19 March 1999,
Price realised USD 123,500
USD 80,000 - USD 120,000
1929 PACKARD 640 CUSTOM EIGHT RUNABOUT
Chassis No. 178379
Engine No. 178382C
Burgundy with black fenders and red accents with burgundy leather interior
Engine: straight eight, 384.8 ci., 106bhp at 3,200rpm; Gearbox: three speed manual; Suspension; semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
The eight cylinder engine that Packard had revealed in 1923 as a successor to the V12 provided the backbone of Packard's future production, lasting to the end of the 1930's. The design was a simple side valve (L-head) of the highest quality with a light alloy crankcase with the crankshaft running in nine main bearings. It gave a smooth and effortless performance. The new engine provided the model name for Packard's most prestigious model of this era, the Eight. The eight cylinder was designated the 640 for 1929 and was offered in 21 body styles. 1929 marked the first application of the Packard family coat-of-arms as a radiator emblem. The temperature gauge was removed from the radiator filler cap to a more easily read dash-mounted position and an automatic cylinder oiler avoided engine wear caused by dry starts.
In general, the new Packard was a major improvement from the 1928 line-up. The 640 was a mechanically upgraded car that, though not entirely different looking from its predecessor, made the fifth series Packards obsolete in the eyes of many new owners who were now driving a sixth series model. The ride was drastically changed with the introduction of a shock-absorbed 'loose trunion' suspension system that resembled a modern four-wheel independent system. The 'loose trunnion' system led to the design of a rocker mount held in place by four short compression springs, and road shock was effectively absorbed by the fore and aft movement of this loose mount. Interior space and leg room were improved by moving the shift lever from the top of the transmission case to a plate on the bell housing, giving both the driver and passenger ample space and maximum comfort. The Packard name had an almost unrivaled familiarity throughout the world and the 1929 640 helped carry the Packard namesake through the Depression. The loyalty of Packard customers to their cars was the foremost reason for the continual Packard presence in America following the Depression. It was a testament to the high quality of engineering, mechanics and attractive styling that Packard had come to be synonomous with.
When Jack Dietz purchased this Packard 640 a little over two years ago, he immediately embarked upon a full restoration of the car. With great attention to the 640's correctness, Mr. Dietz made every effort to complete the car to the exact specifications of the 1929 640 model line. However, during restoration it was neccesary to fit a 1930 carburetor, as a 1929 was unavailable. Mr. Dietz's Packard appears to be in excellent condition throughout. The 640 is reported to run well and has been used sparingly since restoration. The new owner can look foward to debuting this classic Packard on the show and touring circuit. The engine compartment and motor appear clean and well maintained.
This Packard 640 is equipped with nearly every factory option that was available including a wood-rail trunk mount, the Packard sliding boy hood ornament, dual side spot lamps, optional wood wheels, dual side mounted spares and a Packard stoneguard. All instrumentation appears to be correct and in good working order. Mr. Dietz's sixth series Packard is a wonderful testament to a keynote year in Packard production and is considered a full classic by the Classic Car Club of America.
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