The brothers James and William Packard founded a car factory in Ohio in 1899. Also in Ohio, a few years earlier, an advanced passenger car powered by a combustion engine was born, when Alexander Winton, a Scot specializing in the manufacture of bicycles, had developed his own horseless vehicle. James Packard bought one of Winton’s vehicles and started developing his own passenger car. Packard succeeded, and little by little the Ohio automaker became one of the most prominent manufacturers of American luxury passenger cars before World War II.
From 1942 until the end of World War II, Packard focused on producing the vehicle industry for wartime needs, engines for both fighters and naval ships. In 1945, at the end of World War II, Packard was in excellent financial shape. However, the company’s good financial condition was due to the state’s military industry rather than passenger cars sold to private customers. At the end of the 1930s, Packard also introduced six-cylinder middle-class cars aimed at the general public. At the same time, Cadillac had entered the luxury car market, which offered more modern-looking comfort than Packard. In the market, Lincoln and Kaiser Frazer also fought for buyers of luxury American cars.
In 1946, Packard produced about 10 thousand cars, which was roughly half of the pre-war annual production. They wanted to stick to high quality, which limited the production quantities, and labor disputes did not make the situation any easier. Above all, the need was to design and bring new models to the market that would deserve the front decoration of the finest American luxury car.
The years 1947-1948 were a turning point for Packard: the trendy “Bathtube”, a new round design trend for luxury cars, which was pioneered by Nash and Kaiser Frazer. Packard responded to market demand with numerous 8-cylinder new models such as Standard and Deluxe. At the top of the range was the Custom Eight, which was even available as a seven-seater limousine. Packard managed to earn its bow, even President Truman traveled ostentatiously in a Custom Eight Victoria convertible. Since then, Custom Eight has starred in films such as Back to the Future and Gangster Squad.
For the first time, Packard had introduced the Custom Eight model series back in 1928, so now it was the second generation. The most luxurious model in the collection was equipped with a 356 cubic inch / 5.8 liter inline eight engine and a wheelbase of up to 127 inches. Apart from its large size, the Custom Eight was distinguished from its smaller siblings by its egg crate chrome grill.
This Packard Custom Eight Sedan was first registered in the United States in December 1948. The car has been preserved in excellent original condition. The original sand gray shade is said to have been repainted in the 1960s. The car was brought to Finland in 2012 from Worley, Florida, where its last owners were Jerry & Hazel Nebel. The car was bought from US to Finland by its current owner, A. Erämaa.
The car has had a thorough engine overhaul done in Finland. The overdrive has also been refurbished and an ac alternator. The skirts of the body have been restored, but mostly the body of the car has remained in excellent original condition.
The Packard has been regularly serviced and well taken care of. The Packard runs and drives really refined and the power transmission works precisely. Gorgeus car, “Ask the man who owns one.”
Registered as a historic vehicle. The car has been inspected 05/2020, valid until 05/2024. Packard is located in Vantaa, Finland – 30 minutes from Helsinki–Vantaa Airport. Views by appointment.
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