Packard was one of the leading manufacturers of fine luxury automobiles until their end in 1958. Many consider the demise of Packard a great industrial tragedy. The company started in 1899 in Warren, Ohio by James Ward Packard, his brother William Packard and George Weiss. The company was an immediate success, grew rapidly and in 1903 moved to a new large factory in Detroit, designed by Albert Kahn. Over the years they made a large variety of vehicles and engines for cars, trucks, boats, military vehicles, aircraft and boats. By the time this 1924 Packard was built, Packard enjoyed a worldwide reputation for quality luxury cars equal to that of Rolls-Royce.
The Packard Straight-Eight engine, introduced in 1924, would be used and refined for the next thirty years and has become the most famous and reliable Packard engine ever produced.
This Model 143 is powered by the original Straight-Eight, flat head engine producing 90 horsepower and displacing 358 cubic-inches. The engine is fitted to a three-speed transmission and the wheelbase measures 143 inches. The car weighs approximately 4,300 pounds.
The body on this first series Packard was built by the Fleetwood Body Company of Pennsylvania. Shortly after building this body, the Fleetwood Company was purchased by General Motors and moved to Detroit, Michigan. The original owner of this car was the president of the Chicago and Northwest Railroad. He kept this car at his summer home in Northern Wisconsin until his death in the 1950's. It was given to the caretaker of the property who started converting it to a truck. It sat until the current owner rescued it in 1978. It was in extremely poor condition, with missing parts, requiring a full restoration which the owner completed in 2009.
The Packard 143 was introduced in 1924. The largest cars from the Packard lineup appeared in the Single Eight 143 series which utilized a brand new chassis of 143-wheelbase. In this series, only two 7-passenger sedans and one touring vehicle appeared in the series. Packards that were top-of-the-line models will always be an excellent investment.
The 1924 Packard was the largest and the most expensive American vehicle available produced in its time. It also featured the largest 8-cylinder engine along with a 143 wheelbase.
Options available with the Packard 143 from the factory included dual side mount Packard signed script mirrors with locks and dual side mount wheels. Other options were side matching cowl lights with jewels, Packard stone guard, wind wings with signed Packard script and Packard lady and motor meter radiator ornament, locking spinners for the hubs on the side mount spares, Senior Trippe lamps with levels, seven passenger seating when necessary and original Packard signed trunk. Other features included the original set of side curtains and dual rear windshield.By Jessica Donaldson