Joe Conzonire eases his 1903 Packard Model F Runabout out of his shop and pulls it into the sunlight. It is as dazzling and intricate as a tsarist Russian Fabergé egg. I behold a symphony of polished brass, lacquered wood, tufted leather and Jules Vern Victorian machinery. Its regal, opulent, extra-cost option rear-entry tonneau for extra passengers makes it a deluxe tourer, but without that it would be a two-place roadster.
The overall visual effect of the little machine is truly unique, and upon closer inspection, more discerning automotive history buffs would be surprised at how this pioneering Packard was ahead of its time in many ways – especially when you consider that it is one of America’s earliest automobiles. I feel privileged to be able to sample it. Sadly, there are only four left today.
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