You know you’re mature when you remember seeing Packards for sale at the corner used car lots and driving around the neighborhood, and mine was not a ritzy area.
But for those of us who grew up in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Packard was still a car make we recognized. Certainly Packard’s reputation had been stellar for years, before it slowly and sadly faded away after being purchased by Studebaker. The last Packards were 1958 models.
Yet in its early years and through the 1930s, Packards were considered more than premium motorcars, they were right up there at the pinnacle. One of its classy coupes was the 1932 902 Standard Eight, a two-seater with rumble seat out back. NEO creates a 1/43 scale resin beauty now in dark red with black roof and fenders. The review model comes from American-Excellence.
For 1932, despite the ongoing Depression, Packard rolled out its Ninth Series of cars, all longer, lower and faster than previous models. The Series 902 Coupe was a sweet one with an improved version of Packard’s Standard Eight engine, a 302 cu.in. L-head straight eight creating 110 horsepower.
A new feature that sounds more like it should be on today’s cars was Ride Control adjustable shocks. The system allowed the car’s hydraulic shocks to be adjusted from inside the car. The cars ran smoother and quieter too as rubber engine mounts were employed along with the driveshaft being rubber mounted and jointed. The car also had a self-lubricating chassis.
Pricing was in the $2,650 to $2,850 range and just 972 Series 902 models were built.
Packard was cash rich, which helped it survive the Depression, along with creating a Junior lineup of lower priced luxury cars. The company’s single assembly line that could be altered to make a variety of models with different components, a very modern production technique. That helped Packard outlast other independent luxury makes.
The best 902 coupe was auctioned at more than $187,000 a few years ago, but $140 grand is a more realistic sales price for a nice model. If only you had a real one stuck away in the garage. However, looking at that price makes this NEO model’s price look a bargain.
This Packard looks elegant in dark red and black. These were rolling pieces of art and NEO does a nice job of replicating the delicate chrome nose with its tall grille featuring the ornate Goddess of Speed hood ornament on top. Plus the twin lights that frame it are chrome with well executed lenses and two chrome horns below the lights.
There are dual turn signal lamps atop each black lacquered fender and beautifully detailed red wire wheels, including two spares, one in each fender. The tires feature wide white sidewalls and behind both spares are steps to help he driver ease a tire out of its fender sleeve or access the fold-up hood.
A lot of little details like that, plus small chrome handles to raise the hood, similar chrome door handles and black and chrome luggage rack in back, plus a chrome step to allow access to the rumble seat make this model special. I just wish that rumble seat opened!
The Packard has broad running boards on each side and a gloss black roof with matte center portion. Chrome photo-etched windshield wipers hang from the roof’s edge atop the flat windshield. The passenger side trunk also is represented behind the door and includes a silver key lock.
The coupe’s gray interior is simple, but there is some gauge detailing on the small centered dash and a black steering wheel and floor-mounted shifter with black knob. The car also features a black and orange 1932 Nevada license plate front and rear. This is a truly handsome resin model.
Vital Stats: 1932 Packard 902 Standard Eight Coupe
Stock No.: 217538/NEO47105