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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1929 Packard 626 speedster

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Testbed recreation 1929 Packard 626 speedster for sale on From the seller’s description:

This is a faithful recreation of the Packard Motor Car Company’s factory rolling engineering test bed. In 1928 Packard’s chief engineer, Jesse Vincent, commissioned, and the Board of Directors authorized, a speedster type car to be constructed in the Packard shops to be used as a test vehicle at the Packard Proving Grounds. Over the approximate ten year useful life of the car it was raced/tested in several different configurations.

This vehicle has been constructed to replicate the speedster in its “Version II” form. Sometime after the initial iteration there was an upgrade to the speedster via the removal and replacement of the 4th series Super Eight radiator, radiator shell and bonnet. These items were upgraded using the then new style 7th series radiator and bonnet (released for production in August, 1929). The differences being noted in that the radiator shell now possessed a cloisonné emblem featuring the Packard family coat of arms with a new style radiator cap, along with a set of thermostatically controlled radiator shutters attached to the newer series radiator.

The new style bonnet features two handles per side to aid in lifting the massive hood along with the addition of four chrome plated ventilating hood door knobs per side to activate the now spring loaded hood doors. These features among others have been verified through period photographs taken at the Proving Grounds by Packard’s official factory photographers. One of these contemporary images shows flying ace Colonel Roscoe Turner seated in the passenger seat of the speedster either just returning from or about to lap the test track.

Every attention to detail has been adhered to in recreating this version of one of Packard Motor Car Company’s important milestones with many countless hours of research and correspondence performed before the project’s commencement. The chassis (Standard Eight Model 6-26) as well as the engine and transmission (Super Eight Model 6-40/6-45) are all date coded via serial numbers to be correct for the era and the engine and transmission fall within the summer, 1929 time frame build.

Engine Serial Number: 177622C (denotes Super Eight Engine)

Transmission Serial Number: 170409 (denotes Super Eight Transmission)

Chassis Serial Number: 253414 (denotes Standard Eight Chassis)

The long and laborious restoration included a major engine overhaul:

Cylinders bored .060 oversize; cylinder head decked .020, with new Arias forged aluminum racing pistons installed.
Camshaft work by Ed “Isky” Iskendarian.
New valves and valve springs with machine and short block work performed by Valley Head Service.
New Detroit Lubricator Model 51 carburetor by Packard Carbs. Ltd.
New radiator constructed by The Brassworks.
Water pump rebuilt using the original shaft built up with hard chrome and shaft ground to size.

New flywheel ring gear, clutch disc, pressure plate, pilot bearing and throw-out bearing; flywheel resurfaced.
Both transmission and differential totally rebuilt with every bushing, bearing and seal replaced with new American made components.
Original Packard driveshaft shortened to accommodate the extra length of the Super Eight engine and balanced to over 3,000 rpm on the lathe with no perceptible vibration.
Original leaf springs re-arched and new king pins and spring eye and spring shackle bushings along with new kick shackle springs installed.
Packard-Houdaille shock absorbers completely professionally restored.
Original Bendix three-shoes-per-wheel relined and drums turned.
All new Timken wheel bearings and seals installed.
Manifold porcelainized and complete custom exhaust system installed with period exhaust cut-out installed (for that period “racer’s sound”).
Distributor, generator, starter and water pump, vacuum tank and fuse block restored to 100 points inside and out
New oil filter by Ripley (authentic exterior with a modern spin-on filter inside). All gauges, including the speedometer are correct and professionally restored.

Body is coach built by Dave and Tim Todd using all steel construction over a hardwood frame by Bill Canty.

Refinished in gloss black nitrocellulose lacquer with correct casino red leather upholstery.
Hood door ventilators and wheels are refinished in matching casino red.

This is a no expense spared, painstakingly researched and documented restoration/recreation and is sure to please even the most discriminating collector of classic Packards and/or open wheel race cars.

This project was begun, coordinated, overseen and completed by a long time Packard restorer and copies of all receipts and full photo documentation of all phases of restoration are available with purchase of this Packard.

Location Marker
Burbank, California
Magnifying Glass

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