It's not a feature that would meet with the approval of drunk driving opponents these days.
But when the 1942 Packard Formal was built, no one thought anything of installing a miniature bar, complete with a cabinet to hold glasses, in the back seat.
The car is the pride and joy of Surrey's Earl Tucker, who bought the unique car 10 years ago.
"It was for sale in Panorama Ridge," Tucker said. He was already a Packard fan, and although it needed a lot of work, he fell in love with the luxury car immediately.
The Packard Formal sedan was built in good quantities in 1940 and 1941, Tucker said, but in 1942, with the United States entering the war, there was no way to justify using good metal and rubber on what was essentially a limousine.
So just six cars were built to order that year. One of them came to Canada, where it was bought by one of the wealthiest women in Vancouver.
The first owner was Elizabeth Rogers, the wife and then widow of Jonathan Rogers, a pioneering Vancouver builder and property developer who also served as an alderman.
Jonathan Rogers' name lives on in the Rogers Building at the corner of Pender and Granville in downtown Vancouver.
The back of the car included not only the bar, with a space for liquor, but two miniature vanities on either side of the rear seat, complete with mirrors and space for perfume bottles.
Ironically, the original owner probably never got behind the wheel.
"It was chauffer-driven, she never drove it," Tucker said of Elizabeth Rogers.
When he got the car, it needed some work, and in places he had to strip it down to the bare metal, along with doing a lot of mechanical upgrades. Now, however, the restored car purrs along the roads.
"It's a big straight-eight," said Tucker. With the overdrive, it's a very nice car to drive, he said.
This isn't Tucker's first restored car, nor his first Packard. That was a 1939 Coupe, which he bought years ago. His affection for the company's cars has remained over the years.
He keeps the car on the roads, taking it up to Revelstoke or Penticton a few times a year.
@ Copyright 2013