Craigslist Find: 1928 Packard Convertible Coupe

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Packard’s long time slogan was “Ask the man who owns one.”  Well, we find ourselves in a very strange world in the year of 2023 where unthinkable incidents are now commonplace.  To ask the man who owns this Packard you have to contact him through craigslist.  Yes, craigslist.  Take a look at this very solid 1928 Packard 526 convertible coupe for sale on craigslist in Lowell, Massachusetts.   While this stately old Packard is obviously a little more upmarket than the standard craigslist listed classic, do you feel it is possible to find a buyer for this Packard with a sale price of $48,000?  Thanks go to Gunter K. for the tip on this old Packard.

It has indeed become a strange world.  While classics occasionally show up on craigslist, they are usually part of an ad blitz for a particular car.  Classics like this Packard 526, and this is indeed a genuine classic according to the Classic Car Club of America’s list, usually find new homes through brokers or, most likely Hemmings.  The kind of person who wakes up in the morning and decides to purchase a prewar Packard doesn’t usually shop craigslist.  It is sort of like looking for steak at Dairy Queen.

Regardless, prewar Packards of any sort are desirable automobiles.  The build quality was on par with the other top shelf classics of the era and Packard was known for its engineering excellence.  The car you see here is from the 526 series.  These were the last six-cylinder powered automobiles built by the company until 1937.  That six-cylinder powerplant had 289 cubic inches of displacement and rode on seven main bearings.  Output was a fairly substantial for the time 82 horsepower.  This power was transmitted to the rear wheels through a three speed transmission.

The example you see here follows the craigslist tradition of not having much of a description.  Most of the ad and many of the photos document that the car comes with its original bill of sale and a large amount of other documentation.  The car is also said to run and drive, with video to prove this.  Looking over the pictures, it is hard to determine if the car is an older restoration, a running refurbishment some time ago, or is, in fact, a mostly original car.  Often a car restored in the seventies or eighties will have deteriorated to a point that it can pass as an original to the inexperienced eye.  Hopefully the included paperwork will lend some clues to the car’s history.

Under the hood we see that the Packard six-cylinder mentioned previously has seen a bit of use.  Before we assume that this is an untouched original engine, remember that a lot of restored cars from previous decades saw renewed service in tours like the Glidden tour and various other CCCA, AACA, and local club outings.  A smooth Packard like this one would be a fine place to spend a week touring the backroads of America.  Looking at the engine photograph above, there appears to be some debris on top of the engine.  This may be signs that vermin were doing their thing for some time.  Cars like this usually have cloth wiring and lots of cozy natural materials for vermin to eat and nest in.  Before you purchase a prewar Packard and start driving it, it might be prudent to check the wiring for issues.  It would be a shame for this car to make it to such a ripe old age only to be taken out by a mouse chewed wiring fire.

Regardless, of where this stately Packard is advertised, the asking price is $48,000.  A few decades ago, a lot of collectors would be running to the bank for a check.  Now, maybe not so much.  A car from this time period has a limited audience.  Add to that the fact this car needs some finishing work to get it back to useable condition.  Make no mistake, any gearhead would fall in love with such a fine automobile if it were in their garage.  It is just that there are very few people left who understand what this car really is and are capable of maintaining it in drivable condition.  Even fewer people in this category shop for cars on craigslist.

What do you think this Packard is worth?  Would you be interested in owning and driving a car of this era?  Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. pickinMember

    This car was listed a year ago here on barn finders Feb. 2022??

    Like 0
  2. HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

    Ha! Steak at a DQ,,spot on. In a more serious note, it tells me, the lack of attention and the CL ad, means, someone doesn’t know where the market lies for this, if any, and doesn’t care about it’s condition. It’s been neglected a long time. Bill M can fill in the details of this car, which I believe was on the low end of stately Packards. It’s going to be a beast to drive, I think this was the “find and grind” transmission,( synchro trans came a bit later) but for the late 20s, was a remarkably modern car. I can’t find much info on performance, but I bet 100 mph was not out of the question. I read, Doris Day drove one on her show. I’ve seen interest wane for the “full classics”, and the Big “H” is about the only place any interest lies. I suppose these won’t go up in value anymore, most that have any experience with these fantastic cars are pushing up daisies now.

    Like 11
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

      Howard,

      As you know, I ran a restoration and repair shop specializing in Packards, and the early cars are well-supported thru various clubs. They are a simple car as mechanical repairs go. As someone who spent decades working on many different makes & models, I’ve often chose an original but not perfect car, over one that has been restored. If it was mine, it would be kept as it is, except for items I list below.

      Yes, the is the smaller of the 2 Packard lines [6 &8 cylinder cars] for 1928. These cars have always been fairly reliable [for their age] and mechanical parts are not too hard to find. Mentioned in the listing was the need to replace the wiring harness. That’s not a problem, as there is a company called Potomac Packard [Hi JP!] that makes THE BEST wiring harnesses available today, and they match the original materials [except the wire has a protective coating of Vinyl before the cloth covering is woven onto the wire, then lacquer coated. The next owner can find them on the internet, or if they join the Packad Club [PAC] the company advertises in the club’s monthly publication The Cormorant Newsbulletin.

      This appears to be a mostly original car with an inexpensive paint job performed many years ago before the car became valuable. If someone is looking to buy this car and then perform a major restoration, it’s really too expensive. But if a buyer plans on simply cleaning it up and preserving the car as is, It’s still kind of pricey, but one can always make a reasonable offer.

      If this was my car, I would likely install a new convertible top, replace the tires and other rubber items and try to protect the leather seating from further damage. There are ways of actually repairing torn leather that can help in keeping the car’s seat looking good. The paintwork has overspray on various parts, but this can be mostly rectified, it just takes a lot of hours removing the oversprayed paint.

      I would be tempted to have the headlights and grill shell re-plated in the original nickel coating, but that might start me on the slippery slope of “Well if I just do this one more little thing, it will look or perform better.] The problem of making specific parts look as they did when new, can be best expressed by looking at the beautiful vintage license plates on the car, that are really too nice for the rest of the car.

      I would also look into the possibility of changing the rear differential gears to ones that will allow a higher cruising speed. There is a Michigan company that advertises gear sets [again, they advertise in the Packard Club publication.]

      Like 6
  3. bobhess bobhessMember

    Neat old car but not 48K neat. Maybe half or less.

    Like 9
  4. Doone

    At 48k about the only interested parties the seller will find on CL will be scam artists.

    Like 4
  5. healeydays

    Great find, but the market has fallen off alot for these classics. There is a fully restored one in Texas that can’t get $33,000. https://www.hemmings.com/auction/1928-packard-526

    Like 9
  6. George Birth

    While it is a nice example of a Packard, it’s condition falls far short of $48K. Whoever buys this one is going to need to go through it completely to make sure it is in good to great mechanical condition and the seats are going to have to be reupholstered before it will be any where close to the asking price. Flipper special!

    Like 1
  7. TheOldRanger

    I like this car, but not for $48K. These Packards were distinctive in styling, and they were great road cars back in the day. We owned a 1939 Packard in 1949 and it was big enough for our family…. 7 kids plus 2 parents

    Like 4
  8. Guy CaldwellMember

    That is quite a time capsule though, especially the paperwork. Probably a strong candidate for the untouched original categories at the high end car shows.

    Like 0
  9. Burger

    About a year ago I decided to revive my search for the “right Packard” and in my search to educate myself on the what’s what of 20’s Packards, have been surprised by how hard it is to find the man who owns one to ask questions of !

    It would seem that to most Packard people, the only cars worth paying attention to were made between 1929 and 1934, with a secondary crowd pounding the drums for the 35-40 cars. Anything made before that is a placid wilderness of little interest and non-existent enthusiast groups. A recently unearthed ’23 Sport Touring (seen on this site) went unpurchased for weeks, the owner telling me “he had offers” up to that point, on a car he wanted $25K for. I did not follow up to see if it sold, after asking what those offers were, and getting no reply.

    Neat car. A little too new for what I want. I am pleased to see these no longer commanding huge money. I want one for a driver and am not interested in rubbing elbows with the concours crowd.

    Like 2
  10. 64 Bonneville

    although the Packard 6 had 7 main bearings, the straight 8 was a much more refined engine with 9 main bearings, you could balance a dime on its’ edge with the motor idling, and it would not fall. The engineering and the motor were that smooth. Alas many who know how to work on these vehicles are passing on a daily basis. And without power steering or power brakes available on them, I don’t think there are many younger (under 60) who would know or be able to drive them much distance, let alone try parking one. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the full classics, the engineering, and styling being foremost, but being in my mid 70s’ know I don’t have the time or funds to acquire one. Were I younger, would be looking at cars like the mid 50s’ Chryslers as shown on here today as an entry point into the hobby.

    Like 1
  11. Tom Lange

    My grandparents’ chauffer showed off their Packard 8’s lack of vibration with a nickel – has inflation made that into a dime?

    I just tried, and can’t seem to balance a dime on a table-top – the reeded edge fights it!

    Like 0
  12. DavidLMember

    What is the box-like ‘thing’ on the right front fender?

    Like 1
    • Fireman DK

      Would that be the battery box ?

      Like 1
  13. Lathebiosas

    Very optimistic….

    Like 0
  14. matt

    Very likely the battery box…

    Like 2
  15. Jim DuhigMember

    The little hatch behind the passenger door would be the golf club locker.

    Like 2

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