High-Class Hot Rod! 1940 Packard Project

Among ’30s and ’40s front ends, it’s hard to beat the Packard. With its background making bespoke cars for the super-rich, Packards carry a certain undeniable presence that you have to appreciate in person. This 1940 Packard coupe in Annapolis, Maryland has gone well along the road to Hot Rod Town with a Mustang II-style front end, small-block Chevy V8, and other changes that put this one in the “never to be restored” category. The listing here on Craigslist asks $15,000 for the car plus a host of parts removed or intended for installation. Thanks to reader Jay L for spotting this fine machine.

Fans of the iconic “Split Window” Corvette coupe may be willing to pay double for this spilt-window Packard. Or maybe not! The updated rolling stock indicates the direction this car was heading. The new owner can pick a stance and rolling gear that suits his or her fancy. The seller states that the primer hides nothing but solid original metal with no patches. That represents piece of mind for the new owner.

The ubiquitous 350 cid (5.7L) SBC (Small-Block-Chevrolet) probably powers more hot rods than any powerplant on Earth. I’d paint this one Packard green and pay respect to Packard’s exquisite engineering with some vintage touches. The asking price includes a Vintage Air air conditioning system, digital dashboard, and more!

The front end hails from an Aerostar van, a more modern alternative to the time-honored Mustang II setup that graces many hot rods. Cars of this vintage are narrower than many later cars, so the Mustang II and similar setups give you rack-and-pinion steering, disc brakes, and room for a V8 engine with a narrow enough track to allow for some meaty tires without fender mods. How would you finish this high-class hot rod?

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  1. Skorzeny

    What an abomination. I don’t know what to say except I hope Howard and Geomechs don’t see this.

    Like 9
  2. Freddy

    Au contraire – I hope they do. I can hear their heads exploding from here! This is going to be epic.

    Like 4
  3. DON

    Too far gone now for a restoration so its a hot rod now , but I’d dump the digital dash ,and the SBC would have to go – too many hot rods have them , and this is a Packard ; maybe go with an Caddy or Olds engine .

    Like 3
  4. Kurt

    Best not bring this to a Packard car show. Yikes.

    Like 4
  5. John Klintz

    Agree with Skorzeny and Kurt; WHAT a SHAME! A Packard should be left a Packard!

    Like 2
  6. Hommerstang

    Reckon you can trade that pos Chevy motor for a packard 12 cylinder

    Like 1
    • Kurt

      Not straight across! POS SBC and 20-30k maybe!

      Like 1
  7. Ted Coombes

    My first Packard was a 1939 6 cylinder (usually referred to as “the Old Lady’s Packard) that I bought in 1981 in northern Virginia, not too far from this specimen.

  8. MikeH

    Looks as if this guy is in the process of ruining some T Birds as well.

  9. Lowell Peterson

    So….today all we get are crybaby critics? There are alot of very kool hotrod Packards out there. Room for everyone fellas!

    Like 6
  10. David Scully

    If you look real close, you’ll see the ’56 T-Bird Offered a few days ago. In that comment session I noted I thought the ‘bird had Halibrand-style wheels – and there they are…

    My dad had a ’39 Packard two-door sedan (six-cylinder), very rare, even then (1946). My brother and I loved that car – it got t-boned by a ’38 LaSalle and was replaced by a ’46 Merc tudor (also a rare one). I still have pictures of both cars.

    Like 1
    • Tsdart

      Look closer, Rusty Chrome Slots.

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