Never-Restored Driver! 1934 Packard Roadster

Just when we might think all the pre-war Packards have GOT to be either complete basket cases or immaculate show-winners, we find this 1934 Packard Model 1101 Coupe Roadster in Indianapolis, Indiana! Running and driving yet never-restored, this solid black beauty managed to escape being made into a hay wagon, hunting truck, or other contraption, the sad fate of many elegant ’20s and ’30s masterpieces. NADAGuides puts “Average Retail” on this body style Packard at $108,900, and this one here on eBay tests the cachet of “Never Restored” with its $80,000 Buy It Now price. At that price today’s buyer could only bet on marked appreciation without restoration. That makes this car special, but is it $80,000 special? Time will tell!

The Great Depression separated flashes in the pan from the untouchable super-rich. Anyone buying a Packard of this magnitude in 1934 probably fell squarely in the rarefied air of the latter category. While Packard introduced the more affordable 110 and 120 series that we see more often at Barn Finds, the jumbo-sized Senior Packards went all out for the silver spoon elite, including new twelve-cylinder models. If you were Jekyll Island rich, you could still acquire a tailor-made old-school Packard like this massive two-seater. Note the golf bag door, the perfect place to stash your clubs. While the red grille is likely not original, red wheels may have been, as seen on a gorgeous example at Daniel Schmitt & Co.

Packard’s mainstay inline eight cylinder engine is tough to beat for luxurious torque and smooth operation, and most can entertain friends and passers-by with the famous nickel test, idling without disturbing a nickel set on edge atop the flat cylinder head. In addition to an engine rebuild at some prior date, the car has received enough mechanical attention to drive well and stop “with authority.” The smart money would leave this one alone until or unless the current attraction of never-restored classics fades. Here’s a car that’s lived its entire life as an automobile; let’s not send it to the hallowed halls of museumhood prematurely.

Highly complete down to the well-engineered metal and wood-frame convertible top mechanism, this Packard may even retain its original upholstery! Dusty and faded, the wide seats invite you to slide behind the wheel, just like slipping on your favorite gloves. Let’s go for a ride! Have you had a close encounter with a Senior Packard?

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Comments

  1. MattR Member

    What a sled. I now know way rich people have hangers for their cars. I would be thrilled to have this classic in my collection. Just a deep clean and drive is all I would do. It has character as is.

    Like 16
    • Milt

      I just wish I HAD a collection!

      Like 1
  2. greg

    Will it be accepted at Pebble Beach Concours unrestored class?

    Like 6
  3. scott m

    Seems like one of the most honest cars in a long time- might have come from the 1960’s when it was just “an old car”. Hope it is kept original and sympathetically restored. Looking good is not always about looking best

    Like 9
  4. Greg

    What is that funky area on the block forward of the starter?

    Like 5
    • Skorzeny

      JB Weld!

      Like 2
    • BlondeUXB Member

      ‘ya mean where the connecting rod poked out ?

      Like 6
      • Chuck

        Look closely, the block is still cracked. Too low for a freeze crack, so likely a rod tried to go it’s own way.

        Like 1
      • James Duckett

        Oughta be pretty cheap on rockauto.

        Like 4
    • Steve Douglas

      “Why, Messer – That there’s jis’ a wass niss. Nothin’ tuh worry y’self about.”

      Like 2
      • Mountainwoodie

        lol. you’re a bad man.

        Personally I’d throw Nora Charles in the passenger seat and careen around Pebble Beach late at night.

        Like 1
  5. Anyone have Grey Poupon?

    Isn’t BringATrailer the 80-200K arena?

    Like 1
  6. Scott

    The reliability and styling of Packard’s 1933 and 1934 Coupe Roadsters were second to none. Packard’s slogan ” ask the man who owns one ” was right on.
    Not sure someone will spend $80,000 for a driver unless it is a 12 cylinder model.

    Like 3
  7. Kenneth Carney

    Reminds me of the one Robert Forster
    drove in the Banyon TV show in the ’70s.
    Although his may have been dark grey
    with black fenders. Think it had sidemounts too. IMHO, just add a new
    top, and drive as is. What a grand old
    gal she is too! She’d sure make a great
    portrait too. Might do one with the side
    mounts on it just to try it out.

    Like 4
  8. Bultaco

    What a beautiful car. I’d clean it up and make it safe and reliable to drive (sounds like it’s already close), maybe have a top made. Then just enjoy it.

    Like 6
  9. Turbo

    Is it worth it? In my humble opinion, way more worth it than some of the stuff you see on this sight and elsewhere. The early pickups have gone to levels of insane pricing. Most muscle cars are also completely nuts. I say this as an owner of 2 muscle cars and having owned and been a fan of classic trucks. This is a classic that is rare, well built and beautiful. Yes, it is worth it.

    Like 9
  10. DeeBee

    Patina rules! Pick it up and drive it ’till the wheels fall off!

    Like 2
  11. Booger Job

    With todays technology someone should have done a cosmetically appealing and correct repair to the windowed block verses the unsightly goobered weld job. That all being said if it were mine a full on concourse restoration would be commissioned immediately after taking ownership.

    Like 5
  12. Keith Scott

    Once again, you love it, got the cash, buy it, clean it, drive it

    Like 3
  13. Capt RD

    Leaving out/overlooking pictures of the rumble seat shortchange the story. This is a long wheel Base 136″ significant car. I t likely would qualify as a preservation class entrant almost anywhere with some spit and polish.The engine rebuild has held up so far and these blocks are strong. The condition of the rear seat doesn’t bode well for the originality of the front seat – but they were very good leather in these convertibles – and the roll up windows upgrade it from a roadster.
    The grille may have been painted in the 1940’s WW2 blackout phase

    Like 1
  14. Capt RD

    Quite few more pictures here at the selling dealers website.

    http://significantcars.com/cars/1934packard14/

    Like 6
  15. Karl

    Wow! I haven’t this level of potential in awhile! What that hoovered up are on the block is I have no idea, the fact that it was left looking like this is troubling. That aside there is a tremendous amount of time and money to get this car to where it COULD BE! I hope it finds the right home to get it there!

    Like 1
  16. Bill McCoskey

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, to try to diagnose an engine oiling problem that resulted in the need for the block repair just in front of the starter motor.

    The large black rectangle near the front of the water jacket is an early oil temperature regulating device. It’s oil lines are disconnected & joined together mid way along the block. There appears to be a more modern electrical solenoid at the base of the oil filler tube, where the oil pressure gauge fittings would be.

    Perhaps the oil temperature regulator failed and caused a mixing of oil & water, resulting in the rod failure. They may have added a failsafe solenoid to ensure the oil pressure was sufficient before the ignition turned on.

    And I’m guessing that this rod failure caused the car to be put in dry storage for many decades, hence the car’s originality. Making the block look as it did before the damage is not that difficult. A judicious grinding of the stitch welds and a careful “peening” of the aluminum surface will give it back most of the original grainy surface look, in keeping with the car’s overall original condition.

    Like 2
  17. PeterfromOz

    Bill. Thank you for explaining what the black device on the front of the engine is. As soon as I saw the photograph I was preparing to ask the question.

  18. Pete

    My theory is that the rims and grill were painted at the same time to cover some surface rust. Long enough ago because the rechrome and replating industry was not even a thing back then. I don’t think rattle cans were available when this was done. Love the car though. I don’t think a full restore should be done to it. I would only replace what is broken or missing. Maybe get a can of high shine silver rattle can and hit the grill. :-)

  19. Ed Evangelista

    i’d put a new top and rechrome all the chrome. maybe a new interior.
    paint it down the road. passenger wiper missing?

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