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Chicken Barn Find! 1939 Packard Six

If you don’t know much about the Packard Motor Car Company, challenge yourself to learn more! Packard represented a product from America, an upstart nation of trouble-makers with (at the time) fewer than two centuries of history under its belt, that set a standard admired around the globe. This 1939 Packard Six Business Coupe in Auburn, California came from a chicken barn and seeks a new owner here on craigslist where $39,000 grants you the right to enter the men’s hut. Owning a Packard is on my bucket list, and you could do worse than this running example. Thanks to reader Ikey H for spotting this coupe designed for the well-heeled businessperson.

Personally I’d feel lazy offering such a beautiful automobile with three dusty pictures and a paragraph of text, but the seller has done far more than simply “flipping” this find. New ignition parts and a rebuilt carburetor have it running “like a sewing machine,” and a brake overhaul should help it stop safely as well. Rodent damage and other imperfections detract from the “as is” sale of this coupe, or you might consider its flaws as an excuse to actually drive and enjoy this Packard without parking nine miles from your dinner destination.

While the seller states the “speedometer reads 44,000,” let’s assume that’s the odometer unless there’s a nitro-methane warp drive under the hood. Hopefully, there’s not a Vega four-popper in there, but the $39,000 listing leaves much to the imagination. Some might hold out for the straight-eight “120” instead of this “Six” model, but park this Packard next to other coupes of the era and you’ll fully appreciate its presence. Kate Sullivan’s account, “My Favorite Packard,” here on hemmings.com describes Packard’s appeal. Their slogan, “Ask the Man Who Owns One,” may not fly in the 21st Century, but Packard’s appeal remains strong, and this handsome coupe might make a good “First Packard” for someone who wants a driver-quality classic to enjoy and improve. Can you picture yourself behind the wheel of this dusty classic?


  1. 71FXSuperGlide

    I’m sure this would be a smooth running car, once fully road worthy.

    “Ask the man who owns one.”, indeed.

    Like 8
  2. Will Fox

    A guy could do MUCH MUCH worse for $39K! This appears solid, straight and complete but then again, I’m only seeing 3 experior pics. Assuming for the moment mind you, that the interior is as tidy as the exterior this makes for a very unique art deco find indeed. It would be pleasurable exercise for me to polish this baby under a shade tree on a lazy Sunday afternoon!! Best of all–it’s not another Chevy!!

    Like 11
  3. JohnD

    I LOVE the car, but the pricing puts it in open car territory. The seller seems to have forgotten it is a coupe. The good news is that there are some serious deals in 30s and 40s Packards, Cadillacs and Lincolns now. The bad news is they are probably never going to go up.

    Like 10
    • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

      The guys who desired these cars are no longer with us so interest falls to those who didn’t grow up with these cars. I have no idea if $39k is a fair price though I’m thinking it’s on the high side if it needs interior work. Hard to tell if the paint is good enough, the seller should have had it cleaned and detailed to give prospective buyers a better impression of it’s condition. More pictures would be nice, mandatory really for all that money.

      Like 11
  4. Del

    Looks pretty good.

    But for 39 grand more info and pics needed.

    Nice wash job

    Like 10
    • Dickie F.

      Del, I cannot believe that they managed to fit “New ignition parts and a rebuilt carburetor to have it running “like a sewing machine,” without any of that surface dust falling into the exposed open rebuilt parts while these were being fitted.
      Or were the chicken droppings and dust temporary removed, then reapplied after she ran like a sewing machine.

      Like 4
      • Bob McK

        Good question!

        Like 2
  5. JW454

    Chicken bar? I guess that would make this a chicken coupe. HA! I just had to do it!!!

    Like 8
  6. art

    A beauty and look at that hood ornament. Nice color vs the “always” in black.
    A wash and polish would transform this into a Cinderella-like make over.

    Like 8
  7. Ken Carney

    Had a ’50 model in the early ’70s and loved mine. Once inside, you’d float down the road with a cushiony ride while
    that 356 cube straight 8 ran as smooth as fresh churned butter. I used mine to
    ferry myself and my bandmates as we
    played one niters around the state of
    Illinois. After the band broke up, I kept
    it for my Mom to drive to work when her
    new Chevy Caprice Classic wouldn’t start
    in those cold Midwest winters. I wound
    up selling it to a collector for $3,500 in
    early ’74 or thereabouts. Sure wished I
    had it back today! And that comes from
    a man who owned one.

    Like 8
  8. Howard A Member

    Well, it’s California all right, “oh, look, the cute little mice made a nest”, aw, MICE DO TERRIBLE DAMAGE, sorry, anyway, the fate of this car is on an entirely different path than the ’39 120 earlier, this will be resto-modded just because of the style, and that’s ok. California sure has lofty price tags, somebody else from California will probably pay this, and stick another $50g’s into it. Great hobby, huh?

    Like 3
  9. Duaney

    Yes the mouse damage could mean remove entire interior, use bleach, restuff all the seats, this is a huge repair.

    Like 5
  10. Sal

    Maybe I am out of touch…
    But this is insanely overpriced, isn’t it?

    You guys/gals should be laughing this seller out of the marketplace. This thing is priced like a 120 for sale on Hemmings!

    Who the h#!! is paying almost $40k for a six cylinder Packard?

    Like 2
  11. Del

    I agree with Sal.

    I missed the mouse story first time around.

    Probably interior has to be fully redone.

    Car not worth even 29 grand

    Like 1
  12. Christopher Gush

    Somewhat surprised at the asking price, with the operative word “asking”. Candidly and respectfully, the generation who coveted these cars is much diminished today, and market values are declining. However, as my father in law once stated to me, “There’s an a** for every seat”. Very true. Given what I am seeing, the lack of informative photos ,the time and effort to de-louse the varmint damage and associative health risks to do so, as well as expense to recommission to a roadworthy car, I would surmise the seller moving it at $18K to $22k would be more in the realistic range. I wish the seller best of luck. A fun find.

    Like 1
  13. Bob McK

    I once bought a 56 Cadillac with rodent damage. It is almost impossible to get that stink out. Also bought a chicken barn Cadillac. The interior looks nearly perfect, but so far, we have been unable to get the stink out. So, if you are buying this without inspecting it yourself, be prepared to replace the entire interior and wiring harness. This is one beautiful car! I would love to own it after the interior is done.

    Like 1
  14. John

    The smell, as bad as a smokers car, we used an “ozinator” in a smelly smokers PU once, and in smoker condo’s, works wonderful, leave it in for 2 -3 days
    but W/mice have to clear out the inside. Never know you ever had an ordorous

    Like 1
    • 67Firebird_Cvt 67Firebird_Cvt Member

      I have an ATV that the mice set up house keeping in the engine. Smells terrible when standing still but better when riding fast!
      Pulled 4 gallon ziplock bags of acorns out of the transmission!

      Like 0
  15. Steve H.

    3 dusty pics, none of the interior for top dollar. lol

    Prolly a nice car but how would we know?

    Hard pass.

    Like 2
  16. Wr HALL

    When I was VERY YOUNG my Dad inherited a 39 110 from an aunt who bought it new. He always said it had shifting problems. If so probably first year for column shift.

    Like 0

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