In response to the Great Depression and a slowing economy, Packard had introduced the medium-priced One-Twenty model which appealed to a wider audience. The tactic worked and soon a healthy cash flow was pouring in from vehicle sales. The other line of vehicles Packard had built their reputation was still available for sale. The Twelve was a powerful and prestigious car that carried a price tag to match. With so few individuals capable of parting with the necessary funds to purchase one of these upscale vehicles, fewer than 700 units were produced.
In between the Packard Twelve and the One-Twenty models were the Eight and Super Eight models. These two series were offered with nearly identical ranges of body styles with the primary differences being the engine and the wheelbase sizes. The Eight outsold the Super Eight by a factor of three to one, perhaps due to their indistinguishable visual differences.
For 1935, the largest Packard Super Eight model was the Model 1204. It had a wheelbase that measured 139-inches and was fitted with a larger, 384 cubic-inch inline eight-cylinder engine capable of producing 150 horsepower. The open bodied cars were constructed by Murray Corporation of America, though they wore a 'Dietrich' badge. The Phaetons were Packard's only true open cars without side windows.
This 1935 Packard Super Eight Five-Passenger Phaeton is the third of this style built. Its current owner has retained the car in his California-based collection for the past thirty-four years. While in the collection it has been well maintained and received continuous care. It wears an older restoration that still shows well in modern times. It is painted in light Primrose Yellow with dark brown wire wheels and a beige convertible top. There are a full set of side curtains for use in all kinds of weather conditions. The car includes dual enclosed side-mounted spare tires with dual rearview mirrors and a rear-mounted luggage rack. The interior of the car is brown leather upholstery and side panels, matching carpet, a radio, 'suicide'-type front doors, and a fold-down center armrest.
In 2008, this car was brought to the 2nd Annual Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey presented by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $140,000-$180,000. Bidding reached $91,000 but was not enough to satisfy the vehicles reserve. The lot was left unsold.