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The 1909 Packard Model “Thirty” and the new Model “Eighteen”

The Packard Company continued on into 1909 without many changes to the Model 30 other than a few refinements, but the big news was the introduction of the new Model 18. This new car was brought out by Packard for those who wanted a slightly smaller car and a car that was also easier to handle in the city. The Model 30 came on both a 124″ and 108″ w.b. chassis, depending on the body chosen, with a 5″ x 5.5″ bore and stroke four-cylinder engine. The Model 18 chassis wheelbases were 112″ and 102″ with a 4 1/16″ x 5 1/8″ bore and stroke four-cylinder. Full information on the new model can be seen in the last photo below, which is a page from the Oct. 1908 Cycle & Automobile Trade Journal.


The photo at the top shows an Enclosed-Drive Coupe posing in front of workmen at the factory, holding a cloth that was a bit to short behind it for contrast. The first three photos just above are quite interesting as they show a very mud-covered Packard along with documentation showing that it was driven from “Detroit, Michigan and over the mountains of Pennsylvania and return “. The forth photo shows a very elaborate town car equipped with a sun shade over the windshield as was occasionally seen on formal cars meant for touring use.

The first photo below shows a close-coupled touring car with an extra or “Mother in Law” seat on the very back, along with grab handles which are mounted on the back of the second seat. The second photo is labeled “Experimental Job 1909” on the back and is evidently carrying the test crew for their “Portraits”. The third photo shows three Packards, two of which are carrying Indiana plates out in front of Willis-Haywood-Holcomb Packard dealers. The first car may be a 1908 model and note that the head-lamps are painted to save on brass polishing. The second car has a very unusually placed and large third lamp mounted over the radiator for extra light.

Photos from the Roderic Blood Collection are courtesy of the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.


4 responses to “The 1909 Packard Model “Thirty” and the new Model “Eighteen”

  1. The “Experimental Job” and the mud car… Imagine the time when all those wood and metal parts were just freshly cut, cast, and assembled, and you could go out and push the car to its limits to confirm how good it was, and come back grinning. With plenty of fresh spare parts behind you if needed. Now we can enjoy them carefully on the paved road, thinking about 100-year-old castings and woodwork, and $xxxxxx of personal investment. I’m glad the cars are with us now, but it’s fun to think about how the character of interaction and use must have differed in those days.

  2. Kelly, very good thoughts about their road testing. The other thing we lose sight of is back in that time period the car was still a novelty to most people. I also think that is why we have some many great photos to enjoy from that period.

  3. I like the photo of the three Packards in a row. The middle car contains only very formally dressed gentleman with top hats while the car behind them is more than likely carrying their wives (with a male chauffer). It looks like it might have been some kind of special occasion, possibly in honor of or being led by the couple in the front car.

  4. I believe that the “lamp mounted over the radiator”, actually is a
    spotlight mounted to the running board. Thanks for all the eye candy
    and your deep insight on car history.

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