The Packard

Uncle William had a car he was very proud of, but it was not a Rolls-Royce, but a Packard.  The car is now back in America where it is owned by Tim English who kindly sent me the photograph above.

However on the web I have found a description based I think on a sales catalogue, which gives some fascinating background information both about the car and about Uncle William. I have scanned it in and I attach it below



1930 PACKARD, Custom eight, Model 740



BORE & STROKE 3 ½  IN. x 5 IN.


140″ Wheel Base


ESTIMATED PRICE $4985.00 w/options


The first owner of this 1930 Packard Limousine was William Selkirk of Cumberland, England. He was a mining engineer who in 1898 spent months trekking through Rhodesia and the Victoria Falls area of Africa. Sometime during the next few decades he became a friend and associate of another mining engineer by the time of Alfred Chester Beatty. Beatty became known as the “King of Copper”. While working with Beatty, Selkirk made his fortune and formed the Roan Antelope Copper Mine in Rhodesia in the mid 1920’s, a mine which is a major source of copper to this day.

Mr. Selkirk retired a wealthy man, at age 60 in 1928 and bought a country estate, Colwood Home, in Warminglid, West Sussex, England which is 40 miles South of London. A Rolls Royce would be his car of choice but his travels in the U.S. lead him to admire the quality and beauty of the Packard, so he chose “to be different”. In May of 1930, he ordered his Packard through Leonard Williams & Co. of London where it was modified by Packard U.S. for use in England. This included right hand drive, Lucas “trafficator” lighted mechanical turn signals, single fog light and a bulb type auxiliary “BoaConstrictor” horn. Standard from Packard was the division window, four speed transmission, Bijur one‑shot oiling system, trunk rack, cigar lighter both front and rear, electric intercom and two clocks.

Mr. Selkirk owned this car for over 30 years. The original owner’s manual with William Selkirk’s signature had been laminated and hard bound at some point in its life. The manual, along with the original registration as well as papers from the 40’s and 50’s are still with the car! There is a copy of COPPER VENTURE from the 50s about copper mining in Rhodesia with numerous references to William Selkirk and his career.

This car still has the original interior and exterior, albeit worn,  but not bad for a low mileage (38,000 miles) and almost 80 years old. After William Selkirk’s death in 1961 at age 93, the car was sold to Peter J. S. Lumsden, a car enthusiast who raced Jaguars. Mr. Lumsden kept the car in excellent condition but did not drive it much. In 1968, he sold it to Ted Sullivan of Chicago, Illinois. The car came over by steamship in 1969 and was delivered to Mr. Sullivan in Chicago. At that time, the mileage showed 29,604 miles.

Mr. Sullivan kept the car beautifully for the next 35 years when he kept the car garaged and only put 5,000 miles on the car while he owned it. Upon his passing in 2002, the car went to a longtime friend for several years. He then decided to put the car in the hands of its current owner, David English of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania who has picked up the baton to preserve this pristine example of what a Full Classic Car is … history and all! We thank Mr. English for bringing his magnificent car to the 52nd Annual Stan Hywet Father’s Day Car Show “Inner Circle”.



On to Imperial College

Recent Posts