Elegance oozes from every corner, every curve, every surface of this car, and the crowds that surrounded it knew it was something special, even if they didn’t know the rich tapestry of history behind the famous Packard name in the automotive realm. The chrome and finish on the details of the coach speak to the great care that has gone into its maintenance over the years. It felt as if we were all bearing witness to a fabled unicorn, and many of us knew this special moment would be a once-in-a-lifetime event that would never occur again.
Thank you for joining us once again as we continue our running photoblog series “The Toads At The Gathering“, featuring stories and photographs we captured at The Motorcar Gathering 2012 held at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Victoria a couple of summers ago now. In today’s post, we are going to take a look at a classic vintage Packard Phaeton that was on display at the event.
Many of us look upon the period of time in the 20’s and 30’s as a time of great romance. It was a period of time that found no real active wars, and people were experiencing a quality of life that hadn’t been had before, at least before The Depression set in during the 30’s. The great world wars were not yet upon us and entertainment and lifestyle played a center stage role for those who enjoyed the finer things. Thus was born great brands like Duesenberg and Packard, brands that live with us still today even though the factories are now long gone.
Cars like this rose on the laurels of being considered to be crafted to the highest standards. People weren’t afraid to pay a premium for the utmost quality, and the designs of the finer cars from this era really reflect this.
This particular Packard is a Tonneau Windshield Phaeton, Model 740, with the Super 8 389CI engine. At the time it produced a whopping 106 horsepower, and although this won’t break any records on today’s tracks it will certainly be plenty to move this lovely coach around in fine fashion and style. Interestingly enough, it was noted that this car was used as a royal tour car in 1939, hosting the King and Queen of England in Victoria during that time. This fun little fact adds a great dimension to the story.
Interiors of the era may have been sparse in comparison to today’s contemporary car, bereft of such features and comforts as air conditioning, GPS navigation and satellite radio to keep us company as the miles tick by. But they were elegant and incredibly beautiful in their simplicity and construction. Only the finest materials of the times were used, featuring wonderful wood dash panels and the best quality leathers for the seats and doors. One glance at a car like this and you are immediately drawn into a time now long behind us. You are instantly beckoned to sit behind the wheel as you don your hat and scarf rolling across the vast countryside taking in the sights, sounds and fresh air.
A simpler time, perhaps, but no less wonderful for it, that’s for sure.
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