Minnesota Royalty? 1932 Packard Model 900

According to the seller, this 1932 Packard was originally owned by Samuel B. Ely. If you aren’t familiar with Ely, he was a mining executive in the upper mid-west which for whom the town of Ely, Minnesota was named. The problem with the seller’s hypothesis is that Mr. Ely was from Michigan and apparently never visited Ely, Minnesota. The seller is from Barkus, Minnesota and hopefully, they can provide some documentation that the car was actually owned by “the” Samuel B. Ely. Not that it would really add to the value, it does make an interesting story. Located here on eBay, The Model 900 has a current bid of $55,000. The car is in original/unrestored condition. It certainly needs some TLC, but may be able to be saved and kept as a true survivor. Let’s take a look and see what you think.

As with the rest of the car, the engine looks all original. There is no information in the ad regarding the engine except for the fact that it is (obviously) a straight-eight. Hopefully, it will turn over and runs or is rebuildable.

The interior is neat and features center-mounted gauges, which are pretty good looking. The seller states even the dash-mounted clock works! The ad also says the seller has accumulated some duplicate parts and NOS components including an original hood ornament. So what do you think of this car? Would you restore it, customize it, or try and keep it as original as possible and drive it as-is?


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  1. Tom c

    No longer available , cool car but 55 grand ?

    Like 3
    • On and On On and On Member

      Had 75 bids when it was removed by seller.

      Like 3
  2. Classic Steel

    Unrestored but looks like it would buff out easily 😉😏
    I do like it but price?

    Like 1
    • Fred W

      This one at B-J in 2015 sold for $275K. Looks to me like the one listed here would respond to a “sympathetic restoration”, simply getting the mechanicals in order and cleaning/refurbishing here and there. Ownership story could be legit- if you are going to make up stories, you say it was owned by Babe Ruth, not Samuel Ely! https://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1932-PACKARD-900-ROADSTER-180286

      Like 8
      • Blake weston

        Love the 32-only “shovel-nose” grille

        Like 2
  3. MH

    There is no city named Barkus in Minnesota.

    Like 1
    • Jim B Clark

      It’s in Backus, Mn.

      Like 2
  4. Fahrvergnugen Farhvergnugen Member

    Second owner was John Voyt.

    Like 12
  5. Dairyman

    No picture of the data plate, and a new cowl with windshield mounted. This car has a smell….
    It started most like out as a coupe and was at 1 point turned into a convertible. I’m not a 100% sure but it would have to be checked out very carefully.

    Like 1
    • Bugnbox

      @dairyman This is no coupe looking at the top frame and surrounding areas. As an owner of the identical model , it looks pretty legit to me.

      Like 6
  6. Coventrycat

    Like anyone cares who Sam Ely is now. He did have impeccable taste in automobiles, though.

    Like 6
  7. Del

    Having Sam Ely provenance would definitely up the price by 5 dollars.

    I am no Packard expert but over 50 grand for this ? and it needs a full resto.

    The clock works , but who knows about the rest.

    Like 4
  8. Del

    I got an eye opener. NADA says average retail 65 grand

    High retail 115 grand. WOW.

    This one is not worth 65 but you can see why he is asking so much. The overal shape is well worth doing a resto.

    Live and learn

    Like 6
  9. RivaDella

    Grille bottom & front fenders don’t look “stock”. Maybe a custom body?

    Like 1
  10. PeterfromOZ

    Don,t know how you can say it might be able to be saved! Looks perfect to me and driveable after some cleaning up, oil chane etc. Must be kept as is.

    Also, I have not seen a grill that slopes down at the front

    • Little_Cars

      One year only, 1932 shovel nose grille, per Blake above. The height of art deco fashion and very elegant.

      Like 2
  11. lbpa18

    Though the common man couldn’t afford something like this when it was new, it must have been something to see cars this grand on the road. I can’t think of a modern-day equivalent that would stop me in my tracks to watch drive by like this one would have. Very elegant.

    Like 2

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