1932 Packard Light Eight Coupe Roadster

Following the Wall Street Crash of October 1929, the subsequent Depression years dealt a heavy blow to the American automobile industry. Struggling with plummeting sales, Packard responded by introducing a more affordable model, the Model Light Eight, in 1932. Claiming it was a car purchasable from income rather than capital, Packard aimed to align with the prevailing economic sentiment.

However, despite its attempt to appeal to new customers, the Light Eight couldn’t be manufactured cheaply enough due to Packard’s uncompromising standards of build quality. Consequently, even existing customers opted for larger models over the Light Eight. Given these challenges, it’s unsurprising that the Light Eight had only a brief stint, making it a rare find from the esteemed company.

Despite its short-lived production, the Light Eight boasted advanced design, powered by Packard’s 5.2-liter straight-eight cylinder engine. Chief designer Werner Gubitz’s creation featured sleek, modern lines and a distinctive ‘shovel nose’ radiator, earning praise for its driving experience. With 110bhp under the hood, the Light Eight could reach a respectable 72mph.

Available in only four body styles—two sedans and two coupes—the Light Eight’s most coveted variant was arguably the Coupe Roadster, with approximately 1,000 units out of the 6,750 produced between January and December 1932 featuring this attractive, well-proportioned design.

Photo Source: RM Sotheby’s