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Seen from a European viewpoint Packard is probably the most desirable make of car. And yes of course we do drive our Model T's and Model A's, and yes we like Chevrolet, and yes we've heard from Duesenberg and yes we know about Chrysler. But Packard has something appealing in its name, in its fame, under its bonnet and of course the highly distinguishable radiator which makes it more attractive than most other Americans. Next week Saturday a wide variety of these powerful, high class cars will be up for auction in Westport, Connecticut. You have the choice of straight eight or twelve cylinder cars. And bodystyles ranging from a 'basic' club sedan , a superior 12 cylinder Sedan, an even larger V12 Limousine, a 1928 'coupe chauffeur' town car, a choice of Speedsters (like this 1930 Boattail Runabout ) up to the grand 1930 speedster Phaeton. Not meaning to give you any guidance in this, but our personal Packard pick is the playboy arrogance of the 1929 645 Dietrich Roadster. Full overview of the auction of Dragone Classic on their new website, or here at flickr.com Dragone Winter Auction -December 7.
Juha Kaitanen came up with this nice period photo from Finland and wonders about the make. As the radiator shape was familiar yet the badge not very clear we started a litte search and found this wonderfull photo of a Colibri with two geisha lady drivers. Working from there the road to the Norddeutsche Automobilwerke was open and the car appears to be a 1913(?) Sperber. Georgano rightuously remarks under 'Colibri' that NAW sometimes is using their initials as a logo. "This photo was taken in a place called Huittinen. The owner of the car is local bank director. He was listed as car owner in 1915."
We received a photo from Richard Rodier asking: "Who can identify this car owned by a member of our family around 1900? Mr Leys was was a great amateur of cars, planes and gas balloons around 1900 and was a friend of Henri and Maurice Farman. The photo was taken at Mr. Leys' Chateau d'Alosse, near Orleans."
First of all we saw some similarity with the 1902 Panhard with Farman at the wheel as depricted on the Michelin Building in London. Next we found a near full match with the Paris-Madrid 1903 Panhard. More than that, the man in the photo looks like Henri Farman. Both in pictures of the dramatic Madrid race and in the 1903 Gordon-Bennett in Ireland we see the car with straight wings, while in the picture above we see curved wings. It will be quite interesting to date the picture more precisely. Did Mr. George Leys own the Gordon Bennett car in slightly more 'roadgoing' version. Or is it another car?
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