Packard Custom Eights

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Keywords: Packard Custom Eights
Description: Bathtub-shaped Packards have been marked by the unflattering description of their slab-sided design, a reminder of the marque's 1940s emphasis on mid-price models. Even so, the convertible body

Bathtub-shaped Packards have been marked by the unflattering description of their slab-sided design, a reminder of the marque's 1940s emphasis on mid-price models. Even so, the convertible body styles--mixing straight lines and soft curves--illustrate how attractive they can be.

Arthur Stone found this car advertised in a collection of Packards for sale in Ohio. He called the owner for photos and soon bought the entire collection for his Ft. Lauderdale Antique Car Museum, building a new wing to house them.

“This is an exceptional motor car!” he exclaims. The list price made it the most expensive production car at that time in the United States.

This convertible includes something not unknown in older cars: conflicting identifications. The 1950 date on the title is challenged by the manual transmission; that year's Custom Eights had automatics. An incomplete serial number does not help. Could this be a special order, or the look-alike year-earlier model?

Whichever, the convertible seems almost new; there are only 55,036 miles on the odo. “Everything works,” says museum curator Gary Bennett, smiling, pointing out the electric convertible top, AM radio and the turn signals. A rectangular-shaped steering column includes a gear-shaped windshield-wiper control. The more the gear is turned, the faster the wipers go. Another nice touch is an air-pump outlet extending just below the trunk lid.

The car is a treat to drive. The 160-hp 356-cid straight-eight is very smooth yet loud enough to let the driver know real power is underhood. The overengineered prewar design includes nine crankshaft bearings. Upright seating provides a good view of the road, in addition to the experience of looking through a split two-piece windshield. The non-power hydraulic brakes take hold firmly.

This Packard looks and feels solid. The 213-inch length is complemented by details such as the heft felt closing the trunk lid and the thickness of the pleated seats. The thin cream plastic-and-chrome steering wheel informs by touch how easily it works without power assist. Power window controls move the chrome-edged windows silently. There is plenty of headroom, but the relatively low window height requires a tall person to be alert when entering or exiting the car.

Packard's 1950 promotional efforts centered around the Holiday Hotel TV show, starring character actor Edward Everett Horton. Reviewed as having impressive sets with ineffective direction, the show mirrored Packard's post-World War II business situation.

To its credit, Packard revived its luxury-car business after the bathtub models, but imperfect finances and bad luck led Packard to the same fate as the TV showcase.



Photogallery Packard Custom Eights:







1949 Packard Custom Eight (Custom8) | Conceptcarz.com
1949 Packard Custom Eight (Custom8) | Conceptcarz.com
1949 Packard Custom Eight (Custom8) | Conceptcarz.com







Photographs Packard Custom Eights - sa7.1-themes
Photographs Packard Custom Eights - sa7.1-themes
1946 Packard Custom Super Clipper Eight | Conceptcarz.com







Photographs Packard Custom Eights - sa7.1-themes
Photographs Packard Custom Eights - sa7.1-themes
Packard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia







Photographs Packard Custom Eights - borzii
History of Packard, page 2
packard-custom-eight-01.jpg







Packard Light Eight: Photo gallery, complete information about ...
Photographs Packard Custom Eights - borzii
1929 Packard 640 Custom Eight (Custom 8) | Conceptcarz.com