American Abroad: 1939 Packard 120

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If you deduced quickly that the license plate and the unusual lawn mower in the background don’t look like middle America, you were correct; this 1939 Packard 120 is currently in Hamberg, Germany after having been exported to Norway in 1956. The seller has listed it for sale here on eBay US though, and states they can arrange shipping to “nearly anywhere in the world.” The opening bid is $10,000, but there is a buy-it-now price of $29,000, slightly above market value according to this pricing guide.

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I don’t know about you, but this looks like a lot of car to me for the money. I know 30’s and 40’s cars don’t have the following that 50’s and 60’s cars do today, but how could you not like this classy automobile? From what I can read, Packard enthusiasts aren’t fond of these cars as they marked a movement “down line” for Packard in order to keep the company profitable. While they might not be as magnificent as the larger, more luxurious models, I think in their own right these are very desirable cars.

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I’m guessing the small reflectors or lights on each end of the bumper were added to comply with local regulations. Even the rear of this large car is imposing! The seller tells us that the body is in good condition, with possible repairs needed on the passenger side “sidestep.” I’m guessing that means running board.

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The interior doesn’t disappoint either, with a well-loved look and some reasonable wear.

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I had to include this shot of the dash and lovely spotlight as well. This is a car I would dearly love to drive for the experience alone. According to the seller there have been three owners of the car since it traveled to Europe, and they characterize it as a “great car for the Sunday drive with family and friends.” I couldn’t say it better.

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The L-head inline 8 was capable of moving the car to a top speed of around 85 miles per hour, but in my mind it would be how you’d get there that would be so terrific. This looks like a perfectly usable classic, not as a daily driver but for those fun trips where getting there is the fun! What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Dairymen

    I think it’s nice but priced on the high side. The price guide is a joke on these prewar cars, and absolutely not a real reflection from what’s it worth.

  2. Wayne

    $29,000 for a 120 series? He’s dreaming.

  3. Van

    Packard, just ask the man who owns one.

  4. Dairymen

    I do own several, and they beat pretty much any period car!

    Here’s a 1940 120 that can be bought for $12.5k.
    https://columbus.craigslist.org/cto/5564799276.html

    • jim s

      great find. were the fender mounted spare tires an option? the car on ebay has them but the one you found on CL does not.

      • Dairymen

        Yes they were an option but the cars without sidemounts are easier to handle on the road, and easier to work under the hood. When you are in a wreck the sidemounts turned out to be an extra barrier between you and the other car.

      • jim s

        thank you.

  5. Fred

    Once owned ’37 and ’38 Junior (6 cyl) Packards and loved them. I can only imagine how smooth that straight eight is.

  6. jim s

    that car sure looks good. too nice/costly to be a driver. but if it was mine i would make it safe then daily drive it. the straight eight with a manual would be fun. great find.

  7. Toby

    As a German I can tell one thing for sure: the number plates are NOT German. My best gues would be the former Norwegian ones but 100% sure not German !

  8. Matt Tritt

    Most of these 120’s had overdrive, which gives them great power in the hills and a freeway-safe cruising speed. While more like a Buick than a “real” Packard, they are fun, satisfyning cars to drive.

    • Dairymen

      Overdrive (R-9) first available in 1939 on packards.

  9. Jesper

    The no. Plates are Norwegian.
    Maybe its overprised in Usa, but i think the price fits ok. In europe.
    Maybe 25000$
    But not crazy price
    But it will cost a fortune to have it driving overhere. Its most a showcar, you max. Drive 500 km. Pr. Year

  10. Rolf Staples, Sr

    I had a 1937 6ix cylinder sedan back in 1958 to 1960. Absolutely loved that car! Miss it still………………………………..

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