Despite Cadillac’s monumental efforts to surpass it, Packard retained its position as the most successful of America’s luxury automobiles as the gloom and despair following Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, spread across the nation and the world.
The company introduced its new models in August, 1929 while financial euphoria still ruled. Things changed rapidly after Wall Street crashed and only got more intense when Cadillac introduced its V16 in January.
Against this backdrop, Packard managed its affairs well, continuing to operate profitably even as it contracted its production schedules and focused on optimally using its immense resources of capital, facilities, skilled workers and engineering prowess.
While its Custom and Deluxe Eights were the epitome of luxury and quality, Packard’s 127 1/2 ” wheelbase 726 and 134 1/2” wheelbase 733 were the company’s core, the vast majority of its production and profitability. Their strength in the market was derived from Packard’s quality and the subtly refined bodies that it produced to the highest standards in its own factory. They also benefitted from Packard’s unmatched reputation and the loyalty it engendered in Packard owners.
“Ask the man who owns one” was more than an advertising slogan. It was a statement of fact: Packard owners had high expectations, and Packard automobiles met, and frequently exceeded, them.
Packard had gone to Inline eight cylinder engines throughout its product line in 1929 and continued that commitment in 1930, only adding an inch to the wheelbase of its Standard Eight in 1930. The added length was all forward of the cowl. It was necessitated by a revised water pump with dual belts, but it also accentuated the lean, leggy look of the long hood.
Detail changes included moving the parking lights from the cowl to the front fenders, Detroit Lubricator carburetors (helping power increase to 90hp from the 319cid straight-eight), a 4-speed transmission and thermostatically controlled radiator shutters for engine temperature control.
The singular style and look of the 1930 Packards is nowhere better expressed than on this 733 Dual Windshield Phaeton.
Attractively restored in light green with dark green fenders and accent, the effect of the longer hood is emphasized by its passenger compartment tightly tucked between the wheels. Sidemounted spare wheels were an option in 1930, and their absence is superb on this phaeton with its dual spares mounted in tandem behind the passengers’ tonneau, further exaggerating the length of the car and its rakishly slanted windshield.
The wire wheels are painted to match the body color and attractively carry white wall tires. Accessories include a single Pilot-Ray driving light, Dual Cowl-mounted spotlights, windshield wind wings, dual mirrors, radiator stoneguard, donut-chaser radiator mascot, exhaust deflector and a rear seat windshield with folding wind wings. The rear windshield slides down two pillars to stow behind the front seat.
The interior is upholstered and trimmed in brown, and passengers are protected by a new Haartz cloth top with Packard’s distinctive extended front that creates a visor above the windshield. The front seatback includes a wide storage compartment with plenty of room for passengers to store refreshments for an extended trip.
It received a conscientious restoration some years ago and evidences consistent care and attention along with some use. It has recently been professionally cosmetically and mechanically refreshed to make it an ideal classic era car for events, tours and parades where it can be displayed proudly at the end of a day’s run.
This 1930 Packard 733 Dual Windshield Phaeton is a wonderful example of the quality and style that made Packard the leader in the American luxury automobile market with value, performance, style and panache.
— By Rick Carey