Tom Lyle with his brother Preston, his sister in law, Evelyn and his nephew Bill Williams top left. Below he poses with his son Tom Lyle Jr. Right, Tom Lyle with his 1934 Packard Dietrich Vee Windshield, one of only 4 made.
I recieved this letter about Tom Lyle's 1934 Vee Windshield Dietrich Packard and thought it might be interesting to my Car-Guy readers. I
My name is Matthew Kilkenny, a Packard auto historian, and I'm currently writing a book about Custom Packards from the early 1930s including Dietrich custom bodied Packards. Tom Lyle had superb taste in cars as his car is only one of about four ever built in 1934. The goal of my book, because these cars are so rare and beautiful, is to as best I can document the history of each car including the original owner. Like a Monet or Rembrandt, people a generation or a century from now will want to know the history of these rolling scullptures. I'm trying to document the stories of each of these rare cars such as Tom Lyle's in a definitive book before the stories get lost. The stories are starting to get lost because people that owned rare Dietrich Packards early in their life for example are dying off.
We owe it to future generations to document these beautiful cars as best as possible. I saw the pictures of the car on your website and I have actually been trying to find more info on this car! I have a photo of Tom Lyle taking the keys to this car from a Packard Salesman. As part of my documentation and figuring out for example, which of the four cars existing today belonged to Tom, I need the "VIN" numbers off of the car. In Tom's archives does he have any sales invoices, registration documents, fireewall plate or other pictures of this car bill of sale who he sold it to and when? This will allow me to figure out which of these cars was Tom's.
As you know it takes so much work to track down leads and do research for a book, but I have moments like this where I personally, or through help of another, get pointed to things such as this and you feel like you make progress! My Dad owns a 1934 Dietrich Conv Sedan similar to Tom's and we have written an article on Dietrichs for the world famous Pebble Beach concours program. I have attached this article. Tom Lyle is in company of Al Jolson and Gene Sarazen, the famous golfer, who also owned rare Vee Windshield Dietrich Packards.
Stay tuned tomorrow for update on Tom Lyle Williams 1940 Packard Victoria, one of two ever made and found at last.