1931 Packard Deluxe Eight 845 Convertible Victoria
Coachwork by Rollston
Packard defied the norms of the auto industry, establishing its unique standards for both its vehicles and their presentation. Unlike mass-market manufacturers, Packard disregarded the practice of model years, opting for a Series-based approach. This strategy conveyed that Packard modified its esteemed automobiles only when they deemed it necessary.
Although by the late 1920s, Packard adopted annual changes, they still presented these as new Packard series. Crucially, they retained control by setting their own introduction dates, usually in the summer. This scheduling gave Packard’s new series a competitive edge by avoiding clashes with other brands’ new models. In 1929, for instance, Packard’s Seventh Series enjoyed two additional months on the market before the stock market crash.
The impact of this strategy is evident in the production figures. In the year of the Seventh Series, Packard supplied 36,364 units, compared to 15,450 units a year later, as the Depression hit the market. Notably, luxury models remained relatively unaffected.
During this challenging year, Packard’s Eighth Series featured four models, including the 826 Standard Eight, 833 Standard Eight, 840 Custom Eight, and the top-tier 845 Deluxe Eight. The latter two boasted powerful 385 cubic inch, 120hp inline eight-cylinder engines and a 4-speed transmission with an extra-low first gear.
In addition to the nine catalog bodies designed by Raymond Dietrich for the 833 and 840 models, Packard offered the option for customers to choose coachwork from prestigious custom coachbuilders like LeBaron, Brewster, Rollston, and Dietrich. Packard’s commitment to quality and innovation set it apart in the luxury automobile market.