MotorCities National Heritage Area

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection
Posted: 10.17.2017

file 20171017010402 Packard DeLuxe Eight AutomobilesPackard DeLuxe 840 SedanAt a time when the Packard Motor Car Co. was establishing itself as one of the best automotive manufacturers in the world, the company bolstered its growing reputation with the DeLuxe Eight models 840 and 845. Both models were great looking cars with innovative styling features that did very well with the motoring public.

Through the years, the Packard name attracted a loyal following based on the company’s sterling reputation for fine workmanship and excellence in artistry. During the early days, Packard became a driving force behind the astonishing growth of Detroit’s automotive and industrial base. It was the best of times for many Detroit residents were employed by the fast growing Packard. However the economic boom times started to slow and the country sank into the Great Depression.

file 20171017010505 Packard DeLuxe Eight AutomobilesPackard DeLuxe 845 SedanThis story is about The Packard DeLuxe Eight models 840 and 845 and other Eight Series models that were introduced to the buying public in 1930-1931. A price tag of $3,490 for the Roadster Two-Four door passenger models and $3,490 for the Phaeton, four-door passenger models were very expensive at the time for many Americans. The prices also did not include extra equipment or special paint and trim accessories bought at the time of purchasing. Customers were able to select from a wide range of colors and fabrics.

In 1931, Packard said this about their products: “Packard offers the finest personal transportation with the best of Packard quality and performance in richness of luxury. As in beauty and distinction of appearance it ranks among the world's finest motor car."

file 20171017010605 Packard DeLuxe Eight AutomobilesPackard DeLuxe 840 CoupeFor example, the interior on the Packard Touring car for seven passengers offered auxiliary seats that could fold smoothly into the division back to provide ample room for storing equipment along with a storage compartment that was placed just in the back of the front seat. Other great examples included a rumble seat, chromed disc wheel covers that many consumers thoroughly enjoyed along with the popular straight eight engine. The 1931 Eight Series comprised two engines in three model lines. Packard also designed and built the improved four-speed transmission that was very much appreciated by those who had to shift gears often in traffic. Packard offered 11 body styles for 1931.

The Packard DeLuxe Eight 840 convertible coupe was available for two or four passengers, the rear compartment could seat two extra passengers, and it offered ample space for luggage. The 1931 Packards were technically referred to as the Eight Series cars. They came in four separate series know as 826 which came only as a five-passenger sedan.

file 20171017010711 Packard DeLuxe Eight AutomobilesPackard DeLuxe 840Next in line was Series 833, 840 and 845. The company sold 13,123 models for Packard’s model run of 10 months. The models placed 18th in sales for the year. The manufacturing and production for 1931 started on Aug. 14, 1930 and ended on June 23, 1931 for all models. Packard production of Eighth Series cars ended early in the year because of their unveiling the Ninth Series 1932 cars in June of 1931.

In conclusion, Packard has always had a great automotive history and legacy of manufacturing beautiful automobiles with great quality. For more information on the history of the Packard automobiles, please contact Tom Mitchell from the Motor City of Metropolitan Detroit A Region of Packard Classics (PAC); check out their website at

file 20171017010752 Packard DeLuxe Eight Automobiles

file 20171017010813 Packard DeLuxe Eight Automobiles

For further information on photos please visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please do not republish the story and/or photographs without permission of MotorCities National Heritage Area. (Bibliography: Dammann H. George & Wren A. James. “Packard” Motor-books International 1996; Kimes Rae Beverly & Jr. Clark, Austin Henry. “Standard catalog of American Cars 1805-1942.” Kimes Rae Beverly & Grayson Stan. “Packard A history of the Company” Automobile Quarterly Publications.)