12,866 Mile Time Capsule: 1951 Packard 200 Deluxe

After a half century and 22 generations of luxury car models, the 1951 Packard was the final design and was in production until 1956 when Packard production ended (after Packard’s merger with Studebaker, Packards were basically a modified Studebaker). The new design had several modern updates like a one piece windshield and the fender and hood being at the same height. The 1951 Packards shared the same basic design with the 200 being the least expensive model. The seller of this Packard listed on eBay says it is completely original and has only covered 12,866 miles. He says the previous owner only used this Packard to drive to the country club, a variation of the “driving it to church on Sundays” story. Indications are it might actually be true. The $18,988 asking price is high, close to the price of a Concours example, but this Packard does appear to be in remarkable original condition. There was no doubt a lot of detailing necessary to make this car look this nice, but up close there is surely still some “patina”.

The dash really does look like new in this picture. The gear selector and lack of a clutch pedal indicate it’s got an automatic transmission, the 2 speed “Ultramatic”. Among unique features of the Packard, the glove box slides out like a drawer rather than the more familiar drop down door.

The lap belts were added and the seats appear to either have covers or were reupholstered at some time. Ford introduced the seat belt option in 1949 but Packard didn’t offer the option until the 1954 model year.

There appears to have been some extensive detailing done here, but doesn’t it look nice? That flathead eight is the 135 horsepower 288 CID engine.

The underside looks amazing. It doesn’t appear to have been undercoated or painted.

This Packard looks nice from this end as well. This is not many, or perhaps most people’s idea of a cool car, especially with four doors, but it does appear to be an incredible time capsule. It’s perhaps not rare or special enough to be added to a high dollar collection, but perhaps it could be driven and enjoyed by someone willing to pay the price of admission. For about half the price one can purchase a nice driver quality example. What would it take to make a driver quality car as nice as this though? Would it really be worth the time and money? How much additional value is there in a survivor as nice as this? It will be interesting to see what our readers think.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Pa Tina

    Amazing! Thanks for posting.

  2. dirtyharry

    I think it downright amazing, 65 years old and looking good. Just being in this condition makes it rare and special!

  3. Phil Harris

    WOW, It’s a beauty.

  4. PebblebeachJudge

    What a great black tux car. Understated, and super cool. I’d have a hard time doubting this car given these guys at Volo have been in the Biz with this quality of metal for decades. This is $20.000 of real fun.

  5. JW

    amazing !!!

  6. DVS

    I actually saw this car in person on Saturday. It’s at the Volo Auto Museum, just off Rte 12 in the far northwest Chicago suburbs. Naturally, it doesn’t look quite as nice in person as the pictures would have you believe, (very few of their cars do), but it does seems to be a very nice driver quality car. (especially if the mileage claims can be believed.) They have it priced at $18,998.

  7. Vegaman_Dan

    Looks like a car movie prop rental companies would want for being so stock and intact.

    • RoselandPete

      Has anybody ever dealt with any of these movie prop rental companies?

      • PaulieB

        I have a Picture Car as they are known. Actually both my ’97 Riviera and ’03 Forester are Picture Cars. Depending on the production you can get anywhere from $37.50 to $500 per day for your car. Generally you are also getting paid per hour to work on the production. Some productions work with guys who have a fleet of cars that are used on a film or show. Police cars are usually supplied by a fleet provider and they are usually towed in.

  8. Coventrycat

    I find this far more interesting than all the low mileage GM, Ford, and Mopar stuff. Packards are always cool.

  9. KO

    Wow, simply beautiful. I’d pay it.

  10. 86 Vette Convertible

    Sweet

  11. Fred w.

    Very nice car. My only reservation would be the reupholstered interior after only 12K miles.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Fred W; That’s the original interior upholstery. It was probably under dealer installed seat covers, now removed. I’ve owned over 300 Packards and have had several 1951/52 series 200 & 250 cars.

      Other than the red battery cable, the canister fuel filter*, and the wrong engine color [it should be gray], the car looks to be all original.

      *The fuel filter was likely added later by the selling dealer, it’s the correct Studebaker-Packard fuel filter that came out about 1955. The correct fuel filter is the old visible glass type.

      And as to the original BF post comment: . . . after Packard’s merger with Studebaker, Packards were basically a modified Studebaker.” I keep reading about how after the merger, packards were basically Studebakers. Wrong, 53 to 56 Were Packards from Detroit, 57 & 58 were Studebakers built in South Bend.

      • Ed P

        I agree with Bill. The Detroit factory produced “real Packards” until the early end of 56 models.

      • Keith

        Hi Bill,
        As a huge Packard fan but never having owned one I always like to see your posts. When I was in college back in the mid 90’s in Montana, I lived for awhile in a town of 25 people. There was one auto repair shop, and it was run by a very old gentleman who was a certified Packard mechanic. He had a 55 Caribbean, but also a 58 Packard (though I never saw that one). I have always been strangely fascinated by the 58’s. Have you ever had one, and what did you think of them?

      • Andy

        I’d also say that saying they made the same basic car from ’51 to ’56 is a stretch. The ’55-56 bodywork is basically a facelift, although an extensive one, but the ’55-56 Packards had huge mechanical changes to the suspension along with a brand new V8. I count them as different cars.

  12. Don H

    What’s up with the top of the fenders ,? Looks almost like there cracked .

    • Bill McCoskey

      That’s a reflection of something on the ceiling, showing just how nice the paint is after all these years!

  13. glen

    Why couldn’t the upholstery be original? The car supposedly only has 12,866 miles on it.

  14. KEN TILLY Member

    Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to observe that it is indeed an automatic.

  15. On and On On and On Member

    I put cars in one of three categories. Rat, Ghetto-Cruiser and Mo-chine. This is a Mo-chine.

  16. AlexW

    Been admiring these cars for a few years now. Certainly seem to be excellent value for the money, and among the more under-appreciated cars out there. I don’t know that I’d pay that much for it. But it can be hard to place a price on originality.

    The nice thing is that you can still find one and two owner examples.

  17. David O

    Just like my Dad’s, his was some metallic lite brown

  18. Woodie Man

    There is a light green one, I believe it is a ’51 200, sitting outside a garage I pass daily…..have to grab a shot and post it.

  19. Jerry

    Four door ,old Packards may not be cool……unless your Grampa drove nothing but them!
    Seeing this one almost brought me to tears as the memories flooded in.

  20. bugnbox

    http://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1952-packard-patrician-400/

    Original survivor cars are hot property these days. This could be a bargain!

  21. bugnbox

    Looks like the subject 51 has had a repaint though…and that sure tarnishes the “survivor” badge a bit.

  22. RoselandPete

    PaulieB, Do you have any advice to offer on how I could get started with getting my cars in these productions?

    • PaulieB

      Depending upon where you live, I’d contact casting agencies in your area. Many of them have an on-line form that you can fill out with all of your pertinent data and many have a space for cars. You just upload pics and give a brief description. Generally they don’t want red cars, white cars or black cars..they stand out when they’re supposed to blend in.. Whatever you do DON’T pay to be on a casting site. Reputable sites will not charge you a fee. They are looking out for your best interests. It can be quite lucrative too. Good Luck!

      • RoselandPete

        Thanks for the advice. :)

    • PaulieB

      Most big cities have casting agencies too.

  23. Mack Kreizenbeck

    I’m look for one particular 1951 Black 200 4 dr that got away from me. It was a low mileage (30000+/-) with a continental kit, no radio, 4 sea- shells ( whatever they are called) on the back fenders.

  24. Brian Deck

    I now own this car. Dash, door panels, headliner and front floor covering (rubber) are original. Seats and rear carpeting have been redone. It’s an older repaint. Runs great and doesn’t smoke. Transmission leaks. Had some pitted chrome and door handles are currently out for replating. Tires have some dry rot and whitewalls are port-a-walls. Is oval a nice car.

    Like 1

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