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Field Find Hot Rod: 1940 Packard


Craigslist is a never ending source of interesting cars and sellers’ stories about them. Sometimes the ads suggest more than they actually say, and I find myself trying to imagine the real story behind the car and its current condition.


This rather crusty 1940 Packard four door sedan is for sale on craigslist in the beautiful town of Guilford, Connecticut. The seller says it’s “in pretty good condition but will need complete restoration,” which is certainly an understatement – this car is only in fair condition, at best.


As you can see from the photos provided, someone installed a V8 engine at some point in its life – I am guessing that one of our readers will be able to identify its make. The seller says that it turns freely. The front seats look like they are from a seventies GM car, maybe from the same source as the engine, but it seems the back seat might be gone altogether.


The seller acknowledges that the rear driver’s fender has a dent in it and goes on to say there is a “little rust” on the bottom of the doors and that the “floors seem pretty good,” but then goes on to remind us that he is “selling this car for a friend so my knowledge on the vehicle is limited.” I think there is a lot more than a “little” rust going on here, but you will have to see the car in person to find out the true condition of the body, frame and floors.


There are so many unknowns about this car – is the rest of the drivetrain updated? Was it ever actually a runner, or is this an unfinished work-in-progress? How long has it been sitting, and how was it stored? It’s in need of just about everything if you want to put this back on the road.


Converting a pre-war Packard into a street rod is sacrilege to some, but if this car is salvageable, with the original drivetrain gone it’s probably best to continue on that path now. For me this would be too much effort for the reward at the end of the project, but I have to believe that there is someone out there who will love this car enough to bring it back to life. The asking price of $2,500 seems high, but is probably negotiable.



Bring a trailer and a very deep set of pockets though. If you’re up for the effort and cost, the example above is pretty much what you might end up with after doing a ton of work! If you need so inspiration for your build, you can find out more about this one here on HotRod.


  1. Gary Gary

    The engine is a 62-67 small block Chevy, either a 283 or 327. Details that define the small block’s era are the air cleaner, oil fill tube & breather cap at front of manifold – they are incoorect valve covers on it currently. Also, alternator mounted on the lh side, and short nose water pump.

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  2. PackardMike

    Makes my 40 Packard resto-mod look quite nice! MANY dollars & hours ahead for the next owner!

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    • David Wilk Member

      Mike – do you have any pics you could share with us?
      I’d love to see it.

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  3. Rick Forse

    That looks a lot like my ’38 Buick

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  4. Mike O'Handley

    As you can see from the other photos, there are a lot of possibilities for this car. Sure, 2-door models are cooler; but where can you find a honest-to-goodness gangsta car with running boards for the bad guys to ride on. I’m attaching a photo of a very nice Packard Restomod I saw up in Everett, WA some time back. It was for sale at, of all places, a Hyundai dealership and they had it in a glass-sided gazebo on a turntable. I’ve got more than a dozen photos of this car from all angles – even of the little cops and robbers artwork on the rockers!

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  5. Mike O'Handley

    Another view

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  6. Mike O'Handley

    And another

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  7. Dairymen

    It’s a 1940 110, which came originally with a straight 6. The front seats are not original, all the trim is gone, grille is gone, drivetrain is gone: parts car! You can pick these up in all original form for $15-22k and ready to enjoy. If you’re patient you can find a very good driver for under $ 15k!

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Dairymen — I agree, this is a parts car. I’ve owned many Packards over the last 50 years, and I was also a Packard parts supplier until retiring. The cost to buy the needed parts alone is in excess of the value of the completed car.

      Like 1

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