29 April 2000
1929 PACKARD 645 DUAL COWL PHAETON
COACHWORK BY DIETRICH
Chassis No. 169415
Engine No. 169809
Grey over blue with black fenders and oyster white interior
Engine: straight eight, 384.8ci., 120bhp 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 revealed in 1923 as a successor to the V12 provided the backbone of Packard's future production, which lasted up 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 and the crankshaft running in nine main bearings. It gave 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 645 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. This car carries the very desirable and attractive Dual Cowl Phaeton coachwork designed by Dietrich. The Dietrich company is always closely associated with the finest coachbuilt Packards of the late 1920s and early 30s.
In the late 1980s a comprehensive frame-off restoration of this genuine Dietrich bodied 645 Dual Cowl Phaeton was begun by the car's previous owner. The restoration work was shared between its owner, a mechanical engineer and a team of skilled professionals who undertook the arduous task of rebuilding all mechanical components, as well as attending to all of the bodywork and paint. Unfortunately, the prior owner passed away as the restoration was coming to a close. At this point the car was purchased by the current vendor who commissioned the restoration's final completion. When it was finished the Packard was entered in the 1993 National Packard Meet in Asheville, North Carolina where it was awarded a First Place Award accompanied by a 95 point judges score. We understand that since that time the 645 Dual Cowl Phaeton has been used only sparingly, and has been continually kept in good order. In 1995 the Packard 645 Dual Cowl Phaeton was loaned to the National Packard Museum in Dayton, Ohio where it remained on display.
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