- “The Cutty Sark Packard”
- A wonderful, well-preserved original example of a landmark Packard
- Fascinating known ownership history since new
- A potential Preservation Class standout
Packard’s standard-bearer from 1907 until 1912, the Model 30’s 431.9-cu. in. T-head four produced a namesake 30 hp at a comically lazy 650 rpm; the modern reading would be closer to 60 horses transmitted to the wooden wheels by a three-speed transaxle. Quality of construction was beyond compare, with Packard reportedly utilizing French-made castings throughout, and every car was exercised exhaustively on a demanding test track prior to delivery. The car was known for its surprising power and ease of operation as compared to other automobiles of the time. This was Packard’s last and arguably greatest four-cylinder model.
The Packard Limousine offered here was purchased by Laura Campbell Sloo Whitney of New Orleans, Louisiana. Born into one prominent local family, she had married into another with her nuptials to Charles Morgan Whitney, a member of the New York Morgan and Whitney banking families and himself a prominent financier and businessman. The car still wears its original 1914 New York and 1915 Louisiana license plates; it is believed to have moved between the Whitneys’ houses in both cities.
Following Mrs. Whitney’s passing, the limousine was inherited by her chauffeur, who garaged it in a carriage house in New Orleans. There, it was spotted in 1947 by Frank Franklin, a 19-year-old college student visiting from Texas. With youthful persistence, Mr. Franklin was able to track down the chauffeur on his bar stool at a French Quarter watering hole. Within a short time, he was able to arrange an even trade: the Packard for a bottle of Cutty Sark. A deal that could only be made in the Big Easy!
Mr. Franklin carefully spent the next five days driving his new acquisition home to Houston, later recalling that he experienced no overheating problems or breakdowns of any kind. It remained in his care in central Texas for over 60 years, spending much of that time on display in a museum in Hill County. It has continued to enjoy good enthusiast care since.
The car remains in astonishing, wonderful original condition. The carpet and paint are all original, as is the beautifully preserved ornate upholstery in the rear passenger compartment; the mahogany woodwork is lovely, and even the undercarriage is clean and intact. Only the upholstery on the driver’s seat required correct replacement leather years ago. It is among the brassiest of the brass cars, the material employed in all of its hinges, most of its fittings, and the door and grab handles. In its current ownership, it has been sorted properly, with adjustments to the original carburetor and a thorough detailing throughout, and it now runs well.
Presented as an unrestored treasure, “the Cutty Sark Packard” is ready to make its mark on the Preservation Class at its new owner’s favorite concours, where it can demonstrate the enduring excellence of one of the great cars of its era.