- The Washington Times - Friday, April 9, 2010

In September 2006, Tim Dudley purchased a car from the estate of a longtime friend who had been in the process of restoring a 1941 Packard One-Sixty Club Coupe when he died. The car was just west of Boston in Sudbury, Mass.

The relatively rare model Packard still needed some work before it could be declared complete and Mr. Dudley was prepared to assume that responsibility. Fortunately, the previous owner had told Mr. Dudley of his plans for the car, down to the two-tone color combination.

Mr. Dudley had first seen the car eight years before but then it still wore the original black paint which was well worn. By the time he purchased the car, he noted that all the windows needed to be replaced as well as the rubber surrounding them.

Restoration arrangements had already been made, so Mr. Dudley left his recently acquired Packard in Massachusetts with the artisans the previous owner had selected.

About a year later, in the autumn of 2007, the finished Packard was trucked to Mr. Dudley’s Upperville, Va., home. The 17-foot-21/4-inch-long coupe, now painted silver French gray metallic over barola blue metallic, had a new personality.

The 356-cubic-inch L-head, in-line eight-cylinder engine started at the touch of the starter and with 160 horsepower at his command, Mr. Dudley took his first tentative jaunt in his driveway. “This,” he thought, “is a car that I will enjoy driving.”

He discovered that when new his Packard had a base price of $1,754. It came with the following accessories:

As a senior Packard, the car is equipped with wood-grained metal window frames and dashboard. Courtesy lights under the dashboard illuminated the floor at night while a dome light is positioned above the rear window. Although the car is classified as a four passenger vehicle, Mr. Dudley claims the cozy rear seat is suitable only for passengers under the age of six.

Wintry weather is no problem for occupants of the Packard as it is equipped with not only a firewall-mounted heater but also an underseat heater as well. In the summer months, the cabin, upholstered in camel-colored fabric, is kept comfortable with fresh air flowing in through the cowl ventilator and out the rear quarter windows, which open at the rear.

The glove-compartment door is where the clock is located while a knob above the two-piece windshield can be rotated to raise or lower the outside antenna.

Access to the big engine is from either side of the 5.5-foot-long engine hood. Beneath the oil bath air cleaner is the two-barrel, downdraft carburetor fitted with an automatic choke. Mr. Dudley observes that sometimes it automatically works and occasionally it automatically doesn’t work. Either way the engine always starts. “I’ve had it up to 75 without trying,” Mr. Dudley reports, thanks to the overdrive. “It drives nicely, and it handles nicely,” he adds. The speedometer can register speeds up to 110 mph.

The 3,470-pound car rides on a 127-inch wheelbase supported by 16x7.00-inch tires with stopping chores handled by internal expanding drum brakes.

Mr. Dudley has driven his Packard, once, into Washington where he is the managing director of Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown. The presence of his Packard in the parking garage caused too much turmoil and a traffic jam, so he probably won’t repeat that exercise.

The odometer on the 67-year-old car indicates that it has been driven just more than 70,000 miles, making it a very low-mileage car.

About his freshly restored One-Sixty Club Coupe, Mr. Dudley says, “I’m as pleased as I could be.”

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