Highly Original 1928 Packard 526 Convertible Coupe

Although the information on this tidy 1928 Packard convertible coupe is scant, the owner does supply “all the original paperwork since 1928,” and the documents tell a story. The car, in drivable condition, is for sale here on Craigslist in New Hampshire. It is a “collector barn find” that the owner piloted this year. The misspelling as “Packerd” is probably not an indication of the custodial care the car received over the years.

The paperwork includes a copy of the bill of sale from Cincinnati, Ohio in 1928, when the dealer was the Citizens Motor Car Company. There’s also a title from Cincinnati in 1951. The car is currently wearing both Ohio (1957) and Massachusetts (1966) license plates, but appears to be physically located in New Hampshire now.

Being in the rust belt all those years didn’t seem to have affected the dark green Packard all that much. It even appears to have its original paint. That can be explained by the low mileage, which is just 6,746. What the buyer will get with this car is a very low-mileage, unmolested survivor that’s ready for Sunday driving or the show stands that award originality. It was in the Midwest, and then it came East, but mostly sat around. End of story.

This is a Model 526, the last of the sixes until the 115-C in ’37. Some 28,336 were made, in 11 body styles. Under the hood, that should be the 289-cubic-inch L-head six, with seven main bearings and 82 horsepower.

Sales were good because the price was low. In 1925, Packard dropped the price of these Sixes from $3,375 to $2,585, making them cheaper than Cadillacs and Pierce-Arrows of the period. That led to a 68 percent increase in new registrations for Packard. In the summer of ’27, Packard launched the Fifth Series Six, which sold 3,250 examples per month. There were both 126- and 133-inch wheelbase models. If this is a 526, it’s got the shorter wheelbase.

This may be more than you wanna know, but there were 20 different body designs for the ’28 Packard, with coachbuilders such as LeBaron, Judkins, Rollston, Murphy, Fleetwood and Derham offering their custom solutions. Nine of the offerings were standard, and maybe this is one of those. I can’t tell if there’s a rumble seat or not, but the interior looks pretty darned good, considering. Both leather and wood look sound, and there’s a rumble seat. The convertible top isn’t visible, but the bows look decent.

Certainly, you could buy a fully restored Packard 526, but it wouldn’t have quite the Midwestern patina that this one has in spades.

Comments

  1. BlondeUXB Member

    Could be a fun car.
    Seller is asking an eight cylinder price for what’s a pre-thirties pretty plain era car.
    Condition and documentation is great…

    Like 3
  2. On and On On and On Member

    I see a rumble seat but no step to enter it from curb side. Am I missing something?

    Like 2
    • Al

      Maybe its a Western Car.
      Stirrups would be found probably near the cinch strap that holds the body to the frame.

      Like 5
  3. Bill

    The person who has glommed on to this “Packerd” seems so typical of the individual who obtains a desirable car with no other idea but to unload it at price not justified by any condition. Look at the worn metal clutch and brake pedals. If the odometer reads 6746 it’s because it stopped working 100,000 or 200,000 miles ago. Interesting that none of the supplied documents have an entry for odometer reading. The plates indicate that it may not have been on the road for over half a century.
    I love these cars that seem reasonably intact and may actually be usable with some long deferred maintenance. But leave the middle man out, who just loaded it on a transport and it trying to double or triple his money for the trouble.

    Like 7
  4. Kurt Member

    Easily a six figure car once done right.

    Like 1
  5. SG

    Citizens Motorcar Co was the Dayton,Ohio Packard dealership and has been restored into what is now America’s Packard Museum. Not sure if there was also a Cincinnati branch with the same name but it doesn’t ring a bell.

    There was a similar 526 that was displayed in the showroom there for years, finished in two tone green with whitewalls. They’re beautiful cars but I prefer the understated finishes like the darker green and blackwall tires on the subject car.

    Like 4
  6. CVPanther Member

    That’s one of the coolest speedos I’ve ever seen, if that is in fact the speedo.

    Wonderful car, huge investment.
    Nice write-up, Jim.

    Like 2
  7. Mike

    Looked up the address of the owner. Today, it’s a vacant lot, but looks like the house was still standing up until 2015-ish. Here’s a street view from 2007. Mr. Wilby was a lawyer and the car sure fits the house.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1261122,-84.4862317,3a,75y,274.38h,98.92t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sXwdz1p62FabqopsyfiKgCA!2e0!5s20070901T000000!7i3328!8i1664?hl=en

    Like 11
    • Todd J. Member

      Nice detective work, Mike!

      Like 4
    • Bill

      Just like the car: A long and slow decline over nearly a hundred years. The car may have a second chance. Park Avenue’s time has come and gone.

      Like 3
  8. egads

    Doesn’t look like original paint, fuel pump and hood welting have overspray.

    • Bob P

      Looks like an Earl Scheib paint job… “I’m Earl Scheib, and I’ll paint any car, any color for $29.95. No ups, no extras.”

  9. William R Hall

    Picky Picky, This looks like a nice car to fix up and take to local shows, weekend get aways and not Squeeze a pile of dough out of it.

    Like 3
  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    This car is not in New Hampshire, it is in Lowell, MA and advertised in NH Craigslist.

    Like 1

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