“Ask the man who owns one,” rang the famous advertising slogan for Packard, in testament to their value and reliability. Cherished by many collectors today, Packard reminds us of simpler times and automotive amenities for those who truly appreciated them.
The Pick of the Day is a 1931 Packard 833 phaeton advertised by a dealer in Macedonia, Ohio, on ClassicCars.com. The car appears to be a lovely tourer, and as the seller declares, “this is a car to drive, not to show.” I have always believed cars were meant to be driven, and this ancient example from Detroit’s golden age would be quite fun.
In the 2000s, when I still lived in the northern suburbs of Chicago, I was privileged to meet and get to know a local guy who had amassed quite a car collection. Packard people know him well. His name is Paul TerHorst. He inspired my appreciation for Packard and other prewar cars. He too liked to drive and he gave me the opportunity to drive some of his fabulous cars, including a completely original (patina and all) 1957 Corvette, an unrestored 1932 Auburn phaeton and numerous Packards.
What struck me first in viewing this car was the color combination of Packard Blue and Cream. While not original, it just visually pops. The car was restored in the 1970s and while the paint on the car is recent, the interior is a remnant of the first undertaking.
The Packard is powered by a 320cid straight-8 linked with a three-speed manual transmission.
“That 9-main-bearing straight-8 pulls like an electric motor with about the same amount of noise and vibration,” the seller says in the ad. “It’s silent and smooth. It was rebuilt some years ago and carefully maintained ever since and has proven itself as a reliable tour car.”
Unless you plan a 100-point restoration of this nearly 90-year-old car, chances are you won’t be showing it at the Quail or Pebble. But long top-down drives in the country, admiring the fall colors, would be just right in the sweet spot.
You could bring along friends, too. The brown-leatherette interior boasts a back seat that looks more like a living room love seat, with the proper robe rail and footrest.
The odometer shows 68,137 miles and the asking price is $89,900. Certainly, a reasonable price of admission for the romance that this car invokes.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day