1930 Packard 734 Speedster Runabout Hidden Away for 54 Years!

1930 Packard 734 Speedster Runabout Hidden Away for 54 Years!

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Fast, light, and sporty are words that don’t really encapsulate the description of the American car of the 1930’s. Big, luxurious, and outlandish are usually more appropriate. Cadillac, Duesenberg, Marmon, Packard, and Stutz created some of the greatest and most expensive cars of their time, but fast, light, and sporty were not so much a part of their designs. When Duesenberg introduced its big eight cylinder double overhead cam engine in 1929, and when Cadillac introduced its V-16 in 1930, they gained an enormous amount of attention that Packard took notice of. While Packard had always made cars of the utmost quality until that point, they were still out flashed by these big glamorous V-16 and overhead cam engines. The big engines were flashy and definitely fast, but the Duesenbergs, Cadillacs, and others were big and heavy at the same time. Instead of just creating another big exotic engine and luxurious car, Packard took their trusty flathead straight eight and gave it a whole new hopped up design that could compete with the most exotic engines of the time.

     The 734 was basically a Packard “hot rod” created by Packard. They modified the standard eight chassis of 134 1/2 inches and dropped a DeLuxe eight motor in it with significant modifications. The cylinder block casting was completely different from the other 1930 Packard models in that the faces to which the intake and exhaust manifolds were bolted is on a 45 degree angle in a tent shaped protrusion from the block, allowing for more interior space and larger openings to the manifolds. The exhaust manifold itself was larger and was straight lined to the rear with fins cast on the top for cooling. Intake and exhaust valves were increased to 1 5/8 inches for better breathing as well. The carburetor is also unique to the 734 Speedster, a dual throat updraft Detroit Lubricator. A high compression 6.0 to 1 cylinder head could also be had on the 734. All of this combined boosted power significantly from the normal Deluxe eight cars. The 740 and 745 models made 106 horsepower at 3200 RPM, but the 734 with the high compression head along with all of its other modifications makes 145 horsepower at 3400 RPM! A high speed rear axle could also be ordered for higher top speeds and all 734 Speedsters had cast iron finned brake drums for additional brake cooling. Around 140 734 Speedsters were produced in all body styles (Sedan, Phaeton, Victoria Coupe, Roadster and the Runabout) of which only around 25 remain in total existence today.
     THIS AMAZING CAR, Chassis number 184018, a 734 Speedster Runabout, was sold new by the Smith Eveleigh Packard dealership in Watertown, New York in 1930. It was kept by its first owner until the late 1940’s when it was donated to the Copenhagen, New York fire department only a few miles away from where it was originally sold. In the early 1960’s it was acquired by the famed car dealer and collector Tom Mix of Massachusetts. Mr. Mix only kept it for a few years and sold it to its last owner in 1966 and the car would remain in his ownership until only a few weeks ago when we acquired it. We immediately sold the car and will be restoring it for the concours circuit for its new owner. It’s the last unknown and unrestored 734 to resurface in the world and is a fantastic one to boot. Every number is correct (chassis, front axle, rear axle, steering box, S.O. number, body number) the chassis even retains it factory stenciling underneath stating the dealers name and address and in the rear left inside frame rail the special order number is also stenciled and intact. It also retains its original body tag as well as the original firewall tag. The body itself is also in great original condition, even retaining its original body moldings with its body number stamped on the underside of them (#2). A bill of sale from Tom Mix to the previous owner dated 1966 was also included with the car! It had been stored away in a shed on the gentleman’s property for 54 years. This is an incredible find and an incredible car.

SOLD!

If you would like to sell your car contact us today! We do it better than anyone else! 

     Fast, light, and sporty are words that don’t really encapsulate the description of the American car of the 1930’s. Big, luxurious, and outlandish are usually more appropriate. Cadillac, Duesenberg, Marmon, Packard, and Stutz created some of the greatest and most expensive cars of their time, but fast, light, and sporty were not so much a part of their designs. When Duesenberg introduced its big eight cylinder double overhead cam engine in 1929, and when Cadillac introduced its V-16 in 1930, they gained an enormous amount of attention that Packard took notice of. While Packard had always made cars of the utmost quality until that point, they were still out flashed by these big glamorous V-16 and overhead cam engines. The big engines were flashy and definitely fast, but the Duesenbergs, Cadillacs, and others were big and heavy at the same time. Instead of just creating another big exotic engine and luxurious car, Packard took their trusty flathead straight eight and gave it a whole new hopped up design that could compete with the most exotic engines of the time.

     The 734 was basically a Packard “hot rod” created by Packard. They modified the standard eight chassis of 134 1/2 inches and dropped a DeLuxe eight motor in it with significant modifications. The cylinder block casting was completely different from the other 1930 Packard models in that the faces to which the intake and exhaust manifolds were bolted is on a 45 degree angle in a tent shaped protrusion from the block, allowing for more interior space and larger openings to the manifolds. The exhaust manifold itself was larger and was straight lined to the rear with fins cast on the top for cooling. Intake and exhaust valves were increased to 1 5/8 inches for better breathing as well. The carburetor is also unique to the 734 Speedster, a dual throat updraft Detroit Lubricator. A high compression 6.0 to 1 cylinder head could also be had on the 734. All of this combined boosted power significantly from the normal Deluxe eight cars. The 740 and 745 models made 106 horsepower at 3200 RPM, but the 734 with the high compression head along with all of its other modifications makes 145 horsepower at 3400 RPM! A high speed rear axle could also be ordered for higher top speeds and all 734 Speedsters had cast iron finned brake drums for additional brake cooling. Around 140 734 Speedsters were produced in all body styles (Sedan, Phaeton, Victoria Coupe, Roadster and the Runabout) of which only around 25 remain in total existence today.

     THIS AMAZING CAR, Chassis number 184018, a 734 Speedster Runabout, was sold new by the Smith Eveleigh Packard dealership in Watertown, New York in 1930. It was kept by its first owner until the late 1940’s when it was donated to the Copenhagen, New York fire department only a few miles away from where it was originally sold. In the early 1960’s it was acquired by the famed car dealer and collector Tom Mix of Massachusetts. Mr. Mix only kept it for a few years and sold it to its last owner in 1966 and the car would remain in his ownership until only a few weeks ago when we acquired it. We immediately sold the car and will be restoring it for the concours circuit for its new owner. It’s the last unknown and unrestored 734 to resurface in the world and is a fantastic one to boot. Every number is correct (chassis, front axle, rear axle, steering box, S.O. number, body number) the chassis even retains it factory stenciling underneath stating the dealers name and address and in the rear left inside frame rail the special order number is also stenciled and intact. It also retains its original body tag as well as the original firewall tag. The body itself is also in great original condition, even retaining its original body moldings with its body number stamped on the underside of them (#2). A bill of sale from Tom Mix to the previous owner dated 1966 was also included with the car! It had been stored away in a shed on the gentleman’s property for 54 years. This is an incredible find and an incredible car.

SOLD!

If you would like to sell your car contact us today! We do it better than anyone else! 

13 thoughts on “

  1. WOW! Wish all restoration projects that came to me were in this condition! SAVE So Much time and work searching for clues to what was original and correct!

  2. What a magnificent find!! Thank you for sharing the photo images. Perhaps it should not be “restored” so as to preserve the remarkable history of this rare automobile.

  3. What a wonderful find, and how nice that a dealer with the provenance of the Dragone family is going to perform the restoration it deserves.
    My grandfather, John Fanelli ,was an early Packard dealer and distributor, and longest dealer still operating in PA when Packard stopped production, and had sold his beloved 1932 super eight phaeton in late 1940’s. I remember well all these gorgeous cars being sold in the NY Times Sunday Sports section in the 50’s, restored nicely, and selling around $2,500!
    Grandfather, “Dearie” advised me not to buy any old car then, and never have, though I’ve been a life member of CCCA and AACA since those late 50’s when I could or should have!
    Best wishes for a great restoration to better than new, if thats’ even possible!

    Jack Guinan
    .

  4. Why would you tear apart and restore this wonderful very original, rare Packard .
    If you must mess with it, make it reliable and leave it as is ….it’s already beautiful!!

  5. I agree with all of the comments against your restoration plans. This car looks to be too good to destroy its’ originality. To the lucky new owner — please reconsider.

  6. WOW…….What a beautiful automobile. But why? Why would you take a “last Packard” or “only Packard” and turn it into another restored Packard? How many restored 1930 734 Speedster Runabout’s are there today. I would be more inclined to have the “only” one to present to the public and enjoy in my collection. However I will never have a chance to make such a decision so my congratulations go out to the owner of this fine automobile. What ever you so choose to do it is your automobile and I would like to say….congratulations!!

  7. If the car were mine, and if I planned to restore it, I would drive it as is and show it in HPOF for a few years prior to doing so. Go through it mechanically, sort it, and put several thousand miles on before making a “showboat” out of it. The logic of this, even to the intended restorer, should be obvious. The pleasure of driving and showing a car without worrying about chipping the paint, scratching the chrome, and finger prints would be irresistible to me. A couple of you guys, (hi Mike and Rod – please call me when you can spare precious time), know my ’20s Cadillacs. Better original unrestored condition than this Packard, too nice to restore, I drive them thousands of miles. Lucky purchaser, in a sense, is buying TWO 734s, to be enjoyed in two very different ways. I know everyone who comments here would love to have the purchaser share his ownership experience with us. Whatever his choice for the future of this truly great car is. Thanks, Dragone !! – CC

  8. Hummmmm, If it were me..I would get it running probably… enjoy taking it to shows where the crowds would hover it and point out all the great things about an original car……
    Then in a few years I may deside to restore it……just sayig

  9. It is only original once, preserve it not restore it. Restoration companies would be drooling to do it for mega bucks and then display it at all the concourse events to stroke their egos. Sadly it will be over restored, painted in a spectacular modern two pack colour and lose all the beautiful patina it currently has, what a crying shame.

  10. When a car like this is found with no previous restorations, it should be repaired, preserved, and driven. It is HISTORY, not a hot rod. If someone would like to clone it and make it a Pebble Beach prize winner, then find an old chassis and build a car from scratch. There is no reason to destroy a car that has survived this many years just to win a trophy. This car can be a standard to compare other cars to, rather than the greatly distorted hot rods of history that are shown at concourses today. This car can show the restoration errors of the numerous restored Packards from that era that are being displayed today and history can be corrected. Once it is restored, it is just another caricature of what these great automobiles used to be. Only useful to speculators, not people that appreciate the history of cars, engineering, and design. PLEASE do not restore this car. It is only original once.

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