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Packard 740 mystery
#1
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Sherlock
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This Packard has the hallmarks that distinguish a 740 from the Eighth Series Big 8s including hubcap style, four-spoke steering wheel, 1930 style engine manifolds, plain hood reveal without the spear tip. Yet it has the sweeping front fenders of the Eighth Series. Will 840/845 front fenders fit a 740? This car doesn't have the chrome strips at the tail of the front fenders that would mark the Eighth Series. Anyone have an idea what is going on with this Packard? More photos here: https://classiccars.com/listings/view/ ... -orange-connecticut-06477

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Posted on: 4/21 20:35
Rob

1930 Custom 8 Club Sedan
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Re: Packard 740 mystery
#2
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West Peterson
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Much later owner modifications. I've seen the car personally, but I don't remember if the sidemounts interfere with the door opening. I suspect they do.

If you can find a profile shot of the car, you'll notice that the rear-most part of the spare tire is almost in line with the front of the door opening. Certainly the door will open just fine, but when opened all the way, it probably rests against the tire.

When Packard fitted its speedster bodies to the much shorter 134-inch wheelbase and used those fenders, they mounted the body six inches further back and lengthening the cowl by as much.

The 745 wheelbase is longer in front of the cowl. With the engine mounted in the same place, they needed to provide cowling around the fan to provide proper cooling.

That said, the 1931 840 roadsters use those same fenders. So, perhaps there isn't any door opening problem.

Posted on: 4/22 7:43
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Re: Packard 740 mystery
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Sherlock
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The crowns of the spares on this car are a couple inches to the rear of the spare crowns on my 740. 840 photos show the spare crowns to be located the same as on this car, so I am guessing 840 fenders will fit a 740 (with bolt hole modifications).

The prior owner omitted the chrome strips. I think he would also have to have used an 840 battery box, and shortened running boards and splash apron.

Posted on: 4/24 12:58
Rob

1930 Custom 8 Club Sedan
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Re: Packard 740 mystery
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West Peterson
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Based on this photo I just happened across, it looks like the car went to Belgium, and received a beautiful color change.

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Posted on: 4/28 7:17
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Re: Packard 740 mystery
#5
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Tim Cole
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Those have to be modified 745 fenders as the extra 5 inches in hood length on the 745 allow for the longer running board. 840 fenders have the deep lip.

I guess it's not that bad of a modification if you have to have the 745 look, but the short hood throws the proportions off. I think the stock 740 is better looking than that thing. As well, the car has been taken apart so many times it probably drives like crap.

Posted on: 4/28 11:06
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Re: Packard 740 mystery
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Packardbarry
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Posted on: 4/28 13:09
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Re: Packard 740 mystery
#7
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West Peterson
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Tim
I'm curious about the difference between the 740 and 840 roadsters. Wouldn't they be the same, other than the front fenders? If they are the same, then isn't it possible that 840 fenders were installed?

Posted on: 4/28 15:02
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Re: Packard 740 mystery
#8
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Tim Cole
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The Eight series cars had an approximately 1/2 to 3/4 heavier fender bead. As well, Packard was really adept at subtle changes that bring balance. I think the 840 steering wheel is the best example of how a single item changes the visual aspect of an interior. Only a skilled artist can do such things. The Warhol soup cans are a similar demonstration. The emotional impact is entirely different than the actual product. Jackson Pollack could throw paint at a canvas in such a way that it was instantly identifiable as his work.

So anyway, the stylists at Packard changed the dimensions of the 840 front end just enough to a get balance of proportions. Sure I love the look of the 745, but when I look at the 840 I see the culmination of a careful study. The profile of the 840 phaeton is perfect. It's not my favorite, but it is perfectly proportioned.

Those particular fenders may have come from a 745C which didn't have the extra five inches of hood, in which case they might just bolt on. If so they probably came off one of those expensive town cars that were being scrapped by the dozens.

Posted on: 4/29 11:03
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Re: Packard 740 mystery
#9
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Sherlock
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Another subtle change that was made from 740 to 840 was the front bumper. The 740 is relatively straight at the ends, while the 840 bumper curves more toward the tires. As it did with the swept front fenders, the 745 pioneered the more strongly curved front bumper ends.

Posted on: 4/29 20:32
Rob

1930 Custom 8 Club Sedan
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Re: Packard 740 mystery
#10
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TJH
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Mr. Cole makes some excellent observations about proportions Packard designers changed with the 8th series. Also, with the 8th they added an inch of height to the windshield with a different frame and posts for more headroom. Other instrument panel changes are glove box doors, the chrome across the bottom of the panel and the woodgrain finish. Steering wheel as noted is three spoke versus the "heavier" four spoke on the 7th. The 8th has wider front and rear springs, different manifolds with a small increase in power. A fuel pump versus the vacuum tank on the firewall. A four speed non-synchromesh transmission with "short throw" from 3rd to 4th. Seat cushion upholstery is slightly different. Wire wheels have hubcaps different from a 1932 but of the same diameter as on the 9th series. Disc wheels have larger screw on caps. Plus a few other changes.
A few years ago, I saw this interesting car, but couldn't decide how the fenders were changed. Were original 745 or 840 fenders shortened, and/or did they shorten the running boards? In any event it has the more graceful sloping fenders versus the original "spoon" shaped ones of a 740. Interesting discussion.
Tom Hartz

Posted on: 5/5 11:44
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