Old Cars is turning 50. In honor of 50 years of the privilege of bringing the old cars hobby to our valued and faithful readers, Old Cars will revisit 50 of our past featured cars in 50 days, to commemorate the half-century of Old Cars. Here's to fifty more years of Old Cars!
DAY FIFTEEN: 1925 Packard Holbrook limousine
Ken Chartier eventually traveled from his home in Plover, Wis., to New Hampshire to visit the car. A few months later, he swallowed hard and wrote a check for his 4,900-lb., seven-passenger, coach-built new toy. One of the first orders of business when the car arrived: finding out if it would actually fit in the couple’s garage. “It does, just barely,” Chartier said. “It’s 80 inches tall, and it has about an inch of clearance. And it’s about 17 feet long, but I’d have measure it exactly.”
Even in the high-fashion, high-society world of 1920s Packards, a jumbo-sized Series 243 limo was not your ordinary luxury car. At the time, Packard offered its customers the option of getting custom coachwork through its catalog, and an unknown buyer in New Hampshire took the Chartiers’ car to Holbrook Co. of Hudson N.Y. During the 1910s and ’20s, Holbrook built coachwork for a number of the big players in the world of high-end cars, including Cadillac, Pierce-Arrow, Rolls-Royce, Marmon, Mercer and Packard. Holbrook was known mainly for turning out conservative, traditional town cars and limousines, and that’s exactly what they delivered with the Chartiers’ stately Packard.
The luxury Packard began life as a 143-inch chassis and was transformed into Style No. 2711, a Holbrook seven-passenger “Inside Drive Limousine.” The body consists of custom aluminum coachwork over a wooden frame. The traditional boxy passenger compartment is adorned with copious amounts of glass — three large windows on each side, plus the unique tip-out windshield.
All Packards were considered luxurious inside, but the limousines took it a step farther. Passengers in these cars were meant to be chauffeured, not just driven around.
To learn more about Chartier's Packard <CLICK HERE>
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