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The Famous Glasscock Packard Speedster and its True Story

The Glasscock Speedster is the second in a series of older posts that we are taking a second look at because of new information about it from Barry Keating. Tim Martin posted the photos and the original text about it in April of 2011: “This custom Packard speedster is a 6th series (1929) creation known as the Thompson Special, and also as the Glasscock Speedster, named for its owner Major Glasscock (presumably the driver). Thompson was a custom body maker in California. Woodlites add to the futuristic look”.

Three years later in 2014, Barry Keating posted the following information here after a performing a considerable amount of research:

“All the misinformation floating around the internet about this Speedster made me want to find out the story behind it, and I believe I’ve have pieced together the true story about this car. It appears more than likely it was a custom order placed by Lt. John Glasscock from the D.E. McDaneld Inc. a Packard dealership located in Pasadena, California, and built on a 1929 Packard Speedster chassis”.

“An article was found about Speedsters that contains a photo of the car with the owner sitting behind the wheel and notes that the man is Lt. J. R. Glasscock and the body was designed by the Thompson Auto Body Co. of Los Angeles, CA, and presumably built by them”.

1929 custom bodied packard speedster

“These images of the car are from a series of photos taken of the Speedster on the same day in 1929. Two have the Lt. behind the wheel, and if you study them, there is no doubt the Speedster is showroom new and wears 1929 California license plate 6W349. Research revealed that the house in the background which has survived was owned by Donald McDaneld and wife Margaret, and located at 589 Winston Avenue in San Marino, CA and that Donald was the owner of the D.E. McDaneld, Inc. Packard dealership, 1095 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA”.

“It is not much of a stretch to think that the Speedster was ordered though McDaneld Dealership. The Speedster definitely brought Glasscock and McDaneld together but it also might have been the love of airplanes. Lt. Glasscock was in the Aircorps and McDaneld was a pilot, owning four planes and President of the National Aeronautic Association”.

After conducting further research recently the only new information found is an article at “Coachbuilt.com” containing more information about the Thompson Auto Body Co. of Los Angeles. It originated as the body shop for the infamous George R. Bentel who owned the original Ascot Racetrack in Los Angeles and was the distributor for a number of high-quality automobiles in the City. He began building custom bodies for some of these cars after learning of the success of Conover T. Silver in New York City constructing skiff bodies on some of the cars his firm sold. Learn more of the interesting story about the Body Shop at Coachbuilt.com.

8 responses to “The Famous Glasscock Packard Speedster and its True Story

  1. Beautiful car and in good and sophisticated taste. I wonder what the performance of this Packard might have been? As a ’50s teen hotdder this would have been the ultimate Rod.

  2. Hope the lieutenant was pretty agile – even with the step, it would take some wriggling to get in and out. A re-creation of this car would be a great project for one of the superb custom vehicle artists that are out there today. If I were commissioning it, I could foresee a long discussion over doing something different about the bolt heads on the frame.

  3. David, a photo and information about this speedster can be viewed at the Automobile Driving Museum website under “collection” then by going directly to page 8. The museum is in El Segundo, California, just south of LAX and a worthy stop for anyone! I’ve seen the car there on display but not certain that it is currently. Thank you for all of your informative postings – great reading for even us “seasoned” enthusiasts!

  4. Believe the spelling is GLASCOCK

    I found that spelling in an article at GOOGLE BOOKS
    Reading it u can c why this guy needed a Speedster

  5. Thank you for sharing this AND the references ! I DO recommend the Driving Museum in El Segundo, GLAD I dropped by!!! I also recommend the J.B. Nethercutt San Sylmar Museum in Sylmar, Calif.

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