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1926 236 Phaeton Packard Car: The Story of the Packard’s Life

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The Packard Motor Car Company made a name for itself by producing high-quality and breathtaking luxury vehicles leading up to World War II. The company featured the iconic slogan, “Ask the Man Who Owns One,” boasting the company’s attention to excellence and opulence when developing their unforgettable automobiles. Packard cars were truly a force to be reckoned with, especially in the 1920s, arguably the company’s heyday. 

One powerhouse design that came from Packard’s Detroit factory was the gorgeous 1926 236 Packard Phaeton. The stunning Phaeton Packard was part of the Packard Eight’s second generation and featured a 136-inch wheelbase, which is why the model was called the 236 — the “2” represented the second generation, and the “36” referred to its 136-inch wheelbase.

Here’s what you need to know about the Packard Eight and its striking 1926 236 Phaeton model.    

History of the Packard Eight

The Packard Motor Car Company developed the original Packard Eight in 1924, and there was an intense luxury car competition leading up to its release. In 1923, Packard was fiercely competing with Cadillac and Lincoln to build the best luxury automobile on the market. 

Packard’s vice president of engineering Jesse Vincent spearheaded the development of the Packard Eight. Vincent had already experienced much success in the world of vehicular engineering, as he had co-designed the Liberty aircraft engine, and he also won the 1922 Detroit Gold Cup while piloting the Packard-Chris Craft speedboat. 

In 1923, Jesse Vincent unveiled the remarkable Packard Single Eight engine, replacing Packard’s V12 engine. This powerful eight-cylinder engine was groundbreaking for the luxury automotive world and set the stage for future luxury vehicles. 

Packard’s Single Eight engine powered their Packard Eight vehicles. When these vehicles came on the scene in 1924, they immediately embodied classic luxury cars with their four-wheel brakes, chassis, comfortable coaches, and, of course, powerful and smooth 8-cylinder engines. 

One of the Packard Eight’s innovations that was especially groundbreaking was its four-wheel brakes. Four-wheel brakes dated back to 1921, but they were not regularly used in the automotive world. Instead, only the rear wheels had brakes. The Packard Eight normalized the use of four-wheel brakes and made them immensely more popular.  

The use of four-wheel brakes may seem like common sense, but this innovation was not easy to develop. Manufacturers struggled to apply consistent pressure on each wheel, and they had to take into account the car’s suspension and steering in order to apply even tension between the front and rear brakes.  

With its impressive brakes and engine, the Packard Eight was a huge success all through the 1920s.

1926 236 Packard Phaeton Specifications

With the immense success and innovations of the Packard Eight, the Packard Motor Car Company didn’t substantially alter the vehicle when debuting its second generation. The company introduced many new Packard car models with body styles such as the 2-door roadster, 2-door coupé, 2-door convertible Victoria, 4-door sedan, town car, landau, 4-door phaeton, and the 4-door dual-cowl phaeton and sport phaeton. 

The 1926 236 Phaeton featured Packard’s groundbreaking Single Eight engine. It was a 358 cu in (5.9 L) L-head inline eight with a 4.51 to 1 compression ratio and 85 horsepower at 3,000 revolutions per minute. The vehicle’s powertrain also came with a 3-speed manual gearbox and a single-Packard updraft carburetor.

Although other vehicles sported V8 engines during the 1920s, the Packard Eight’s engine was truly special. It featured nine main bearings and full-pressure lubrication, and the engine could produce a far smoother ride than other 8-cylinder engines. It was able to achieve this by featuring a crankshaft that had its center four throws on the same plane, and it had two throws on opposite sides that were positioned at right angles. This created far more balance in the firing of the 8-cylinder engine, making for a much smoother ride. 

Packard’s competitors also had V8 engines, but they lacked the Straight Eight’s balance, resulting in a bumpy and uncomfortable ride.  

In addition to its innovative engine, the 236 Packard Phaeton also came with front solid and rear live axles that boasted semi-elliptical leaf springs and shock absorbers, making for an even smoother, luxurious ride. 

1926 236 Phaeton Packard

Get Great Insurance on Your Packard Car

Even though the Packard Motor Car Company was at the top of its game in the 1920s with its groundbreaking Straight Eight engine and stunning 236 Phaeton, they closed their doors permanently three decades later in 1958.

Fortunately, there are plenty of classic Packard cars available in collector car markets, and if you invest in one of these breathtaking pieces of luxury, you need the best classic car insurance to keep your vintage beauty up and running for years to come.

For premium and affordable insurance that you can count on, look no further than Classic Auto Insurance. We offer customizable insurance policies for classic luxury cars, including Packard vehicles. If you’re ready to learn more, call us today at 888-901-1338, or you can get an instant quote online here.    

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