- Particularly sought-after model
- Highly elegant coachwork, luxurious specification
- Versatile and powerful straight-eight engine
- Collection Dr.Arnold Kawlath
The Speedster 734 was Packard's response to the challenges made by Cadillac and other luxury marques of the 1920s. With a shortened chassis, a 6.3-litre straight-eight engine producing 125 or 140 bhp coupled with a four-speed gearbox, the car was only in production for one year, and an estimated total of just 116 examples were built. Needless to say, it is one of the most highly sought-after Packards models.
The car on offer was long thought to be a Speedster 734 replica built using period parts. However, research carried out by authoritative experts has identified this as a genuine 734 Speedster, with chassis and engine numbers corresponding to the original limited run.
The car's history can be traced back to the 1960s, when it was owned by Mr Hossbacher and still had its original Victoria body. The Speedster joined the Harrah collection in Reno in 1962, then sold to Richard Kingston, who is the owner believed to have commissioned the lovely 'Boattail Runabout' body still on the car today. It subsequently belonged to Leo Gephardt, John Weatley, Jerry J. Moore and Stirling McCall, before being acquired by the owner before last. More recently, the passionate German collector Arnold Kawlath, who lives in the South of France, became the new owner. He used it regularly for rallies and trips with his family.
This car has many 734 characteristics, such as a grooved exhaust manifold, finned drum brakes and four-speed transmission. The fuel supply comes from a Zenith carburettor and not the original Packard one. There is a host of luxury equipment : chrome wire wheels; whitewall tyres; extra, adjustable headlamps; side deflectors; fold-down windshield; dual spare wheels mounted with mirrors; a radiator grille guard; Pilot-Ray awning lights, electric cigar lighter, a clock and a handsome radiator mascot. The interior is upholstered in beige leather and has a wooden dashboard. The car is presented in orange with black wings, top of the bonnet and the rear tail. The steel body is in excellent condition and features a luggage compartment underneath at the back. The luxury equipment extends to transparent side panels that can be fixed on the roof for extra protection in bad weather.
Here is an extraordinary slice of American automobile history, and a legendary model amongst Packard enthusiasts. This supremely elegant Speedster 734 offers a rare opportunity to acquire such a refined car with an enviable level of finish. Mr Kawlath has told us that the power and versatility of the engine and its noble design makes the car easy to drive. A promise of driving pleasure that must be hard to beat.