More utilitarian, but no less impressive, is the 1912 Packard Sightseeing Bus (Lot #2505). This bus is not just a piece of Packard history, but a slice of California history as well. It served as a sightseeing bus at Yosemite National Park for several years and was once part of the Otis Chandler Collection. It has been featured in the Rose Bowl parade and has transported VIPs at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Capable of carrying up to 42 people across its seven rows of seats, this Packard is thought to have been originally purchased by the U.S. Army to serve as a sightseeing bus at Yosemite. When control of Yosemite passed from the Army to the National Park Service in 1919, a gold prospector purchased the bus to show would-be investors around prospective mine sights.
Restored in 2001, the period details include a brass gong used for calling passengers, a dash-mounted Sterling clock and an acetylene-powered “Solar-Clipse” brass lamp. The Packard bus is powered by a 432cid, four cylinder T-head gasoline engine, teamed with a 3-speed manual transmission. Dual chains deliver power to the rear wheels, which are shod with solid rubber tires.
This 1912 Packard Sightseeing Bus (Lot #2505) will cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Saturday, Jan. 17.
Ron Pratte’s prestigious collection of automobilia will kick off the 44th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction beginning Saturday, Jan. 10 at 9 a.m. and running through Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. Pratte’s vehicles first cross the block at 4 p.m. on Tuesday with lot numbers 2000 through 2109 and will continue with lot numbers 2500 through 2530 on Saturday, Jan. 17.