Lot 342

1909 Packard Model 18 Five-Passenger Phaeton

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$159,500 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania

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language
Chassis No.
9641
Engine No.
9641
Documents
US Title
  • A unique and intriguing Five-Passenger Phaeton built upon Packard’s capable Model 18 chassis
  • Wears bodywork based on an original, never-produced 1909 Model 18 design said to have been discovered by former owner and Packard chief stylist Dick Teague
  • Incorporates many well-considered styling touches inspired by the sporting Model 18 and Model 30 Runabouts
  • An ideal candidate for long-distance Brass touring
Please note that this lot is titled as a 1910.

The Model 18 of 1909 marked a significant step forward for Packard. The Detroit automaker had found success, and built its sterling reputation, by offering just one car: The excellent Model 30. The market was evolving, however, and the marque could not avoid broadening its portfolio forever. Unsurprisingly, the Model 18 was marketed as a scaled-down Model 30 that maintained Packard’s uncompromising commitment to quality. Its 112-inch wheelbase and 265.7-cubic-inch four-cylinder engine were still impressive, but the whole package was pitched as better-suited to urban and suburban motoring than the mighty Model 30. The substantially lower price, Packard would have its customers believe, was purely incidental.

This Model 18 Five-Passenger Phaeton boasts a provenance as unique as its one-of-a-kind bodywork. While its earliest history is unknown, it passed through the hands of a number of enthusiasts in the Northeast in the years following World War II before arriving in the possession of Michigan-based automotive designer Richard “Dick” Teague circa 1950. Teague, at the time employed by General Motors, would become chief stylist for Packard in 1952. At this point, Teague is understood to have discovered drawings for a 1909 Model 18 body design that never left Packard’s drawing board.

Teague retained the car—consisting of a Model 18 Runabout chassis and running gear—and plans for a time before selling it to Leonard Davis of Pontiac, Michigan. At this point Teague had already outlined a plan for the Model 18 chassis: He envisioned it as the unproduced Five-Passenger Phaeton with elongated, Runabout-style front fenders, a longer Model 30-style hood, a rounded Runabout-style cowl, and altogether less visual mass than the Model 18 Touring body. An appealing and balanced design in its own right, it is a glimpse of what Packard might have built for the more sporting members of its client base in 1909.

In 1984, it was acquired by the consignor from the late Mr. Davis’ widow in a semi-complete state. He undertook the completion of the car to Teague’s found design, with intricate leatherwork completed by noted upholsterer Leif Drexler. Finished in maroon with black accents over maroon upholstery and a black top, the result is a Model 18 of wonderful proportion and immense overall appeal. There is no shortage of brass brightwork, from its large headlamps and cowl lamps to the single taillamp—and, of course, the instantly recognizable Packard grille.

Just as when it was new, the Packard Model 18 is celebrated for its usability, durability, and versatility on drives both long and short. Now offered out of long-term enthusiast ownership, this 1909 Five-Passenger Phaeton’s unique history, distinctive looks, and tremendous capability would make it a most appealing candidate for Brass touring in one-of-a-kind style.