Affordable Iron: 1947 Packard Deluxe Clipper

Stately and elegant, the Packard Clipper is a car that many of us have seen in our time, either in a movie, or if you are fortunate enough, in person. This particular “Deluxe” Clipper is very original and solid, needing some brake work to be a “Daily Driver”. With a relatively clean and promising appearance, I would gladly spend a weekend fiddling with the brakes on this Packard. Offered at $4,500, this classic would make for a fun, affordable project. Find it here on craigslist out of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

With loads of paint gracing the engine bay, this Packard is looking good under the hood.  The factory flathead straight 8 is in place, and appears mostly untouched. Plenty dry, with little evidence of rust, I am sure that some of the engine bay components would clean up nicely. Although described as a smooth and quiet running engine, the future owner should have a close once over of the engine, and general mechanicals.

The only shot of the interior doesn’t show as much detail as I would prefer but, it does give an idea of the interiors condition and what to expect. Appearing original, there is some staining, and also what appears to be rodent damage to the interior. Looking to maintain all of its original trim, and bits, the seats and door panels could be reupholstered to bring the interior of this Packard up to a nice finish. Although, if this Packard was to be a fun and affordable project, perhaps you could look the other way and add some blankets to save money for other needs.

Wearing what appears to be original paint, this Packard doesn’t look too bad off. The rockers and lower extremities of this Packard have been sprayed with red, and white spray paint to likely arrest failing paint, and surface rust. Overall this beauty looks mighty solid. There are some small surface rust areas sprinkled over the exterior, but there is no visible rot from the photographs. The front end looks to be in fine shape, with its undamaged grills and all of its exterior trim present. There is some paint touchup around the passenger headlight, and there is also some paint wear on top of both front fenders. The lower portions of the driver side doors appear to wear more rust than the passenger side, even though the driver side is not loaded up with spray paint. Thankfully the glass in this Packard is great, and the trim is not too bad off either with only some minor patina from time. I always love to see an affordable project, with this much originality, such as this Clipper. With a little time and effort, it will reward you quickly. Upon making this a driver, you can then align your cards to see what future plans you may have for such a machine. What would you do with this American classic? Would you restore, or maintain this Packard?


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  1. Luke Fitzgerald


  2. Van

    This does look good. It doesn’t need to go any faster than it does when running properly. A long term DIY would be rewarding. Most of us can’t afford a Duesnburg or a high end restoration. If you work smart it would do nicely. I might have to change the color though, it doesn’t look to elegant as is.
    Maybe black?

  3. Johnni B

    Willis your an A$$!

    • DrinkinGasoline

      I believe he already knows that….He just wanted all of us to be aware of it also :)
      Good work Willis, mission accomplished ! !

  4. Dairymen

    Did someone tape your mouth shut, cause you’re talking out of your @$$.

  5. Mark S Member

    I guess Willis doesn’t like this grand old Packard, I think that it is a beauty. It must be remembered that this car was built just 2 years post wwii and the auto makers were still scrambling to get back in the car business, obviously as we all know they had to rely on pre war tooling until they got back up to speed. If I had the means I would love to have this car. Personally I’d just like to here it run. People in are time think this old stuff could not be as precisely made as they are now. And there would be a small margin of truth to that only because of automation, but the builders of these great beasts did not have that luxury they were craftsmen in the truest sense of the words for their day. I resently went threw refurbishing an antique sewing machine and although it was simple in function by today’s standard it is a thing of beauty mechanically speaking reminiscent of a fine jewelled watch and much more robust then what is built today, that is what this car is to me. I tip my hat to the people back then that had skills that are quickly disappearing as automation takes over.

  6. Rustytech Member

    While not as gorgeous as the prewar Classic Packards, these were well engineered, and well executed cars. Packard was still the “car to have” in the early post war years, and this is an excellent example. I agree these look better in darker colors, I would try a green or blue to complement the interior. It looks like it has received some rust touch up, if it’s no worse than is obvious, this would be a nice winter project that could be ready for spring showing. I like it, 4 doors and all.

  7. Dovi65

    She’s beautiful. I’d happily clear out my garage for her! Those that think like Willis is the reason more classics aren’t around to be loved & appreciated

  8. Fred W.

    A grand old gal that deserves some serious TLC. Willis is a snowflake in disguise. What ‘chu talkin’ bout Willis?

  9. Capt RD

    More usable than a pre war classic – still a head turner – bullet proof drive train – not exotic expensive part supply – better as a nice classic than an investment grade earlier car.
    elegant, comfortable good looking car that will be used and not insane to maintain. it certainly has a presence to be proud of and the ownership will be a pleasure every time you are out driving.

    Still in the “Ask the man who owns one” era.

  10. Ed P

    Why is Willis here? Great old Packard. I wish I had a place for it.

    • Mark S Member

      I believe Willis has made his comment in an effort to get the rest of us to ingage in a dialogue that goes beyond nice car. To get our real perspective and to fire us up in defence of this car. I believe we have been baited, Willis would you care to add anything?

  11. Bill

    I like the original paint and all… but I find my self fantasizing about wide whites, shiny caps and a deep dark gleaming black paint job as it eases slowly up to the curb in front of the theater…. elegance!

  12. Woodie Man

    You are not refering to the car I assume

  13. Howard A Member

    Call me partial, but I liked my 23rd series better. These just seemed to have that “pre-war” style, even down to the “almost” running boards, but had many of the same mechanicals as my 1950 did. I see this had the “electro-matic” clutch option ( small air cleaner next to the horn) and while complicated, did a good job of sucking the clutch pedal down. My grandfather’s ’48 had that, mine was an automatic. Mine was in similar shape when I got it, and was an intense job, but the end result was pure Packard, and this car would be just as nice.

  14. SunbeamerStu

    Surprised by all the comments to repaint in a different color. I like the lighter color. In my mind’s eye, I see most cars of this era in Model T black or grey. Maybe saw too many old b&w movies as a kid.

    Beautiful car, beautiful color. Well, with some fixin….

  15. Ed P

    I remember seeing a ‘pregnant elephant’ series in a light tan. The car looked classy. To me, that is the color I think of with Packard’s of that era.

  16. JoeBazots

    They key is to visualize what could be. That’s what keeps the regulars coming back to look at ads for rusty and dirty old cars. None are under the illusion that these are “the” car to have or that they are a hidden exotic – but what we can make them. The hobby draws in those who can see in their mind’s eye what these old war horses could look like with some elbow grease. It’s why we collect and tinker – we want to give these old classics a chance at turning a few heads or maybe just showing people a tiny glimpse of what life used to be like.

    To my fellow enthusiasts, a hearty thanks for supporting sites like this one so that all of us, and myself in particular, can scratch this itch of a hobby.

  17. Andy Frobig

    I much prefer this body to the ’48-50. The lines were closely related to some of Dutch Darrin’s prewar customs, and were as sleek as anything that came out before the war. One more to add to my if-I-didn’t-live-in-the-city list.

  18. Chris A.

    Pre-bathtub style. The window shades detract from the nice smooth lines but were probably necessary in the Southwest. When you see one in the flesh in maroon or deep black, it just oozes class. Great car.

    • Dave Wright

      I too like the dark colors on these……it shows off the incredible chrome. Wonderful cars in every way.

  19. rich voss

    Boy, it was sold fast. This is the first car in my memory of cars. Our family car. Same color combination and everything. I even remember sleeping in the rear window package shelf. Probably not the smartest thing, but child safety laws and seats were many, many years away. Must have ridden really smoothly. Dad’s next car was a Midnight Blue ’51 Ford. Oh, well. Thanks for the nice memory Barn Finds !

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