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The First Series Single Six Packards were made in 1922 and 1923, my car has a low engine number so it is probably 1922. Many closed and open body styles were available at the time, this car is the “Sport”. To quote from the Packard Facts book issued in June 1923 “The Sport body is mounted on a special 126” chassis. A special radiator and bonnet two inches lower than standard for other models gives the job a racy appearance.” The special chassis refers to the fact that the differential ratio is higher than for all other models that year, in all other respects the Sport model is mechanically identical to the other First Series sixes. The sales literature states that all Sport models had disc wheels however this car is fitted with Rudge Whitworth Splined hub wire wheels as were most First Series Packards exported to Australia. A compressor is fitted to the gearbox for inflating the tyres.

The history of this car is unknown. I purchased it in 1976, in very incomplete and deteriorated condition. However it came with the remains of two First Series cars so overall there was little of importance missing. The car had been in a serious front end smash that had buckled the whole chassis beyond repair, broken the crankcase, bent the diff housing and smashed the dash where presumably the occupant/s had collided. The car had lain abandoned in the Bourke area probably from the 1930’s – it still had gas producer equipment fitted.

I restored the car over the period from 1976 to 1985 and estimate spending about 2-3,000 hours of my time. It was total restoration, rebuilt engine, gearbox diff, wheel bearings, steering, suspension etc. The chassis was replaced using a 133” chassis cut and shortened to convert it to 126”.

The body timber work was totally replaced using Coachwood and Tasmanian Oak and the body rebuilt to identical detail to the original. The body panels are all original apart from the bonnet and front guards that came from a parts car. Rust was minor only because of the hot dry climate around Bourke. All brightwork is nickel plated as chromium plating was not used on Packards until the Sixth Series in 1929. The car has been restored to as it was originally as far as practical with the exception of the grey body colour. The original colour scheme was dark blue body with black guards and Vermillion wheels.

The car was finished just in time for the 1985 Packard rally to Mildura where apart from vaporisation problems and a number of punctures it ran well. It has since been on many long rallies including two trips from Sydney to Adelaide for the Bay to Birdwood.

 

1922 Packard

Sports Tourer