ID plate numbers, and my 32 light eight

Queries about model and year identification, engine and vehicle numbers, etc.
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dustr@me.com
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ID plate numbers, and my 32 light eight

Post by dustr@me.com » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:48 am

32 Packard ID plate.jpg
I have a '32 Light Eight which is now a Roadster. Was it always? Someone says it was originally a coupe, and was converted to a Roadster. They rely on the plate on the firewall. I've uploaded a pic so readers can help me with their judgements and opinions. The controversy centers over the first three numbers. If 558, the car was originally a 2 - 4 passenger Coupe. If 559, it was a Roadster. The last number in the 55 x sequence doesn't look like the "9" in the font set Packard was using in 1932. But does it look like the 8 they were using? I need to see an example. The eight on my plate is messy, and looks like it could have been modified to look like an eight. Please share with me!

Dave Czirr
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Re: ID plate numbers, and my 32 light eight

Post by Dave Czirr » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:45 pm

I wondering if your car might have a bogus plate. Images I have of 9th series plates, as well as one pictured in a privately published work on Packard's patent plates, are different both in the graphic design elements of the plate and the crispness, size, font and spacing of the digits.

General consensus is that the plate you pictured was introduced late in the 10th series cars. This may render a discussion over the ambiguous numbers a moot point.

I have no knowledge of the history of your car but the chopping of fixed coupes into convertible coupes and roadsters for profit has been a sad part of this hobby since its earliest days. I'm hoping it's not the case with your vehicle.

PS - image of how the vehicle number digits appear on a 9th Series patent plate, compare style, size, alignment, etc.
PPS - another image, this plate from a 9th Series Light Eight. Note the consistency of these two with regard to the vehicle number compared to your plate.
Attachments
9th Series vehicle number.jpg
32 Light Eight.jpg

dustr@me.com
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Re: ID plate numbers, and my 32 light eight

Post by dustr@me.com » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:26 pm

Dave, the plate looks almost new. Are there counterfeiters that provide such things? Several things about the car have been altered, a downdraft intake manifold for instance. No question, the plate doesn't look like the 900 plate example you provided. The numbers do match.

I was told the car was restored about 1990. Probably that was when the alterations were done. I had to do extensive work on the top to get it to fold flat and flush. Looks good and drives good after a lot of work, even though probably not always a roadster.

Well, it's like trying to find an original '32 Deuce!

Dave Czirr
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Re: ID plate numbers, and my 32 light eight

Post by Dave Czirr » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:35 pm

There have been several vendors over the past 50+ years that manufactured and sold blank repro patent plates. Note the text of the legitimate Light Eight plate cites 600 patents, not the 1100 on the 10th and 11th Series plates. Clearly the incorrect plate for the 9th Series.

Whatever its pedigree, just have fun with it and start accumulating great memories, it's a nimble and enjoyable car to drive, handling not too much different from my 1934 Eight sedan which is a delight to drive.

Packard did offer a kit to convert 9th Series cars from updraft to downdraft carburetion. They also offered a kit to install 10th/11th Series twin coil ignition on 9th Series cars.

dustr@me.com
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Re: ID plate numbers, and my 32 light eight

Post by dustr@me.com » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:02 am

Dave, it seems I have a Packard hot rod. :) I'll continue to enjoy it for awhile. When it's time to sell, do I advertise it as a Coupe Conversion?

GJBINSC
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Re: ID plate numbers, and my 32 light eight

Post by GJBINSC » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:31 am

Another 9th Series fire wall plate
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IMG_20170905_155718.jpg

Packard 903
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Re: ID plate numbers, and my 32 light eight

Post by Packard 903 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:40 pm

My guess is that the plate is one of the reproduction plates made a few years back for later cars.
Packard fonts used have very particular designs, for example the number 9 is vertical on the tail and straight down with no curve. (like the posted example). Yours has a curve at the bottom of the 9, so it is not original Packard.
Same with the 6, straight up, no curve at the top.
5's are slightly different, too.
Hope this helps.
But, as you say, you still have a good-running car that you can enjoy.

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