Live Auctions

No Name Dropping Needed: 1941 Packard Clipper

The seller stopped loving this Packard today…okay, that’s my one and only tortured George Jones reference for this post; this 1941 Packard Clipper, we are told, once belonged to the country legend, but the fact is tossed off and, frankly, this car doesn’t need celebrity ownership to sell itself. Just look at it! Would you believe that this 77-year-old car is unrestored? I imagine I’ll have undergone more restoration by the time I’m 77. The going rate for this elegant classic is a reasonable $18,500; you can find it here on craigslist in Santa Cruz, California (archived ad). Thanks to the ever-industrious Rocco B. for the find!

I’ve confessed my love for the Clipper before; suffice it to say this black beauty does nothing to dim the flames. What do you want to bet the 80,943 miles shown above are original? The ad doesn’t go into a lot of detail about the wear and flaws that the car might have accrued over the years, but it does say that a new owner could “drive it home”—presumably wherever home might be—and that it has been “meticulously maintained by its beekeeper owner.” Forget George, I want to know more about the beekeeper!

What we’re not told, though, we can see for ourselves in the photos of the interior. There are blemishes and stains on the door panels, the headliner looks less than pristine, the rear seat upholstery has some stains, and we don’t know what’s going on under that seat cover on the front bench. Even so, everything looks usable and all of the trim—save one broken and one missing window winder—is intact, and the dignity conferred on this car by its age and its prestigious nameplate should more than exempt it from any embarrassment.

While the Clipper name proliferated to nearly the entire Packard range in 1942 and 1946-47, for the model’s first year in 1941 it was applied only to four-door sedans on a 127″ wheelbase, powered by a 282-cubic inch, 125-horsepower inline eight. An automated clutch was optional, but this example sports the traditional three-speed column-shifted manual. Simplicity itself. This is a terrific classic to drive, show, and enjoy. I’ve got nothing against George Jones, but I wouldn’t care if he had been born in the back seat of this Packard; it needs nothing more than its beautiful self to hook me!



  1. Dairyman

    I know Packards but who is George Jones?

    • grant

      Really? I’m a metal head and even I know who George Jones is. ‘


      you gotta be kidding me, “who’s george jones”? get real! i’m no country & western fan but i sure know who he is.

      • Chris Kennedy

        I am with you on that but, the young generation, for the most part, don’t know who Jan & Dean are ether. So, how about Ronnie Milsap? Who knows who he is? Ricky Van Shelton, Vince Gill?

  2. Njohnb

    That’s a speedometer straight from Spiral Tap. Sorry, it had to be said…
    To UK eyes that’s one of the best styled US cars of that era I’ve seen. Humber would have been proud.

    • Njohnb

      Umm, make that Spinal. No excuse, early afternoon, sober, no distractions. Put it down to senility…

      • grant

        Spinal, spiral, whatever. Blame it on autocorrect. But you’re right, it goes up to 11!

    • Simon

      Yes,but it’s a shame the radio is not equipped with dubly,

  3. Chris Kennedy

    George Jones is an icon in the classic country music scene. He was on the same level as Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams to name a few.

  4. Chris Kennedy

    Here is a picture of George Jones. Look him up?

  5. Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

    Heard of the others, but never George Jones, however, his Packard is beautiful.

    • grant

      If you’ve ever heard the story of of a country singer who drove a riding lawnmower to get beer after his wife (country legend Tammy Wynette) took took away took away his keys; George Jones.

  6. jdjonesdr

    I’d love to own it.

  7. Jack M.

    Obviously all of you can use a computer as you are reading this website. Go to YouTube and search George Jones!

  8. Rube Goldberg Member

    I suppose it could have been Mr. Jones car, he had to get to the studio too. Very important Packard. This all new body style for ’41 was short lived, to the public, and the last Packard offered to the public before the war was Feb.’42. These cars carried some pretty important people through the war, and after the war, only for 2 years when the new ’48’s came out. Our Packard was 1950 23rd series, but I always liked this style better, and underneath, it was pretty similar. The “automatic clutch” spoken of,( the Electromatic Clutch) was a vacuum unit that when activated, sucked the clutch pedal down when the gas pedal was lifted. A complicated setup, but it actually worked quite well, although, I see no evidence of the unit on the left side of the motor. If I may correct the author, I believe this was the 288 in line 8. It was the motor I had. Also, O/D was a very popular option, and this car may have it, as well. It would be one of the buttons on either side of the radio. Again, the owner may not even know what that is. Great car.

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Wait, the clutch button would be by the radio, the O/D would be a separate knob below the dash, which I don’t see either.

  9. CCFisher

    Either Packard’s paint process and materials were decades ahead of the competition, or this car has been repainted. Beautiful, either way!

  10. jw454

    If I owned this car I’d have to have someone drive me around in it so I could roll down the window and ask the driver next to me if he had any Grey Poupon.
    Very classy machine.

    • Rodent

      You would have to find a couple of new window cranks first.

      • grant

        Which honestly you could use a crank from any 40’s or 50’s car and it would probably work just fine.

  11. Karst

    “The King is Gone…and so are you” – George Jones.

    Best song lyrics ever, and I’m not a big fan of country music.

    • ccrvtt

      Look up, “The Race is On”. Cleverest lyrics in classic country.

      And no, I’m not a country fan, but not knowing George Jones is unforgivable.

  12. TR

    Look up “The One I Loved Back Then”. The Possum was a car guy, ladies man, and drinker. Bet he would have been fun to hang out with

  13. Will Owen Member

    The non-Clipper ’41s are my favorite of all Packards, the cleanest and prettiest (and lastt!) of the separate-fender cars. I have a special interest there because that was the year I came off the assembly line, too. I was all hot for Clippers too, until I read an article about restoring one, and the Saga of the Headliner alone was enough to scare me off for good. It still is in a way like the other 1941s, though, in being the best-looking of its breed.

  14. Dave

    My roommate and I owned a 41 Packard… but it was an ambulance with body by Henny. Bought it from school that had bought it from the Marines, We paid about $84. It had been used by Marines in WWII at Presidio in San Fran. 14,000 miles and original 16″ tires. I had to put rings in the ‘ironing board 8’ because it took 8 qts oil to go 140 miles home and we dropped an OD transmission in to counter the 4.11 rear end. BTW… my roomie also had a ’46 Packard limo.

  15. juangmolina

    El Packard Clipper 1941 .1947!!!!lo mas hermoso hecho en Norte America en esos años!!!muy Europeo!!!su diseño para los yankys!!!que solo ven a y aman Ford , Chevrolet!!!Mustangs!!!

  16. juan

    el mejor y mas clasico de su generacion!!!! no era para USA!!!le quedo grande!!!

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