I'm going to skip the history of the Packard Motor Car Company, its covered on many other pages on this site and most everyone who will be looking at this already knows it anyway. So lets cut to the chase for all of you who are going to be saying "Hold on their Shawn, they didn't make a Dual Cowl in 1929".
Well yes they did, on special order. It's believed 2 or 3 were built. This one was special ordered by Earle C Anthony for his Architect Bernard Maybeck, and was used for partial payment for Mr Maybeck's Architectutal Services.
Bernard Maybeck was born in New York City, the son of a German immigrant and studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, France. He moved to Berkeley, California in 1892 and became a professor of engineering drawing at University of California, Berkeley and acted as a mentor for an entire generation of other California architects, including Julia Morgan and William Wurster.
In 1951, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects.
Maybeck was equally comfortable producing work in the Mission style and Mission Revival style, Gothic revival, Arts and Crafts style, and Beaux-Arts classicism, believing that each architectural problem required development of an entirely new solution. Maybeck's contributions include the Mission Style California Building at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the first Mission Style chair designed for the San Francisco Swedenborgian Church. Many of his buildings still stand in his long-time home city of Berkeley.
The 1910 First Church of Christ, Scientist is designated a National Historic Landmark and is considered one of Maybeck's finest works. It is a strange confection of medieval European, Japanese, Nordic, Celtic and shingle style architecture, but the effect is magical. The church has an on-going program of repairs that have kept the building in good shape.
In 1914, Maybeck oversaw the building of the Maybeck Recital Hall in Berkeley, California. Maybeck also designed the domed Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco as part of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and he carried out his vision of the lumberman's lodge, House of Hoo Hoo, made of little more than rough-barked tree trunks arranged in delicate harmony. The Palace of Fine Arts was seen as the embodiment of Maybeck's elaboration of how Roman architecture could fit within a California context.
Some of his larger residential projects, most notably a few in the hills of Berkeley, California (see esp. La Loma Park), have been compared to the ultimate bungalows of the architects Greene and Greene. He also developed a comprehensive town plan for the company town of Brookings, Oregon, a clubhouse at the Bohemian Grove, and many of the buildings on the campus of Principia College in Elsah, Illinois.
A number of his works are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. A lifetime fascination with drama and the theatre can be seen in much of Maybeck's work. In his spare time, he was known to create costumes, and also designed sets for the amateur productions at Berkeley's Hillside Club.
Earle C Anthony, Legendary California Packard Distributor with showrooms in Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francsico recognized the power of Architecture in the presentation of his high end Automobile offerings, so its only natural that he would enlist Maybeck to design his showrooms. The 2 mens relationship grew to the point that Anthony had Maybeck design even his personal residence. Anthony rewarded him with this lovely Custom Ordered Dual Cowl Phaeton in January 1929, as partial payment for his services. Its only fitting that the car needed to be something special, not merely a car off the showroom floor.
Maybeck had a cottage in Twain Harte, CA which was some 100 miles away. His UC Berkeley boys who served as caretakers and drivers often drove the Maybecks there on the spur of the moment. In 1942 the UC Berkeley boys went into the Army at which time the Packard ceased to be used because Maybeck was a diminutive 5 ft tall and on top of that he never learned how to drive. Accordingly the Packard went to its second owner in Orinda, CA. In 1950 the Packard was spotted by Maureen Hudachek on Bear Creek Rd in Orinda while she was driving to Martinez. She told her husband Ray about seeing it and Raymond became the third owner in short order. Ray was an engineer employed by Chevron. He was transferred to Ocean Springs, MS in 1960 and took the Packard with him.
In 1965 he offered the car to Buddy Walton of Metairie, LA who had run an ad for a Dual Cowl in the PAC newsletter. Mr. Walton did a thorough ground up restoration at which time he fitted a Borg Warner overdrive, resulting in CCCA and AACA Senior Awards. Mr. Walton passed in 1999. The Walton family kept the car until the passing of Mrs. Walton in 2007.
Since aquisition from the Walton estate, the next caretaker embarked on a cosmetic and mechanical restoration with New Paint, Top, Leather, Carpets and Floor Coverings. A correct Packard Carburator was sourced, rebuilt, and installed. The speedometer was rebuilt. The radiator was recored, the clutch relined, and a new stainless steel exhaust installed. New Tires were added and the wheels restored, the brake system and ignition system were overhauled. Planning to tour the car, some modern conveniences such as turn signals, accurate guages, a 12 volt converter, Halogen Bulbs, and a 6 volt alternator have been discreetly added with care not to disturb the originality of the car, these items can be easily removed.
Intrigued by the cars interesting story, he has undertaken significant research to document the history of this special car and the people surrounding it - speaking with many people with first hand knowledge and gathering written histories-compiling one of the most complete dossiers of Historical documentation we have ever seen accompanying an automobile.
The car runs and drives exceptionally well and can be driven cross country without worry or hesitation. It completed the 2010 CCCA Caravan in the Adirondaks covering 600 trouble free miles. It also was on the 2012 Blue Ridge Packards Fall Tour headquartered in Blacksburg, VA and during that week completed 750 trouble free miles.
The importance of this car as a surviving relic of the vision of 2 talented men and their dedication to excellence is hard to match. The story this car tells is truly a unique chapter of Packard History, not to mention California History, Automotive Sales and Marketing History, and the Glorious days of the Beau Arts Movement.