars were preserved over the years – a loss for those who enjoy powerful, sleek formal cars of impressive bearing.
The 1934 Packard 1105 5-7 Passenger Sedan offered here is one of just a handful remaining extant, and likely the only one in this remarkable state of preservation, including the wonderful original lacquer paint applied by the Packard factory – not surprising, as the odometer notes only 29,000 actual miles. This style was frequently built specifically for individual customer order, which explains this car’s rather unusual combination of options. Wooden artillery wheels with a single rear-mounted spare were the “standard,” with wire wheels and fender-mounted spares available at additional cost. Given the expense of a new Super Eight, many opted for the latter combination, but this car was outfitted with artillery wheels and dual sidemounts, as well as the optional Cormorant mascot and luggage rack. It was delivered by Packard Philadelphia on December 5, 1933.
The current owner acquired the car recently from the family of John Shanahan in New Hope, Pennsylvania, who had acquired it in 1953 from Penn Auto Body of Newtown, Pennsylvania, a shop that remains in business to this day. Mr. Shanahan and his son-in-law drove the car regularly for some years, during which time it was serviced by the Packard dealership in Philadelphia. It occasionally went to church and, in the 1960s, made several appearances at the car shows being held in New Hope. More recently it remained in storage for the last three decades at the Shanahans’ property in Lincoln, Delaware.
In its original condition with decades-old Mohawk Chief blackwall tires and its original vehicle number plate, this Preservation Class-ready Super Eight Packard radiates subtle, old-fashioned elegance that time cannot wear away. It is ready for further sympathetic conservation and for display as-is at the event of a new owner’s choosing, where it will be justifiably recognized as one of the finest unrestored survivors of its kind. They are, as the old saying says, only original once – and few 1934 Packards of any sort have survived as original as this one.
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