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b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
Used to post in a previous Packard thread, but it is long gone.

Became a Packard Club member at the end of June and on July 3rd drove up to Tyson's Corner, Virginia for the 37th Annual Packard Meet.
There was no time to officially register for any of the Events, but I did go to the indoor swap meet, which was really interesting.
And on July 4th went to the car Show at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg , Va.
Seeing all those cars on the basically empty Dulles Parkway was a sight to behold.
It was brutally hot that day, but there were over 150 cars there.
Got to see some incredible Carribbeans and a 1913 Touring car. And everything in between.
Several members have told me it is possible to find good running 120s for $4500.
Where can I find one of these?
Anybody got any ideas?
Everything that I have looked at is around 14K.
Mr. Shiftright?


  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379
  • I would think a decent running 120 in fair to average condition could be had for around $8,000 or so---but $4,500 sounds like a car with a lot of cosmetic problems or damage. You can certainly find a good running late 40s "bathtub" Packard for $4,500 or a 50s sedan for even less than that, but a 30s era 120 would probably cost more IMO. However, if the members of the Packard club are telling you that, and since club members tend to OVER value their cars, well, I'd have to reassess my own idea of what a decent 120 is worth in that case. Maybe then meant a "running" car that is cosmetically very poor.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I think I need to find an "in" with somebody or find a barn or estate car.

    My preference is a '34-38 120. Maybe a '39. The later cars hve too much chrome on the front and those chrome strakes down the side.

    Found this on ebay last night.

    I imagine the bidding will go much higher though.

    I also found a '41 110 that at first blush looks good. Upon closer inspection the paint is bad and there are several dents in the body.
    Current bidding is at $5900. I would think by the time I got it painted and the chrome done I would be in the hole in a major way.
    Plus it will always be a 6 cylinder car not an 8.
    And I don't like the front end. Doesn't have what I consider to be the classic packard grille.

  • I think you need to stick to 8 cylinder Packards if you want to come out alive after you fix it up.

    I'm sure if you "worked" the clubs and just hung around something would come up. Packards tend to be kept by older owners and they like to pass on their cars to people who will care for them. They aren't speculative type collectors as a rule. The real greedheads tend to be in the more modern cars which are bought and sold (sometimes) as commodities rather than objects of affection.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I think you are correct about that. Unfortunately I am in SC and the closests Packard shows are in Florida and VA. So it will take some effort for me to get there.
    I have made tentative plans to go to the 2003 Meet in Santa Rosa, CA.
    I think I need to see a lot more cars before I get a handle on what I am buying.
    My observation of the Packard Meet in VA was that I was probably the youngest guy there(39). Most were in their seventies.
    I need to spend some more time with these guys and found out what I should look for. I am sure they have a line on a lot of cars that never get advertised.
    I saw 4-5 120s and Super 8s there that I could live with. I would guess that they would sell in the 24K-37K range.
    Most of these cars were probably in better condition than the average Packard.
    I was surprised how many cars at the Meet were not judged. I guess they get them in good shape, have them judged for a couple of years then drive and enjoy them and not worry about a ding or stone chip.
  • Yes, many good deals in the collector car world never get advertised. Cars are what they call "hand sold", person to person, not by mass advertising.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Shifty, what's your take on the long-term value of '30s Packards? If most of them are owned by guys in their 70s that doesn't seem to bode well for the future.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    There were a lot of people in their 50's and 60's attending the Meet.
    They were probably in the majority.
    Quite a few in their 40's.
    Might have a lot to do with disposable income, Not just the fact that guys in their 50's are buying musclecars now.
  • I think that aside from the truly exceptional 30s cars, most mass-produced 30s automobiles face a fairly grim future. They will continue to decline in popularityand value as a new generation of collectors switch to more practical and valuable cars.

    . So if it's a Packard sedan or a cheaper model, I suspect not many people in the future will continue to restore or maintain them, and they will be scrapped/sold off by families/ hot-rodded or modified / driven around and enjoyed until they drop / or just sit there and disintegrate. How many people still drive stagecoaches or ancient bicycles or old fire engines?

    However, the big dual-cowls, V12s, special-bodied cars, etc., will always hold their value and always be preserved. The winnowing process in collectible cars always favors the exceptional and discards the ordinary. As restoration costs increase and values decrease, it seems logical that cars that aren't worth much will disappear or be forgotten
  • I just realized while reading these Packard posts, that it's been 50 years since I last drove my dad's black 1939 Super 8 touring sedan(model 1703). He traded it in on a new 1952 Plymouth. I still like to look at old photos of that car--lot of good memories. I keep thinking I'd like to try to find something comparable--but I like my current toy of the last 9 years, a 1985 Porsche 911 and can't justify two "fun" cars. I know--I know, it's an apples and oranges situation. Oh well, maybe some day----
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    It's easy to rationalize.
    I believe in the 3 car ownership plan: One to show, one to go, and one for the shop. LOL.
  • I rarely see any Packards locally. And when you do, you are right, the owners are usually as old as the car.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Ran across this on hemmings last night.
    There is an all Packard Show in Palm Beach this weekend. November 22-24th.
    I am going to try to run down there. Spend the night and come back late the next day.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,346
    How the overdrives worked on the Packards?

    I was once tempted by a 1950 Packard that was for sale. I remember the owner telling me it had an "electric overdrive". Sound familiar?

    I also remember him telling me that the automatics..Ultramatics (?)were a total piece of garbage.
  • No, there was no "electric overdrive". What he meant was a lock up torque converter, as you see on modern cars. DOH!

    Packards got worse and worse as their little empire crumbled, but they always had great engineering. Their last cars weren't executed very well, but the ideas were really quite advanced, with torsion bar suspension, self-leveling, lock up torque converter and electrically operated automatic tranmission, all in 1955. The car was of course a pig to drive as most '55s were in those days but Packard's "swan song" was remarkable in that they attempted to innovate right until their grim and horrible end.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Packard's last cars: that includes the rare Hawk, right?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Yeah, Shifty, would you include that one in your pantheon of Packard all-timers?
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    The Hawk, isn't that the one the Packard purists call a "Studepackard"?
  • It's not a Packard, it's completely, totally a Studebaker, and it's a fraud. AND it is very homely, too--neener, neener....LOL!

    Last true Packard was 1956. Keep the truth alive. Tell your friends.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Never ridden in one but people have told me that the Packards with the torsion bar suspension ride incredibly well.
    The V8 engines that were in them are another matter.
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