Heartless: 1952 Packard 300

Beautiful, like a fine jewel refracting light, this 1952 Packard 300 is a grand looking automobile. But this Detroit built machine lacks a heart. The original drivetrain is out of the picture, and what is left is a beautiful condition roller that definitely needs to get back on the road. With a ton of promise, and potential, this Packard is offered at the extremely cheap price of $1,300!!!! Find it here on craigslist out of Sun Valley, Nevada.

Looking this Packard over we assume it is a stalled restoration project, or that some mishap happened with the engine and the seller is just over fixing the car. This Packard would have originally been powered by a 327 cubic inch Inline 8 engine, with an automatic transmission. There is no mention of the drivetrain, but there are some spares included with the sale of the car. The chrome on this Packard is breath taking, and would cost an arm and a leg to replicate. All of the trim and chrome is present, and is basically in mint condition. The paint has a lovely glow to it, showing just a touch of depth with the metallic flake. If you had a straight 8 laying around you should most certainly drop it into this beautiful roller.

Sadly there is only this one lone image of the interior, but if you study it, you will see further positive attributes to this already exceptionally clean Packard. The steering wheel bares some cracks, but notice the lovely metallic finish is not worn off. All of the interior paint coloring looks even and un-faded, and the only items representing any age are the chrome bits on the steering wheel and on the dash.  Granted, these chrome bits don’t look bad, but compared to the rest of the car, they stand out. Even the horn button is in decent shape. Most of us are familiar with looking at cracked up horn buttons from the toll of time. This one may bare some cracking, but you can still clearly see the insignia in the center of this horn button. Although what we see so far looks good, we would love to see further images of the interior.

Overall a very nice roller, with a ton of potential, we would opt to put an inline 8 back into this one, but for the “non-Packard fans”, we could see another drivetrain being added. Beautiful, and clean, this one will likely get picked up quick. Would you bring home this 4 door beauty?


  1. Fred W.

    I’ll bet there is an old codger in the Packard club who would gladly sell you a good running straight 8 to drop right in there. Ot you could go the SBC route, but I’ll bet the original mill would keep up with traffic just fine, thank you.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Fred, if there was any Packard that showed dated styling, it was these. Not bad cars, just nothing really new. A SBC would be the best way to go, but the original was ok too. My ’50 Packard had the 288,( smallest) I8, 2 barrel engine with the automatic(1st year) It was a slug, the automatic didn’t help, but one day for the heck of it, I said to myself, let’s see what this thing can do, so on a long ( straight) stretch of country road, I put ‘er to the floor. In what seemed like a long time, I finally had the speedo bouncing between 75 and 85, and that car smoothed right out, and it was a “Packard” moment, for sure. There was more there, but I chickened out. Stopping it, was an entirely different matter, however.

      • Ed P

        My old neighbor had a bathtub with the 327 and stick shift. Not a high winder engine, but the low end torque was tremendous.

      • EU Broker

        I had a ’49 with a 288 and a 3 on the tree. You’re right, it was big, heavy and slow as hell, but a nice smooth highway cruiser.

  2. grant

    This is a gorgeous car. Im usually not much for sbc swaps but in this case i think its probably the most economical way to go. And its bugging the crap out of me so ill point out that you might bare skin, but this steering wheel bears cracks. Sorry, I’ll shut up now….

    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      SBC isn’t going to fit, to wide to clear the steering column. Replacement engines & Ultramatic trans are not hard to find, Join the Packard Club & advertise for one, I’ll bet you get several decent offers, probably in running cars, cars that are too rusty or visually poor, to be worth fixing up.

      Another alternative is a big Chevy truck inline 6 engine with 3-speed Hydramatic trans. Will provide the torque that Packard’s heavy weight needs.

      • Bellingham Fred

        Too bad about the steering column interference, I was going to suggest a 327. Afterall it matches (numerically at least) what it came with. Not my favorite as far as Packard styling goes, but for the price and potential it looks tempting

      • PaulieB

        You can also go to this Packard site for free.. lots of great info friendly advice free downloads and more. :)

  3. Woodie Man

    Wheres the drivetrain? Inquiring minds want to know. There is (I think) the exact car sitting on a roadside in Lakeside, California in front of an old garage maybe.I think its a’52/ ’53 4 door…if I can grab a pix today I will upload it later

    • Loco Mikado

      No engine but has a battery?

  4. Ed P

    Is the dog a 1950’s version of a security system?

  5. Royal Ricci

    I would drop a cummings diesel in it and convert it to run on vegetable oil.

    • Ward Curtis

      OK, but it would need to be an ee cummings for poetic justice…

      • Woodie Man

        Clearly your play on words was lost on some…for their edification I give you one of my favorite poems of all time. Perhaps then your comment will make sense to the unwashed massses ( joke folks)

        “she being Brand / -new”


        Like 1
    • Mark S

      The Cumins 5.9 weighs 1150 pounds to heavy for this car or that would be my choice too.

      • Royal Ricci

        What does the 327 striagt 8 weigh? People are dropping these in all sorts of cars of this period now because of fuel efficiency.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Royal, the straight 8 is right up there too. I think I read upwards of 900 lbs. and it was front heavy. That’s why on many of the 22nd and 23rd series( expectant pachyderm) you see the front bumpers bent slightly upward.

      • Dave Wright

        Very few people play with old cars for fuel efficiency…..there are a few pointy heads around but not enough to fill a cattle truck. If you want that, you buy a new car and leave our classics alone.

  6. Andy

    Turbo Diesel Toyota six. Cubano style!

  7. Walt

    EV nuts like me look for rollers just like this , OH MAN, wish I could drop a WARP. 11 electric drive motor and lithium batteries in it. , It wouldn’t make a sound and it would FLY, :) ,

    • John

      I won’t claim to know about ev drive trains, but isn’t rule 1 to find the lightest weight chassis possible?

      • Royal Ricci

        John, It is now doable due to the new generation of lithium batteries.

      • Royal Ricci

        John, it is doable now due to the new generation of lithium batteries!!!

  8. Blyndgesser

    Ls3 and a 4L80 Supermatic from the GM Performance Parts catalog.

  9. Rustytech Member

    These may look a little dated today, but after the pregnant elephants they had to be a refreshing update. This cars in decent shape, I would also try to stay with the original drive train. These cars look great in darker colors, i.e. Black maroon or navy, so for me a color change would be on the calendar.

  10. SunbeamerStu

    I’m not much on the stylings of 50’s Detroit. But this Packard is quite beautiful. And, since the boat is without a motor or running gear, I really like the EV idea. Properly done, electric power would kick ass on any stinkpot option.

    • Mark S

      Except for all that coal you got burn to make the electricity, you ev guys crack me up all your doing is switching to a different fossil fuel and you think your saving the world. Further more do you guys have any idea what your going to do with all those spent lithium batteries, maybe we can use them to fill in the spent coal mines. I read an article a year or so ago that pointed out that lithium is not an endless resource either.

      • Royal Ricci

        EV’s will lead to a smarter more efficient grid powered by solar. Did you know that a solar farm one tenth the area of Arizona would be sufficient to general enough electrical power to meet and exceed all of America’s electrical needs? Furthermore, our current grid could handle up to 3.1 million EV’s all charging at night off peak.

  11. John H. from CT

    You might want to do some more fact checking on the use of the current grid charging the ED’s. First, you can’t run traditonal power generation systems part time. It takes days, not hours to get them running. Second, the fixed costs have to be covered, so they have to run just to pay the ongoing going costs of keeping them active.

    Until there is an economical means to store solar overnight, it is not worth much more than as a complement to the current grid as a means to lower coal/ natural gas consumption and to augment peak power generation capacity, not to replace all of the traditional power generating systems.There is much research going on for addressing overnight power storage with sodium based and other technologies, but to my knowledge there is nothing yet scalable unless you have a spare lake lying around on top of a mountain. Some of the more intriguing alternative proposals are for self-contained home systems where power storage isn’t as daunting based on scale alone.

    Lithium cannot be the log term answer. It’s not long-term sustainable, scalable.

    • grant

      John; that was intelligent, reasoned and well thought out. Stop it. You’re scaring people.

      • John H. from CT

        Grant, I promise to reform myself!

  12. Tony L

    Looks like a good deal for the money, too bad, no money today! (Property taxes, income tax, Christmas, etc.)

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