1939 Packard 1700 Six
Packard was the leading luxury marque at the start of the Classic era. It was one of the oldest car companies in America, dating back to the first Packard rolling out of the factory in 1899. The company had begun life as the Ohio Automobile Company based on Warren, Ohio. It became the Packard Motor Car Company in 1902 and moved to Detroit, the heart of the burgeoning auto industry, in 1903.
As an exclusive producer of expensive, luxury cars, Packard was struggling through the Great Depression. In an effort to expand production volume in 1935, the company introduced a new line of mid-price cars called the One Twenty. Priced at around $1,000, the car drove Packard to eight place in U.S. sales by 1938. The car was very well built and featured Packard's first application of independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes, and it carried the prestige of the Packard name. In 1937, Packard added a six-cylinder engine that by 1939 displaced 245 CID and produced 245 horsepower and rode on a 110 inch wheelbase chassis called the 110.
This Club Coupe bears the highest serial number of any 1939 Packard Six known today and is possibly the last of all 1700 series production. It was stored in Chicago for over forty years following the death of the first owner in the early 1940s. The current, and third, owner acquired the car in 2000 after it had been restored in the 1990s.
The 1939 Packard Six 1700 was powered by an L-head six-cylinder engine which displaced 245 cubic-inches and produced 100 horsepower. It had a three-speed selective synchromesh transmission with column-mounted gearshift controls and a single plate clutch. The wheelbase measured 122 inches and several body styles were available, including a business coupe, club coupe, convertible coupe, station wagon, and 2- and 4-door Touring Sedan.
The exterior design remained mostly unchanged over the prior year. Inside, there were several noticeable changes, including a column mounted gearshift. Another change was an optional overdrive system called 'Econo-Drive.'
Pricing ranged from $890 for the business coupe to $1400 for the station wagon.By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2012
Sold for $30,800 at 2016 The Finest : The Elegance at Hershey.
The Packard One-Twenty was a lower-priced eight that was added to the product line in 1935. It was so successful that it convinced Packard management that a range of models in the mid-priced market would help provide essential financial stability during the Great Depression. The One-Twenty had sold at three-and-a-half times the volume of 'senior' Packards, the Eights, Super Eights and Twelves, in its introductory year.
The Packard Six was introduced in September of 1936 as a 1937 model. In 1938, and in 1939 the Six displaced the One-Twenty as the most popular Packard and it outsold all other Packards combined. New features that were year were a column-mounted 'Handi-shift,' replacing the floor-mounted gear lever, and heavier rear springs.
This particular Packard Series 1700 Six Convertible Coupe was bought new in 1939 as an anniversary present. It was sold new in Bradford, Pennsylvania. The original owner sold it only when she had to give up driving. While it was briefly in the possession of a private collector, the niece of the original owner bought it back, feeling it was best to keep it in one family. It was later sold to the current owner because of a lack of garage space.By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2016
Related Reading : Packard Six History
Alvan Macauley became president of the Packard Motor Car Company in 1916 when Henry Joy retired. Macauley would remain in that position until 1938. Packards flagship vehicle during the 1910s and 1920s was the Twin Six and it was a very popular vehicle with those who could afford it. To stimulate sales, generate additional revenue, and to boost production, Packard created a scaled-down version,....Continue Reading >>