Black and white image of a man and a woman standing in front of a 1927 Packard 4-26 sedan in Brisbane, Australia.

Around the World in a Packard: Uncovering a Multi-Continental Trip

A recent request for some original photographs yielded an exciting story we’d never heard before.

The request was submitted by Leyton Chan, chairperson of the South Pacific Packard Club of New Zealand. Mr. Chan was looking for original photographs of a particular Packard car, and not just the same make and model of any car would do! He was looking for photos of a singular, specific vehicle: a 1927 Packard 4-26 five-passenger sedan. This special automobile is currently undergoing restoration down in Auckland, New Zealand, a fitting location for this particular Packard. Why? Because according to Chan’s research, the car was originally purchased from Auckland in June of 1927 (making the vehicle almost 95 years old).

George Wilfred Allsop and Eleanor Gertrude Allsop with their Packard during their worldwide trip. The photograph was taken at Universal Motors Ltd., the local Packard dealer in Brisbsane, Australia. The location was demolished in 1972.

But that’s not all his research uncovered.

Although Chan has owned this vehicle since 2012, it was only recently that its lengthy, storied history came to light. Its original ownership documents were uncovered during a “COVID cleanout” (haven’t we all done one of those by now?). These papers revealed that the car was purchased by a Mr. George Wilfred Allsop. Allsop worked as an architect focusing on hospital construction for the Auckland Hospital Board before his retirement at age fifty-five. He put 400 miles on the vehicle driving it locally, but Allsop’s dreams for his new wheels were much, much bigger.

Mr. and Mrs. Allsop parked in front of the Queensland National Bank building in Rockhamton, Queensland. The building still stands today.

Following his retirement, Allsop and his wife Eleanor hopped in their new Packard in July 1927 and began the next phase in their lives: world-wide travel in a world-class car. The couple “went on a two-and-and-half year round the world trip in the car,” Chan reported, “starting in Australia, South Africa, Great Britain, Canada, across the US (even up Pikes Peak), back to Vancouver then home.”

Their trip concluded in December 1929, after their globetrotting put 24,700 miles on the Packard. “George kept the car another ten years,” Chan stated further, “when in 1937 he designed and built a custom caravan fitted on a Chevy truck chassis.” This endeavor prompted another two-year-long world tour, but once completed, the Allsops came home to stay. “He returned home before WW2,” concluded Chan, “and continued to live in Auckland until his death in 1972, aged 100.”

Mrs. Allsop posing with the Packard at Brig O’doon in Scotland – which Mr. Chan notes is “the bridge referred to by Robert Burns in his narrative poem Tam O’shanter.” The bridge still stands today.

After we provided Mr. Chan with these images, he offered us additional information about them.

As we’ve learned, the Allsops traveled all over the world with their incredible Packard. Although we had information on some of the images related to their trip, Chan’s research enlightened some details that were either incorrect or incomplete. He very kindly noted the areas that needed adjustments, and shared the fruits of his research to make our records more accurate. The images and captions you see in this post include the updated information that we’ve received from him. We can’t thank him enough for his efforts!

We’re so happy to have provided Mr. Chan with the images related to this unique Packard. The stories it could tell, if it could talk! Even better, we’re delighted to make some international friends through our shared love of these classic automobiles. Hopefully the Allsops did too, during the course of their lengthy journeys.

Many thanks to Phil Cunningham for facilitating this transaction with our friends from across the globe! Gratitude is also warmly extended to Leyton Chan, who so kindly shared his research and this fascinating story with the PPG.

Interested in purchasing your own high-resolution copies of some of our Packard original photographs? Click here to visit our online gift shop!

Author

  • Emily Benoit

    Lover of research and writing, libraries and archives. Graduate of Oakland University's MA of English Literature program; and Wayne State University's MLIS program with an additional certification in archival administration.