The Journey and Rebirth of a 1917 Packard

This Twin-6 Runabout Has Seen Multiple Mods and Restorations

by | Sep 13, 2019 | Community

The Journey and Rebirth of a 1917 Packard

This Twin-6 Runabout Has Seen Multiple Mods and Restorations

by | Sep 13, 2019 | Community

This 1917 Packard Twin Six V-12 Second Series is a four passenger runabout, with a one-of-a-kind Kimball custom body with cycle fenders. The body was updated by Packard in 1928.

First Owner of the 1917 Packard

First Owner of The 1917 Packard

1917 Packard

The Second Owner who drove The Packard 500 miles home in winter

I purchased the car from the 89-year-old second owner in 1998. In the summer of 1998, I drove this Packard seven days a week for six weeks, rain or shine (the original side curtains worked great!), including trips on the highway. Despite being difficult to parallel park and guzzling fuel at seven miles per gallon, it was a great, reliable car for commuting. It even mostly kept up with modern traffic!

In 2002, I entered it into one of the first Preservation Classes at the Pebble Beach Concours. It had never been shown at a car show and the attendees were fascinated by the completely unknown car.

One person who was particularly interested was Phil Hill, world champion race driver and Twin Six expert. He spent 30 minutes examining the car–even crawling underneath.

1917 Packard Pebble Beach 2002

The Packard at the 2002 Pebble Beach Concours

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It was one of two surviving four-passenger runabouts and surprisingly I was able to acquire the correct original body parts after many phone calls and advertisements.

I discussed the conversion with several early Packard enthusiasts and they all agreed with my decision. I was unhappy with the fact that a 1917 model car had a newer body.

After I showed the car at Pebble Beach, I decided to convert it back to the original 1917 runabout body in 2003. I then had it completely restored and painted deep maroon with black fenders.

Restored 1917 Packard

The Packard after its restoration in 2003

I sold this Packard several years ago and it continues to reside at the wonderful California Driving Museum near LAX. It is their oldest Packard.

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