Packard was founded in 1899, and the company quickly rose to prominence in what was then a crowded field of automotive manufacturers prior to the first World War. From its earliest years, Packard's focus was on luxury cars, and they went on to become one of the three "P"s of American luxury car manufacturers, along with Pierce-Arrow and Peerless. Their 3,500,000 square foot Packard plant was located on an area encompassing over 40 acres in Detroit. When it was opened in 1903, it was considered the most modern automotive manufacturing facility in the world.
This particular car is the 22nd oldest complete Packard left in the world. The Model S was the only model available in that year, and was state of the art for its era. The 5.7 liter inline-4 made heavy use of aluminum, with its cylinders manufactured in France and later machined in Detroit by Packard. Intake and exhaust valves were now placed on opposite sides of the cylinder for optimal combustion and airflow, with each set of valves managed by their own camshaft. The engine was rated at only 24 hp, but actual output was between 40-50 horses.
The car's ash dashboard features a rare Waltham wind-up clock, while the impressive brass and wood steering has controls for throttle and spark. Polished brass also finds use on the Solar Deluxe Projector lambs, spot lamps, tail lamp, and the horn.
This car will be sold by Mecum Auctions in Monterey, California on August 18-20, 2016, right before the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 21.
|---- Specifications ----|
|Engine||5.7 liter inline-4||Weight||--|
|HP||24 hp (official rating)||HP/Weight||--|
|HP/Liter||4.2 hp per liter||1/4 mile||--|
|0-62 mph||--||Top Speed||--|
This 1906 Packard Model S Touring is the 22nd oldest complete Packard in the world and one of only three 1906 Packards known extant today. The Model S represented a turnaround for the young company founded by James Ward Packard in 1899, for after a string of early innovations that included the first use of a steering wheel in an automobile, the company seemed willing to rest on its laurels until it obviously began losing ground - and profits - to its competitors. The turnaround began with the 1905 Model N, powered by a 266 CI inline-4 developing 28 HP at 900 RPM. The Model S superseded it in 1906 as the only model available from Packard that year, and was an all-around improvement. Larger, roomier, more comfortable and, most importantly, more powerful than the N, the S was a beautifully finished, magnificent machine offered in both runabout and touring configurations. Its 350 CI inline-4 engine made prolific use of aluminum, its cylinders made in France by a leading metallurgical firm and machined by Packard in Detroit. The intake and exhaust valves were arranged on opposite sides of the cylinders for improved breathing, each side actuated by its own camshaft flanking the nickel steel crank. The new engine was officially rated at 24 HP, leading to the car’s reference as the Model 24, but its actual output was in the 40-to-50 HP range. Typically of Packard, the chassis was a robust affair supplanting the N’s three-point suspension with advanced semi-elliptical leaf springs and mechanical brakes at all four corners and riding on artillery-style spoked wheels fitted with 4-inch front and 4.5-inch rear tires. The Model S’ 119-inch wheelbase allowed easy entry and roomy seating for passengers, who enjoyed diamond-tufted leather seats, ample luggage space and, in inclement weather, a sturdy folding top. This singular 1906 Packard Model S Touring, chassis number 2425 and engine number 2425, demonstrates Packard’s brilliant engineering and coachwork, its Blue and Black paint accented with gleaming polished brass Solar Deluxe Projector lamps, tail lamp, spot lamps and horn. The interior features Black leather upholstery, brass wood-rimmed steering wheel with throttle and spark controls and an extremely rare Waltham wind-up clock on the ash dashboard. While its original owner is unknown, its subsequent ownership history is well documented in the Packard Centennial Registry and most famously includes Bill Harrah, who owned the car for 20 years from 1966 to 1986. Recently part of the Tom and Joann Goodlet Collection for nearly 25 years, the car has been assiduously maintained and presents in excellent cosmetic and mechanical condition, a wonderful and valuable Brass Era artifact.