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1930 Packard Speedster

The 1930 Packard Boattail Speedster was powered by a Inline 8 cyllinder engine. Only 120 of these cars were manufactured and survivors are today extremely rare and fetch more that £250,000.

There were times in American automotive history when manufacturers seem to have manufactured far fewer models of a car that would surely have generated more sales than it did, thus having missed the boat. The 1930 Packard Boattail Speedster was such a car.

Probably one reason so few of these cars were produced is because Packard gave coachbuilders of the day the green light to make custom bodies according to the expressed specifications of buyers. Packard was also realistic about people being able to afford such high priced cars during the height of the Depression and did very little to promote sales. At $5,200 the basic cost of the car was greater than that of many homes.

  click on any image to enlarge

What set these Boattail Speedsters apart from other cars was their amazing speed. Designed with Packard’s largest engine of the day, a 384 cubic inch Super 8, these cars were offered with two engine options with the larger one capable of producing 145 horsepower and the smaller one 125 horsepower.

  The larger engined car was capable of reaching a top speed in excess of 100 mph. The Boattail Speedster was about 455 pounds lighter than standard Packards, had a 134” wheel base, could hold two passengers, and the 145 horsepower version came with a special crankshaft and special valves. The car with the larger engine included a high compression head, finned manifold, and a 2-barrel carburettor.

Because of their power and speed, stripped down and Speedsters with modified bodies were used in competitive motorsport in the 1930s and '40s. Only 20 or so Packard Speedsters are known to have survived.

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