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Arizona | Lot 174

1929 Packard Custom Eight Opera Coupe

$53,200 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona

16 January 2020


Engine No.
169785
  • Rare opera coupe body style
  • Previously of the Ken Vaughn and Phil Hill collection
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

A standout of Packard’s stellar Sixth Series of 1929, the 640 Custom Eights were among the most attractive and imposing automobiles of the Classic Era. They were aggressively elegant, with long hoods, sweeping fenders, and large oval-backed headlights, a one-year-only feature on Packards. Such standout design features were found throughout the car, from bright molding around the cowl to a drop molding along the beltline that could be accented with a contrasting color decor panel. Powered by a seven-main-bearing, 385-cubic-inch straight eight with a rigid one-piece cylinder block casting, it was quiet yet powerful, an ideal choice for those who prioritize luxury and performance above all else.

The Packard offered here is a beautifully restored example of the opera coupe body style on a Sixth Series Custom Eight. Built on the 640 chassis, this rare and unusual body style featured a more generous coupe configuration with a full and luxuriously appointed back seat. The driver’s seat is flanked by a small folding seat which enabled easy ingress to the back seat. It is thought that this body style was likely meant for a chauffeur and footman, with the primary occupants riding in the rear.

The Packard is attractively finished in dark maroon and black with black fenders. It rides on solid wheels finished with the correct pinstriping and wearing wide whitewall tires. Other options include dual side mounts and Packard trunk rack. Under the hood the Packard’s big straight eight is beautifully detailed, displaying the correct equipment, including vacuum tank, bronze Packard carburetor, and North East distributor. The intriguing interior is correct to original standards, fitted with the proper wool broadcloth and highly decorated with elaborate wood trim displaying idyllic romantic scenes in marquetry.

All things considered, this is a very well-loved Packard in excellent restored condition, complete with all its so-often-lost extras. A recent, complete mechanical inspection and service were completed by noted Packard restorer Robert Escalante of Custom Auto Service in Santa Ana, California. Included with the sale is a selection of documents which confirm the provenance of the automobile. Though exact production figures are not known, the Custom Eight opera coupe is rarely seen, making this an important opportunity for a dedicated enthusiast to add a superb Packard to their collection.

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