Packard was founded by brothers James Ward Packard , William Doud Packard and his partner George Lewis Weiss in the city of Warrne OH. James Ward believed that they could build a better horseless carriage that the Winton cars owned by Weiss (An important Winton stockholder) and James Ward, himself a mechanical engineer, had some ideas how to improve on the designs of current automobiles. By 1899, they were building vehicles. The company, which they called the Ohio Automobile Company, quickly introduced a number of innovations in its designs, including the modern steering wheel and years later the first production 12-cylinder engine. While Ford was producing cars that sold for $440, the Packards concentrated on more upscale cars that started at $2,600. Packard automobiles developed a following not only in the United States, but also abroad, with many heads of state owning them. In need of more capital, the Packard brothers would find it when Henry Joy, a member of one of Detroit's oldest and wealthiest families, bought a Packard. Impressed by its reliability, he visited the Packards and soon enlisted a group of investors that included his brother-in-law, Truman Newberry. In 1902, Ohio Automobile Company became Packard Motor Car Company, with James as president. Packard moved its automobile operation to Detroit soon after and Joy became general manager and later chairman of the board.
The Packard's factory on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit was designed by Albert Kahn, and included the first use of reinforced concrete for industrial construction in Detroit. When opened in 1903, it was considered the most modern automobile manufacturing facility in the world and its skilled craftsmen practiced over eighty trades.The 3.5 million ft plant covered over 35 acres and straddled East Grand Boulevard. It was later subdivided by eighty-seven different companies. Kahn also designed The Packard Proving Grounds at Utica, MI. Throughout the nineteen-tens and twenties, Packard built vehicles consistently were among the elite in luxury automobiles.
The company was commonly referred to as being one of the "Three P's" of American motordom royalty, along with Pierce and Peerless. Packard's leadership of the luxury car field was supreme. Entering into the 1930s Packard attempted to beat the stock market crash and subsequent depression by manufacturing ever more opulent and expensive cars than it had prior to October 1929. The Packard Twin Six was introduced for 1932, and re-named the Packard Twelve for the remainder of its run (through 1939).
1934 is arguably the most desirable Year of Production for Classic Era Packards. The fully skirted fenders and v grill, headlights, cowl and running lights add to the perfect proportion of style and grace. They are also very drivable cars that handle and ride much better than the earlier cars.
This original unrestored example has had only 2 owners since the 50's, and remains in largely original condition throughout. We acquired the car from a long term owner who had some wood replaced in the body-down by the golf bag door and around the convertible top area- and repaired a dent in the right front fender-leaving that in primer-but otherwise left the car alone. The engine was reportedly rebuilt at some point in the past, and the newer paint on the block does reflect this. Since we acquired the car we had the brake system completely overhauled as well as a complete fluid change, and some other minor things attended to to ensure its a good driver. The car runs and drives quite well. It starts right up, runs smoothly, shifts crisply through the gears, and stops with authority. The tires appear to rather new and the wheels have been repainted. A new Tan Convertilbe top is included, as well as some small spares and bits.
Appreciation of Original unrestored cars is growing, and many people have suggested this car should not be restored as it reflects the history of the car passing through time- something a fully restored car simply cannot do. We have resisted the temptation to buff the paint, and touch it up at all, leaving that decision as well as any others to the new owner instead.