The 1931 Packard Model 833 Dual Cowl Phaeton was produced in a time frame that automakers were striving to make cheaper cars. The Packard took the opposite approach by creating a more luxurious automobile with a starting price of $1000. The automaker believed that wealthier customers would purchase the vehicle regardless of being in the midst of the Great Depression. The plan backfired and few models were sold.
The 1931 Packard Model 833 Dual Cowl Phaeton featured a distinct grille guard and dual windshield mounted lights. The rear mounted spare was covered with metal and chrome giving a luxury appearance to the vehicle. This particular rear mounted spare model is one of the most sought after classic vehicles.
The 1931 Packard Model 833 Dual Cowl Phaeton had wind wings and six disc wheels. The tires were completely black which was a unique for luxury automobiles. The vehicle sported a 100 horsepower and 319 cubic inch eight cylinder engine. The Model 833 boasted a four speed transmission and a rear trunk.
The interior was designed with a hand finished wood panel and a unique V frame windshield. Ventipane fly windows and a rear windshield were the reason the car was called the Dual Cowl Phaeton. The rear windshield was a new feature designed to help protect the passengers seated in the back.
One 1931 Packard Model 833 Dual Cowl Phaeton was located on a used car lot in Los Angeles, CA in 1961. The vehicle still had its original paint and leather interior. The car was in surprisingly good condition. The Packard went up for auction and obtained bids as high as $120,000 but did not meet the reserve so it went unsold.
1931 Packard Model 833 Dual Cowl Phaeton Photo Gallery:
The 1953 Packard Caribbean, a first year limited run available only in a convertible model, is easily recognized by its fully exposed rear wheels, chrome trim encircling the entire body, the lack of a “Caribbean” nameplate, and the wide, low and upfront hood scoop. The Caribbean, purposely priced at more than $1000 over a comparable Cadillac convertible, was designed and produced as a show car to enhance Packard’s image. Meant to shine a trendy sports car light on the entire Packard line, which had become perceived as a slow, large and unfashionable series of sedans favored by dowdy elderly widows, the Caribbean was Packard’s attempt to infuse new interest in their automobiles from top to bottom.
After years of languishing following World War I, Packard was ready to spice up their market image, and the Caribbean, with its Latin American inspired name and new dramatically clean style lines, was Packard’s symbol of its new identity. Priced at $5210 with a production run of 750 units, the 1953 Caribbean was powered by a 327 cubic inch straight eight cylinder engine rated at 180 horsepower and available with a 3 speed manual transmission or an optional Ultramatic automatic transmission. With single exhaust, a 20 gallon gas tank, spoked wheels and a continental spare tire, the Caribbean weighed in at 4265 pounds spread out over a 122 inch long wheel base.
The Caribbean sold well in 1953, and today, because of its short production run and drastic departure from Packard’s previous stylings, it is very sought after by collectors.
Throughout the 1930s, Packard was known as one of the premier manufacturers of exquisite luxury vehicles, and the 1935 Packard Eight Phaeton was no exception! As its namesake suggests, this vehicle features a phaeton body style that was relatively popular during that time. The Eight Phaeton represented the pinnacle of luxury automobile manufacturing – the Phaeton was hand-crafted and custom-built for its customers. A stout straight eight-cylinder engine displacing 320-cubic inches propelled the massive Eight Phaeton. The vehicle also offered a three-speed manual transmission with a mechanical overdrive, along with four-wheel mechanical drum brakes and semi-elliptic leaf springs.
All that is known about the production numbers for the 1935 Packard Eight Phaeton is that they were relatively low. Most enthusiasts estimate that only 22 Packard Eight Phaetons were built in 1935, making these vehicles extremely rare among collectors. These vehicles would be among the last of the genuine luxury vehicles built under the Packard name, as the company was shifting its focus to competing in the more affordable mid-price range with cars such as the Packard 120. Later versions of the Packard Eight Phaeton would be included in Packard’s “senior” series, when the older, hand-crafted Packards were separated from the newer, mass-produced Packards such as the 120.
A scant few examples of this magnificent vehicle exist today. One such example is a 45,000-mile award-winning specimen currently owned by Bill Burchett of Brea, Ca. This vehicle has participated in a variety of classic car shows, and its been driven on various Classic Car Club of America “CARavans,” traveling to destinations as far as Alaska, New England and Montana.