Follow-Up On The 236 Barn Finds Going To Auction!

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This is an update on the C. Louis Abelove car collection located in New York Mills, NY with 236 cars under liquidation through an online auction conducted by Collar City Auction company, found here Collar City Auctions. reported on this auction earlier this week, reminding readers that the sale runs through November 22.  The range of car makes represented in the sale includes approximately 134 Packards, 28 Cadillacs then a smattering of Fords, Studebakers, Chryslers, Hudsons, Plymouths, Oldsmobiles and some Pierce Arrrows with a very few European sports cars: Alfa Romeo, Triumph, MG and this lone ’62 Morgan (lot #219).

Bidding has been slow. As of today, we count 133 cars with no bids; 61 are sitting on the opening minimum bid ($100) with a few active lots gaining some expected traction based on the rarity factor.  This 1956 Packard Caribbean convertible, for one, is attracting strong bids as are most of the other Caribbean cars (1953-1956) with a little surprise on the two Caribbean hardtops which are trending well.  There are some surprises in the top bids. You can easily see the high bidder for each lot as you scroll through the catalog.  It is somewhat sad that many of the lots that are attracting the opening bid are the really large 4,500-pound Packard commercial chassis, many in poor condition, and many are outside in the weather.  Their sad destiny may–and we can only conjecture here–be the nearest or favorite highest paying scrap dealer.  Today, however, BarnFinds features a rare Packard model surprisingly not gaining much traction in the bidding, but well worth the look:

Yep, she’s a woodie.  There are three 1948 Packard Standard Eight Station Sedan (model 2201) project cars in this sale: lots 186, 204 and 208. Unfortunately, not many good photos to share.  My colleague, Scotty Gilbertson, recently had a Packard Station Sedan featured in early February 2021 on BarnFinds.  Its asking price was about $6,750 on eBay with no idea if it sold. Its condition was similar to these three–a complete do-over. Guessing here, but Scotty’s car looked as though it at least rolled, perhaps keys and title papers were somewhat less of a problem, too.

The Station Sedan during the 22nd Series was a vision of Packard’s designer, Edward Macauley, son of the Packard President J. Alvan Macauley was promoted to head designer in 1932.  Though it may seem like a cozy case of nepotism, Ed had a way of influencing and getting the final design off the drawing board and into a production automobile that reflected the art deco, “style moderne” influenced times.  One of his achievements was the incredibly beautiful 1933 Macauley Packard Speedster.  None at this auction, but look it up sometime to see what a V-12 engine looks like attached to a two-seat cockpit and a true boat tail.  With our subject Station Sedan, Macauley was trying to capture a “town and country” wagon vibe without Packard spending a fortune it did not have to redesign one from scratch.  Macauley started with the Packard Super Eight Coupe and simply improvised as any good jazz-influenced designer would, adding some wood siding and an honest-to-goodness wood two-piece rear hatch and tailgate.  Most other woodies of the day were steel-framed front ends and chassis–stopping at the windshield–coupled to a wood-framed cabin and cargo area.

Packard made the frame and also the cabin, roof, and doors out of steel, leaving only the door lower halves, the trim along the roofline and the rear door to be wood. The Station Sedan bodies were designed for production and fabricated by Briggs Manufacturing Company of Detroit which made lots of bodies for Ford and other manufacturers of the day.











Briggs’ design changed the roofline considerably, but most of the wood trim of the Station Sedan was decorative and applied to a steel frame (except the rear hatch and gate), a departure from most other woodie designs.  Packard’s rear tailgate used a modified strap hinge at the bottom with an elbow jointed drop-front mechanism (seen above as item “G”) to support the gate when opened.  Packard designed an ingenious tail light and license plate holder mounted on the rear tailgate that actually swung down when the gate opened.  This allowed the driver to carry something long with the tailgate opened and still show the tail light and license plate.

Only one of the three Station Sedans in the auction still has the tailgate-mounted as seen here.  You can see the ingenious tail light and license plate bracket.  Try finding that little gem at the O’Reilly’s near you.

The engine for the Station Sedan was a 130-horsepower 288-cubic inch inline eight-cylinder engine with a Carter 2bbl carburetor and 1948 was the first year for Packard to use a grey engine color.  The Station Sedan was equipped with a three-speed manual transmission (three on the tree).  From this bad engine picture, you can see that the giant hood for the inline eight was hinged on the passenger side, opening up to the driver’s side where access to the six-volt battery and other critical components were practically arranged for easier service.  Well, except for the radiator filler cap, not so much.

Now this is a nasty tease on what a finished car made from the three hulks could look like.  Remember, there were only 3,864 of these Station Sedans built from August 1947 through May 1949–Packard’s manufacturing runs were in a “series” rather than sticking to a calendar year like other manufacturers.  And also keep in mind that the 1948 Packard Super Eight won an award as “Fashion Car of the Year,” whatever that honor is, it must be prestigious, and the award givers surely liked upside-down bathtubs.  This car was 4,080 pounds out-the-door and cost a whopping $3,425 new.  In 1948, you could buy a five-room bungalow on an acre of land with a forced hot air furnace for $7,000 in a nice housing plan in Pennsylvania.  A new house in Long Beach, CA on a 50 x 100 lot was around $12,000. The Station Sedan was a big-ticket deal. Put this in perspective: one Packard-loving socialite commonly went touring to the next destination in a model 1708 V-12 limousine with her luggage carried in a model 2201 Station Sedan right behind.  There in the back of the Station Sedan, there is a lovely birch and stainless steel floor for the luggage to ride on (see the drawing above to see the wood separated by the stainless steel straps).  The wood species were Northern Birch and maple.

As of this writing, these three vintage project cars are at auction with only a single bid on just one of the three lots. Recent auction prices have seen a restored Station Sedan in excellent but not concourse condition in the 70 to 80 thousand range, some higher.  NADA prices the Station Sedan at $65,400 low retail running up to $124,000 as average retail.  Not sure about your calculator, but if these can be bought for $150-200, it seems like plenty of margin for error.  With the number of 1948 Packards (other than Station Sedans) at this sale, parts may be easier to come by than one would think.  So, just get Uncle Ernie and his woodshop a-cookin’ to make your birch and maple parts and this could well be a big winner.  Buy all three lots at auction for less than one-fifteenth the asking price of the Station Sedan project car seen on BarnFinds in February!

Note: Neither nor the author has any relationship with the auctioneer or the owner, Mr. Abelove; these articles are straight from the interest in these automobiles and the reporting of honest-to-goodness Barn Finds.  Additional thanks to the many readers who posted information and stories after the first report.  A special tip of our cap to Bill McCoskey for his insights and Packard knowledge, and thanks again to Charles C for the original tip.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Steve Clinton

    Even the termites would pass on these.

    Like 3
    • Fred W

      True, but there are a lot of usable parts and I hope someone takes them home to help complete a restoration rather than, horror of all horrors, scrapping them out.

      Like 9
  2. CJinSD

    The idea that someone collected a couple hundred cars without retaining any of the keys or documentation seems odd. Then I checked out the very straight looking Valiant Signet convertible, and noticed that the keys were in the ignition when the photograph was taken. Will they still not be provided to the buyer?

    Like 3
    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

      We have to understand that the auction company is not going to do a lot of work in finding all of the information on each and every car, and that mistakes/errors are to be expected.

      I did view briefly each one of the listings. Most say “no transferrable paperwork” or something to that effect, but some do have titles or registrations. I can envision a box full of hundreds of keys, most untagged. Hahaha, the auction company is not going to spend days trying to find the one which fits each car.

      Best values here IMO are the cars which are relatively complete. I winced when I saw the stack of exhaust systems in the background of a photo. LOL, no one could ever find the one which came off of any of the cars sitting in the warehouse. Buying all three of the woodies, or the Avanti’s, or another model which someone wants would be cost-effective from a combination/parts perspective.

      Like 7
      • John McNulty

        Day dreamer— Agree. The Morgan had the wrong vin #. It was nowhere close. I told and emailed them the correct #. Seems they still sold it with the wrong #. It will make it harder for the person to register it.
        We Morgan owners’ are surprised how much the Morgan went for, around $12,000 with fees. A good rest will cost $20-30K or more. The car needs everything.

        Like 2
  3. chris recker

    I have personally seen these cars within the last few months. There are lots of great buildable cars, and then quite a few parts cars with many good pieces. It was overwhelming the mass of cars and parts that will be on sale soon. So much nos Packard stuff and parts . You can contact David Flack( ) in Dallas (member of most Packard clubs ) or with specific questions about inventory. There are about 50 other cars in much better condition that may hit the market soon with a person to person sale.

    Like 4
    • Paul in Ma

      Seriously? Is it ok to write and ask about these from them? There are some I would love but missed the preview and am too far away to drop by (not that they would even allow it) I would love to get one or more

      Like 0
  4. CadmanlsMember

    What a mess, so many parts removed from so many cars. Motors missing, no paperwork? What the heck is going on? How could a person accumulate such a horde of Packards mostly and unfortunately many will be scraped or reduced to parts cars. Might have some decent cars just dragging them out is going to be a problem as most probably don’t even roll.

    Like 1
  5. John

    I saw the original post and now this one. It’s unfortunate some school that teaches the next generation of auto techs, builders, and restorers doesn’t snap up the whole collection. They’d never need a donor car to work on again, and could end up saving/selling a few that would cover the low cost of purchase in no time. Welding, motor and suspension, paint, etc- we don’t have enough skilled people to support the hobby’s future. Hate to see what won’t come again just go to the crusher.

    Like 11
    • Frank of Eden

      There are some problems with donating cars to schools in most areas (Given, you may not be in one of those problem places). From my own experience, years ago… but no change has happened… I was in mech. shop when one of the Dads donated a rather old junker to the shop so his son and others could get experience working on cars. We were happy, so was the instructor. After working on it for a few months, and making good progress, we were given the bad news. School board would not allow anything like that to happen. Seems someone had to “own” the car and the school system refused, liability etc. So, we ended up “practicing welding/cutting” and cut the old car up. We tried to make a static display of the motor but found out the next year that had to be scrapped also. Talk about disappointment.
      NEXT, the instructor got a Jeep wagon (two wheel drive) donated to HIM… as the owner we worked on that car, and basically restored it over the year. The teacher/owner came in one day and told us to leave the car alone, it had to be removed. Someone had complained that students were “restoring” a private veh. that “someone” would make a profit on when sold… at the expense of the students labor, and the school funds for parts. I heard that the instructor got in trouble, and had to fight to keep his job over the event.

      Like 4
  6. Pete

    The Caribbean shown is a 55 not a 56. The question the pictures do not answer is do the 56s have the seat cushions?

    Like 0
  7. Maestro1

    Never mind the Auction nonsense. Call the estate lawyer and ask him what he wants for all of them in one price. Try that figure at 70 cents on the dollar.
    If I had the room I’d buy the bunch.

    Like 1
  8. Lynn

    If someone is serious to buy a car from there only way to get title for that car providing it has the correct engine is to file for a LOST title and I’m sure the person who wanted a car from this lovely collection BAD ENOUGH, they would go through ALL those keys and if there’s isn’t there maybe the car dealer will make a new set for. I HATE to old cars go a crusher but sometimes there’s only so a person can work or have time to work on that it’s SAD

    Like 2
    • chris recker

      These cars have been in this collection for 20 to 50 years for the most part. I personally know the owner who became ill suddenly. You can get a bonded title in most states for around 400 bucks or contact Broadway title who used to produce a transferrable one out of main for around the same money. As cheap as the cars can be had, look at the big picture. I paid 850 bucks for one body side molding on my 54 Caribbean and it took 6 trips to Hershey and a lot of phone calls to get a really nice one. You can buy a whole car for what a handful of parts cost if your restoring one as cheap as things may go.

      Like 6
      • Joe Bru

        Title companies charge mostly over $1000 or more these days because many states use NADA antique values for sales tax, a good moneymaker for them. NADA antique values are limited because their minimum value is Fair condition at auction, a running/driving category, even if car isn’t & is in poor condition.

        Like 2
      • Paul in Ma

        Joe Bru

        Great point on the NADA sales tax scam the states are pulling. You will pay more in sales tax for some of these than the car sells for. It is criminal of the states

        Like 2
  9. Jimi

    Now we know where all the packards went

    Like 2
  10. Deak

    Looks like most of these cars were purchased from a junk yard and placed in another junk yard.

    Like 1
  11. jeff

    People are always complaining about the salvage yards having been cleaned out years ago. Now is a chance to get some of those cars that were saved. However most will not make the effort to buy these and most will end up at the crusher.

    Like 2
  12. George Mattar

    Very sad. Packard quality was far superior to GM and Ford junk back in the day. I know a woman who bought a new 55 Caribbean. Yes James Nance had destroyed the company by then. But that car was far better made than a 55 Chevy. She had hardly any trouble with it.

    Like 2
  13. Bobch

    Great cars or even a episode for Wayne Carini Chasing Classic Cars right up his alley

    Like 0
  14. 433jeff

    Take a look, more good than Bad, Thank God we are in USA, we are chuck full of sheds garages and barns , we got Hemis Sideoilers, Ls6 and more. Some countries dont have a tenth of what we do. Keep em comin, oh and don’t forget its no whining Tuesday today

    Like 2
  15. Paul in Ma

    Back when these cars were probably purchased they didn’t have or need titles. They have likely been in that building for 45 – 35 years and back then you didn’t need a title for anything over 10 years old.

    I see a few I would love to get but the big thing holding back is the transport. They are going to get 10 of them out of the building a day per the auction order. So OK, I buy lot 200 so in some 20 days they are going to drag the car out and I have to get it that day, on the flat tires and probably seized brakes. I would gladly do this buying one car from someone when I could work with them on the when’s and how’s but it is a real burden here if I don’t have my own dollies and flatbed. If I could reasonably work with them I would buy every single Packard convertible they have and start my own hoard.

    Like 2
  16. dogwater

    Unfortunate with todays cost to restore these cars for most people is out of the question they go and buy it and get sticker shock at the restoration cost

    Like 0
  17. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    Mike, a couple of quick corrections;

    The 22nd & 23rd series wagons didn’t start with a Super 8 coupe body, they used the basic 2292 Standard 8 sedan, with modified doors, rear fenders, and a new roof stamping. All 4 doors can be swapped with a regular Packard sedan, and they will fit & open/close.

    The hood is currently hinged on the passenger side as you point out. But once the hood is closed, you can then pull the driver’s side latch tight, unlatch the passenger side, and it opens the other way. [Similar to Buick hoods.]

    If you have another person, you can unlatch both sides, and remove the entire hood for easy access, leaning it against the garage wall. [Just have a couple of soft pads to set the back end of the hood’s outer corners on, so you don’t chip the paint!] This is also why so many of these cars in junkyards no longer have the hoods in place, ’cause lazy people simply left the hood off once they were finished pulling the spark plugs out, or removing the air cleaner!

    Like 3
  18. Amy Burchett

    I am new to this. So did I miss the auction? Please say I didn’t…

    Like 1
    • Paul in Ma

      Still time

      Like 0
  19. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    Amy, Check the auction website for the end time, but I know the auction ends sometime on Nov 22nd.

    Like 0
  20. John McNulty

    I would like to know what the 1962 sold for. I have been chasing this car for 40 around 40 years. To bad about the condition.
    The vin # was wrong. It is 5054, not the # they stated.

    Like 0
    • Paul in Ma

      You can just click on the auction link and see what they went for. Don’t forget to add the 22% buyers premium

      Like 0
      • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

        Fun to browse through and look at the prices some brought. Also interesting to see that several bidders bought a LOT of cars! Others zeroed in on one type.. Like “kittykitty2” with the Imperials…

        Like 0

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