1929 Packard 640 with rumble seat
6,300cc Straight-8 engine
Delivered new to New Zealand
Chassis No. 175909
Packard are one of the oldest names in the automotive industry. The company was founded in Ohio by James Ward Packard with his brother William Packard and their business partner George Lewis Weiss. At the time, Wiess was an important shareholder in Winton Cars, a prominent builder of the new horseless carriage. James Packard however was not impressed with the quality of the cars Winton produced and so when suggestions to Alex Winton to improve the cars were ignored James Packard decided to set up his own motorcar company which had reliability, quality, and refinement at its core.
Packard therefore set about producing cars of the highest standard, beginning with a single cylinder engine which quickly grew to a twin then a 4-cylinder before the 106bhp, strong and silent straight-8 was developed. Packard were quick to embrace new technology, developing the modern steering wheel in place of the tiller-system and were therefore one of the first manufactures to adopt the modern control system. Packard’s dedication to quality was appreciated by their customers and their popularity soared. In the mid 1920s Packard outsold Lincoln, Cadillac, Peerless and Arrow combined. Packard’s clients were amongst the wealthiest people in the world and indeed they had to be as the cars did not come cheap. While Henry Ford’s vehicles were selling for $440 Packard’s cars started at $2,600. The company quickly gained a reputation across America and abroad being one of the 3 Ps of American Royalty along with Pierce-Arrow and Peerlees.
The 1929 Packard 640 we offer here is a very rare RHD example that was originally delivered to New Zealand, incredibly the Auckland identification number can still be seen under the driver’s door. It was then bought by a farmer who had the rear of the vehicle converted to a ‘pick-up’ style body to haul wood and straw. A couple of years later the car was purchased by Nathan Clark, of Clark Shoes who had been looking for a Packard to add to his collection. He decided to acquire this particular car because the high import tax on new cars to New Zealand had created a community of well-kept older cars. He bought the car as a project in the 1960s, at that time the body behind the rear wheels had been removed but the frame and scuttle remained untouched. The rear deck-lid and spare wheel mount also came with the car unaltered. The interior of the car remained wonderfully original including the original paint, upholstery and interior wood.
The car was purchased at auction in barn-find state by an Argentinian client in 2012 and was subsequently shipped to Argentina for a comprehensive restoration. The restorers have done a fine job returning this car to original standard, re-fitting the rear deck complete with dicky seat and golfing hatch. This 1929 Packard 640 is now ready for sale at The Classic Motor Hub and presents as impeccably today as it did when leaving the factory ready for its discerning customers.