All Original: 1948 Packard Deluxe Touring Sedan

Trim level names from the 1940s and 1950s can be a little confusing with Custom sometimes being above Deluxe which I always think is the highest trim level. This 1948 Packard Deluxe Eight Touring Sedan can be found here on eBay in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The seller has a $3,000 buy it now price listed and the bids are already over $2,000. Some bidder is going to be very disappointed when another bidder hits that buy it now button.

The Packard line for 1948 included the Standard, or base level cars, then came the Deluxe which this car is. After that were the high-rollers: the Super was a level above the Deluxe and the Custom was the top of the heap, or in this case, king of the hill. The Deluxe was about the same price as an Olds 98 or Hudson Commodore and I would go for the Packard all day long, but that’s just me. The “Eight” in the name refers to, in this case, the 288 cubic-inch straight-eight engine which would have had 130 hp and 230 ft-lb of torque. Unfortunately, there are no engine photos here but they say that it’s a smooth runner.

As is often the case, the photos leave a lot to be desired here. There are no overall photos of any part of this car inside or out, which is disappointing. That being said, what is shown in little snippets and detail photos does look good. They mention that there will be a little rust work to take care of so be prepared for that, but overall it’s a very solid car according to the seller. They say that this is an all original survivor car and a complete car, it’s also and a driver with a smooth-running engine. That’s great to hear, the next owner can enjoy it while they restore it bit by bit. I sure love this era of Packard.

We usually talk about the cracks on a padded dash top but rarely do we talk about the surface rust on the dash! This is it for interior photos, unfortunately, and they say that the interior fabric is disintegrating and ratty, but all of that can be fixed once the rusty floorboards are taken care of. For $3,000 this sure seems like a decent, solid drive-while-you-restore car to me. Are there any other fans of this era of Packard out there?

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Comments

  1. Ken Member

    Deluxe can be a higher trim level than custom, and vice versa. Or you just do what Chevrolet did.

    15
    • Ken Member

      Custom Deluxe was, ironically, the lowest trim level offered by Chevy from 1975 to 1987.

      Whenever I see an old late ‘40s Packard like this, I think of the car Richie Valens’ mom drove in La Bamba.

      9
    • local_sheriff

      Good point there Ken, I always wondered what really was ‘Custom deluxe’ in my 77 C5 Blazer – air in the tires maybe? Not even a headliner , all painted steel up above!

      3
  2. grant

    Idk how this car isn’t sold yet. And I’m wondering if it would make the drive to Oregon…

    6
  3. Camaro Joe

    Grant, they say it’s a driver, so go for it. Figure on new tires, wheel bearings, maybe check the brakes, change some fluids, etc. See if the seller has a garage you can do it in or if there’s a decent local shop.

    I used to get on an airplane and fly from PA to VA with my briefcase full of tools, buy a car in VA and drive it home. Don’t try the toolbox on an airplane today, I did that in the early 1980’s. Today it doesn’t work. I actually fixed a couple small problems on an Allegheny Airlines Boeing 727 with those tools.

    The only big problem is going to Auto Zone and asking for 48 Packard parts if something goes wrong. I torture the local Ford dealer by asking them to work on my 43 Ford MB Jeep. I know where to get the parts, and I wouldn’t let them touch it on a bet, I just do it to annoy them.

    6
    • ccrvtt

      Those of us in the parts business have a name for your type…

      2
    • ed knapp

      most times napa auto parts can get you what you need nos is may be available

      2
  4. Kenneth Carney

    Had a ’50 limousine back in ’71 that I
    bought from my guitar instructor for $250. Only thing wrong with it was that
    it had been sideswiped and needed body
    repair to the driver’s side of the car. First
    thing I did was to rebuild the 356 straight
    8 to insure that it wouldn’t leave us stranded on the way to a show. With the engine out, I tidied up the fender wells,
    replaced some needed electrical items,
    and had the radiator cleaned and recored.
    After everything was re-assembled, I took the car to a friend of mine who knocked the dents out and re-painted it.
    Once the car was ready, we used it to
    travel from show to show towing a small
    trailer behind that carried our instruments. It was this car that got me
    into trouble with my parents. I loaned it
    to a friend of mine who needed it for a
    date while I was playing on the road.
    Yeah, he brought it back to my house
    when he was finished with it, but his
    date left her panties lying on the back
    seat! Well, Mom had to use my car while
    hers was being serviced. When she pulled up to the main gate, the security
    guard saw the panties on the back seat and pointed them out to her. Boy, did I
    ever hear it when I got back! My Mom
    was pissed at me for awhile after that
    so to get back into her good graces
    again, I sold the car to a collector for
    $1500 and that was the end of my ’50
    Packard limo.

    10
  5. Camaro Joe

    Kenneth, that’s a hell of a story. The worst part is you didn’t do anything. I had a 55 Willys 4WD wagon in high school, so I hauled a lot of my friend’s band equipment, but never had an experience like that.

    I did learn very early not to mess with my parents. When I went to college Dad sold the Jeep so the family and friends whose driveways I used to plow didn’t bother him. He bought me a 33,000 mile 62 Impala the next year with the proceeds. 327/PowerGlide, 3.07 Posi. I still have it.

    I used to date a girl who spent the summers with her grandparents about 30 miles east of town. I had a habit of cruising along about 100 MPH on the way to see her. Dad says “You’re going way too fast out there, slow down.” I knew early on not to mess with Dad, so I didn’t.

    But it took years to figure out that he was looking as bug hits on the windshield to see how fast I was going. 50 MPH bug hit is a spot, 100 MPH bug hit is a 2″ streak. Never mess with a Redneck who’s a Chevy mechanic even if you have a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

    13
  6. Andy

    I’m a Packard nut from way back, but these are my least favorite that weren’t made in South Bend. If I were choosing between this and a ’48 Hudson, it’d be the Hudson for sure. On the other hand, three grand is not a lot of money for a Packard…

    6
    • Lance

      Andy, trust me I owns several Hudsons and this pregnant elephant dosen’t come close.

  7. ken tilly

    A bath tub looks more streamlined than these Packards. I would also take the Hudson any day.

  8. H5mind

    He’s also selling a 1970 VW van for $7K.

    1
  9. ken tilly

    This is one model of a 1937 Ford that could never be called an “Ugly Duckling”. Looks similar to the one Tom Cotter drives.

  10. local_sheriff

    I’m one of those that actually love the lines of this era Packards; the so-called ‘pregnant elephants’. The 4door long wheelbase body is probably not the prettiest, however we cannot expect to be able to spec a 71 year old car? IMO the I-8 and stick is the only way to drive a bath tub of this vintage.

    I’ve never driven a 40s Packard (how many have nowadays…?) but even restored back to stock I’m sure the suspension and brakes will make it handle like crap compared to modern standards. These were made for easy cruising , not corner carving. Best of wishes to the next owner; it’s a cool tub!

    4
  11. Howard A

    Where’s mountainwoodie? We both had cars like this and let me say, it was all Packard. I’ve told this story more than once, but for those who missed it, my grandfather bought a brand new 1948 Packard Custom 8. It was his 1st new car and we found the invoice, he paid $2,808 for it.( almost $31,000 bucks today, when a Ford was half that) He got three (3) options, a cormorant hood ornament ($16 dollars, over $300 today at swap meets) a radio,( $56 dollars) and a side view mirror ($3 dollars) I believe the electromatic clutch was standard on the Custom, but had that too. I vaguely remember riding in it as a kid. He totaled it in 1960, took the radio, mirror and cormorant, and away it went.
    Fast forward to 1980, my old man saw a Packard in a back yard in Milwaukee, up on blocks. It was a 1950 Standard 8 with a 1st year automatic. It belonged to a widow who said, her husband parked it in 1959 when he refused to pay more than .25 cents a gallon for gas. It had 41,000 miles. We bought it for $500 bucks, and “accumulated” 3 more parts cars, ( one, I bought the whole car just to get the visor) maybe another $500 bucks. We did nothing to the motor except unstick it, the trans, believe it or not, still worked pretty well after all those years. We mounted my grandfathers cormorant on the hood ( being a Standard 8, it was pretty basic) and took it to shows, a parade, had a lot of fun with that old Packard. Everybody thought it was a Hudson, when I said, “no, it’s a Packard”,, “A WHAT?” they’d say. BTW, that dash was a painted deal to look like wood, mine was faded too, but just beautiful when new. Also, these had a black light behind the dash and the needles and numbers were that green glowing stuff, was really cool at night.
    @ local_sheriff, actually, even without power steering, it steered remarkably easy, a little shy on acceleration, but I had ours up to 85, it was rock solid. Handling was about par for the time, and of course, stopping a 5,000 lb car with drum brakes, took some practice, but again, about par for the day. Ours was painted this exact color,( not as nice) no wide whites, but very similar. As the saying went, you can ask me, the man who owned one,,,
    https://www.schmitt.com/inventory/ds-1950-packard-standard-8-sedan/

    6
    • Mountainwoodie

      I’m here Howard….tried to post my 50 Packard yesterday but I think Jesse has gotten annoyed and doesn’t want to see it anymore :)

      As I said yesterday what are the chances that you, me and Kenneth would all have had a 48-50 Packard and be on this site. We must have been some weird young gearheads.

      I’d say slim to none.

      5
      • Bill McCoskey

        I’ve had at least 30 1948 to 50 Packards over the last 50 years, from a very rare 6-cylinder taxicab, to a 2250 Custom Eight limousine. I currently have a 1948 Super eight sedan, and a 1948 Super eight convertible Victoria.

        3
    • local_sheriff

      That was one CLEAN Packard you found there, Howard! It’s great hearing any experience from someone who drove those back in the day as I only rarely stumble upon such Packards at car shows.
      A local gearhead is in (a multiple year-long) restoration process of his 53 and 48 4door Packards. Considering his age and medical condition I’m afraid we’re never going to see his Packards back on the road…

      4
  12. Sal

    The car doesn’t look that bad.
    So why the bad pics? Is the seller too lazy to take better shots or are they just being strategic since the side view of this car is not for everybody?

    1
  13. Mountainwoodie

    Eh voila!

    6
  14. Mountainwoodie

    Darn…it worked :) My apologies to Jesse and the gang.

    And for a ‘pregnant elephant’ theres something oddly seductive about it’s bulges. My interior was in the same condition as the blue one you posted Howard.

    I wont bore folks( again) with the story of it’s untimely demise thanks to Aamco and the transmission going out.

    But for the 250 bucks I had to give my Dad to buy the car out of my grandfathers garage, I had a ball.

    4
    • Howard A

      Thanks, Mw, my grandfathers car had those bumper guards, but they weren’t on the invoice, so he must have got those later. We took the cormorant off our car when we sold it, it’s on my brothers fireplace.
      As for the feature car, I see the front license plate is obscured slightly, millennials are baffled.

      2
  15. Kenneth Carney

    Joe, if I had the cash, that Packard would
    be mine. Still miss my limo to this very day. A limo it ain’t, but a good riding
    car all the same. It’s the kind of car I’d
    teach my neice to drive in. Big, safe,
    and oh so comfortable! As for the friend
    who borrowed my car, yeah, he got off
    scot free and I had to deal with the
    fallout. Been waiting for our 50th class
    reunion so I can talk to him about it–that
    is if he shows up for me to ask him!

    1
  16. Bill McCoskey

    After studying the photos for a while, I think this is a combination of several different Packards over the years.

    For 1948 Packard offered the following series cars for sale:
    2280 series 6-cylinder sedan [Taxi or for export]
    2290 series Standard 8 cars
    2260 series Deluxe 8 cars
    2270 series Super 8 cars
    2250 series Custom Eight cars

    Without knowing the exact VIN or the engine size, I can’t be sure what level of trim it should have, but here is what I see:

    The belt line moldings go from the wiper bases to half way down the trunk lid. This was not the trim on a Standard 8 or a Deluxe 8, but WAS on the Super 8. The trim pieces between the wiper bases and the front of the doors are VERY difficult to install as the dash has to come out.

    Now concerning the dash; The ribbed part of the glove box was only available on the Custom Eight. I also see what appears to be a tan cloth and leather bottom of the driver’s door panel and a tan triangular kick plate under the dash. Again, only the Custom Eight came with the tan interior for the 22nd series cars.

    The car also has the ivory knob near the steering column that indicates it has overdrive, and it also has a red clutch pedal that indicates it’s got the “Electromatic” clutch [an automatic clutch system that when adjusted correctly, is wonderful].

    My “edjumicated guess” is that this car started out life as a 1948 22nd series Super 8 sedan, body series 2272. Someone found a 22nd series 2252 Custom Eight sedan with a nicer interior, and installed it in this car. If the owner could let us see more photos of the engine & interior, I’m sure I can let him know what he’s got.

    2
    • Howard A

      I trust your opinion on this car. Packards had a ton of options, and some of my parts cars were a mish mash of other Packards. One was a Deluxe 8 with a 356 that somebody relocated, cobbled really, the radiator forward, because of the longer motor.

  17. Bill McCoskey

    Howard,
    Yep, it’s possible to stick a 356 into the shorter wheelbase cars, but it is a LOT of work. Bill S. from Montana had a 1939 or 40 Packard 120 convertible sedan that he shoehorned a 356 into, installing that huge radiator just a fraction of an inch from the sides of the grill. It did require the front grill assembly to be moved forwards about a 1/2 inch, so there was a gap between the hood and the grill assembly, and about 1/4 inch between the radiator and fan blades.

    If this featured car was a Super 8 long wheelbase sedan & limo, they were available with the very luxurious Custom Eight interior, but I don’t believe they ever offered or built a Super 8 sedan in that manner. Those were known as the Super 8 Deluxe limo or LWB sedan.

    40+ years ago I helped pull a complete interior out of a 1956 Patrician in a junkyard, and installed it in a 1956 Packard Clipper Custom sedan. Because the rear doors were shorter on the Clipper, we had to trim the card to fit, and just wrapped the upholstery material around the edge & glued it in place.

    2
  18. John

    Last year I bought a ’52 Packard 300 Touring Sedan out of the Medford Oregon area. The car had been sitting for a while, but was a “runner/driver”. The deal was struck and I drove the car to a quick lube and had the oil changed, checked all fluids and had a general inspection of the underside done. I was very pleased with what I’d purchased and got on Rte. 5 south. Taking it easy, I ran down the highway for about an hour & got off at a rest stop to re-check everything. Being satisfied, I got back on the highway and drove home, which is about 40 miles east of Sacramento. It was 95 degrees and very VERY smokey due to the forest fires. The result is; I LOVE that car! What a magnificent automobile! If I’d known about Packards earlier in life, I’d have been driving them all along!

    6
  19. bog

    Well, he pulled the ad as it no longer starts. (See eBay for details) The first car in my memory is a ’47 Packard my Dad had (Mom never owned a car after they got married). It was pretty fancy, though I have no idea what model it was…perhaps I have pictures somewhere in my unpacked archives. I do remember that it was really big and I slept on the rear window package shelf. Yep, different times ! The body was a pleasing tan and the fenders and roof were a medium dark brown. Interior was a deeper tan cloth. That’s about it for my remembrance. I do know my Dad loved going fast ! Something else I inherited from him…LOL

    2
  20. Bill McCoskey

    Bog,
    Almost all 1947 Packard cars had a grey striped cloth interior. However the top of the line Custom Super Eight had 4 special wool broadcloth & leather interiors in 4 beautiful colors; the dark tan as you mentioned, and dark maroon, dark blue, and dark green. These were sumptuous interiors, equivalent to the interior fabrics of the great mansions in America.

    The headliners in these cars were also like no other production car in America: the ribs in a Custom Super Eight ran front to rear, not from side to side! Sitting in the back seat, it made the interior look twice as long!

    The carpets were incredible as well, known as “MossTread” carpeting, passengers felt as if their bare feet were disappearing into the carpeting. The carpeting is so luxurious, even today the owners of these cars have never been able to find a suitable replacement for them or find a company to make it.

    If your Father bought a 1947 Packard Custom Super Eight sedan, you were quite a lucky young lad!

    2
    • bog

      Bill – I apparently was a lucky lad. Everything you’ve said makes perfect sense, and I really appreciate your knowledge. My Dad was a “Motorhead” long before that term came about. I’d love to know the cars he had before he met my Mom…”Deusy”, Cord, or 16 cylinder something or other?? I’ll never know, as all his siblings were older and passed away years ago.

      He knew how to fix cars too, and taught me how to rebuild entire systems (when one could still do that at home). So, my first car…”shoebox Ford”, which I bought for $ 100.00 of my savings at age 12 was my shop class with Pops. p.s. I already knew how to drive stick from learning on a tractor at his brother’s farm.

      That carpeting sounds intriguing. So many companies that did such things worldwide are just gone. Glad I bought some lovely wool sweaters years ago in England…Scottish. And amazing !

      1

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