Before we talk about this super-cool 1930 Packard 734 Boattail Speedster light painting, let’s share some history of this rare automobile with you. The car’s owners were nice enough to share a little of its story with me, of the car known as “George”.
Packard 734 Boattail Speedster
The Packard 734 Boattail Speedster was one of the first cars produced using the muscle car recipe, long before the term “Muscle Car” was born.
A lightweight body was mounted to the company’s shortest chassis and then equipped with a modified version of it’s biggest engine. The 385 cid straight-eight engine was fitted with a high-compression head, a high-lift camshaft, larger exhaust ports, finned exhaust manifold, a unique dual-throat carburetor, and an added camshaft-driven vacuum pump to help deliver fuel at high speeds. Horsepower was bumped from 106 horsepower to 145 horsepower, giving the car an honest-to-goodness 100 mph capability.
The Speedster was not advertised and quietly disappeared without fanfare. Amazingly, most Packard dealers were not even aware that the car even existed!
It is estimated that only around 36 Boattails were even built. This car sold for $10,000 back in 1930! And it goes without saying that $10,000 was a lot of money for anything back then!
Only six completely authentic examples are known to exist. This car, nicknamed “George”, retains body style #25, and was originally purchased at the Philadelphia Packard distributor by N. Brickerhoff of Englewood, NJ. It is thought that this car has been driven more than 300,00 miles.
Between June 6th and July 9th, 1995, this car was driven 9,638 miles through all 48 contiguous states by Donald R. Peterson. He was accompanied through portions of the trip by his sons, Wyatt and Ryan Peterson, and his wife, Edie.
Engine: 385cid – 145 hp straight eight
Color: Rot Braun
Fuel Economy: 12.6 mpg
Packard Boattail Light Painting Photograph
I met the owner’s grandson, Kyle, at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds during the during the 45th annual MSRA “Back To The 50’s” Car Show back in late June.
I was there to create Taran and Heather’s cool Back To The 50’s engagement portraits. The three of us met there and used several of the fantastic cars (with each owner’s permission) as props to go nicely with their 50’s attire.
After Taran and Heather had left, I hung around talking to some of the car owners and asking some of them if they had ever heard of “light painting photography”. I was able to share examples of what I can do to bring out the best features of a car by light painting it.
When I saw this unique car, I kind of stopped in my tracks. After drooling, no staring, for a while, I talked to Kyle about the car. I asked him if he’d ever heard of “light painting”? We talked some more and I shared some of the light painting examples that I have on my iPhone. We talked about the possibility of creating one for him.
Then a few weeks ago, Kyle reached out to me about creating a light painting of this 1930 Packard 734 Boattail Speedster.
Light Painting a 1930 Packard 734 Boattail Speedster
We set a date and a location to create the 1930 Packard 734 Boattail Speedster light painted photo. The weather was perfect, the mosquitos were almost non-existent, and the car speaks for itself!
Kyle was a fantastic help all night long! He not only triggered the camera for me while I ran around the neighborhood lighting trees, bushes, and of course, the car, but he had great input as to how to highlight parts of “George”. Thank you, Kyle, your assistance was awesome!
I’ve prepared a short YouTube video with some of the steps that go into creating something ultra-cool like this. Nearly 100 separate photographs, we actually took more than 300, went into creating this light painting of this rare automobile. We hope you enjoy it! – M&J