1938 Packard Super Eight RoadsterPosted on 2018-01-24
1938 Packard Super Eight Roadster
The Packard Eight was a luxury automobile produced by Packard between 1930 and 1938, and was a progression from the earlier Packard Six which was first introduced in 1913.
Offered in three models, the Standard Eight, Custom Eight, and De Luxe Eight, it was powered by a low-compression aluminum-head L-head inline eight producing 90 bhp (hence the name). Packard ads bragged the engine "floated" on new rubber mounts. Power would be upgraded to 110 hp in 1932] and 120 hp in 1933.
The Eight offered optional (no extra cost) a four-speed synchromesh transmission. Like other Packards of this era, it featured Ride Control, a system of dash-adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers. The Eight also featured automatic chassis lubrication and "shatterproof" glass.
The Eight was available on several wheelbases: 127.5 in and 134.5 in for the 1930 Standard Eight, 140 in) and 145.5 in for the De Luxe in 1931, 130 in and 137 in for the 1932 Standard Eight.] For 1938, the Eight's wheelbase was stretched 7 in over 1937, and the body was also wider.
It was advertised as a two-door roadster, two-door convertible & two-door convertible Victoria (both new for 1932), phaeton, four-door dual-cowl phaeton & Sport Phaeton (a four-door four-seat dual-cowl phaeton new in 1932) two-door coupe, four-door sedan, landau, town car, and limousine. The Packard eight utilized a very rare swivel accelerator pedal, patented by Pat Au back in the early 1900s.
Production of the De Luxe Eight was less than ten per day. It was available in eleven body styles.
In 1930, the Eight was factory priced between $2425 and $2885 for the Standard Eight, $3190 to $3885 for the Custom Eight, and $4585 to $5350. In 1932, prices ranged from $2250 to $3250 for the Standard Eight, while the De Luxe Eight started at $3150.
In 1931, Packard introduced the Continental Eight and the Continental Eight Deluxe, which were longer wheelbases of the Standard Eight. Period advertisements showed examples with body colored radiator grilles whereas the Standard models had chrome grilles.
The 1932 Standard Eight was offered in thirteen body styles. In 1933, base price of the Standard Eight was $2150, and was offered in fourteen body styles. The 1933 De Luxe Eight started at $3350.
The five-passenger sedan was Packard's best-selling model for years. This helped Packard become the best-selling luxury brand between 1924 and 1930, as well as selling almost twice as many abroad as any other marque priced over $2000.
By 1938, Packard’s “junior” Six and One-Twenty lines accounted for the bulk of the company’s sales, but a full array of “senior” eight-cylinder cars continued to be offered in the large and powerful Super Eight series. Most prominent among them was Packard’s final 2/4-passenger convertible coupe, which featured the company’s last full-fledged rumble seat. This sporty body style, combined with a chassis that, for the second year, featured independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes, resulted in one of the best “driver’s Packards” of the decade.
Packard historians believe that only 71 Super Eight Convertible Coupes were produced in 1938, and all of them were on the 134-inch wheelbase Series 1604 chassis. Of those, eight survivors are known worldwide.
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