Original Paint: 44k Mile 1949 Packard Deluxe Eight

Stately. That was a word used to describe cars like this 1949 Packard Deluxe Eight. I can’t think of any car made today that you could call stately. This largely original Packard has only 44,000 miles on it and spent several years in quarantine. The car was built back in the days when Packard Motor Car Co. was a viable automobile manufacturer and didn’t need to hook up yet with Studebaker in order to stay in business. Indianapolis, Indiana is where this black beauty can be found as well as here on eBay where the no reserve auction has reached $8,100.

Packard, like all other car builders, suspended automobile production during World War II. So. the 1949-50 models would be all-new compared to the post-war retreads they were selling. The new styling motif was dubbed the “bathtub look” and Packard sold all they could make after the war, just like the competition. The Packard Deluxe Eight was the model you bought if you had the money and wanted to enjoy it as it was in direct competition with the likes of Cadillac and Lincoln.

Cars that come with a story and some history help them become more than just pieces of machinery. Such is the case with this 1949 Packard Deluxe Eight. From new, the car spent its first 50 years in Iowa but was taken to an auction in 1999 and purchased by a collector out of Indianapolis. Upon changing ownership, the car received a brake job and some other things to bring it back up to snuff. Sometime after that, the car was sold to the current seller’s next-door neighbor who put it into dry storage until recently. The seller has done a few things to the car since acquiring it, including putting a few hundred miles on the road during that brief time.

We’re told that 100% of the car’s shiny paint is original and has never been damaged other than the usual nicks caused by a pebble now and then. The only rust that was found on the car was in the trunk and the floor has been partially replaced to solve that problem. All the exterior chrome, trim and glass appear to have held up nicely. The odometer reads just over 44,000 miles and there is no reason to doubt it. The interior shows just as well as the exterior, from the upholstery to the floor coverings and woodgrain insets. Most of the electrics work as they should, except that the gas gauge is intermittent, and the radio and clock are out of commission. The seller mentions there is a battery shutoff switch under the driver’s front seat, which is something I’ve never heard of (and I’m almost as old as this car!)

Residing under the hood is the car’s original 288 cubic inch straight eight engine (hence the name of the car), which had an output of 135 horsepower. The transmission is a 3-on-the-tree with overdrive. We’re told the car runs and drives excellently and the seller wouldn’t hesitate to take it on a road trip. A new float was installed on the fuel tank sender to try to correct the gas gauge problem, but that did not solve it. There is a small hole in the muffler that an auto parts store patch should cure. The tires on the ground are newer, but the spare tire has turned to rock.

Along the continued lines of mechanical health, the seller rebuilt the Carter WDO carburetor and fuel pump. The fuel tank was restored, and the warranty can be transferred to the car’s next owner. The battery is new as are a bunch of lightbulbs. This looks like a car that you could just buy and not have to worry about anything for a while. Start taking it to shows and see what the millennials think an automobile that was built like a tank. Hagerty doesn’t seem to think as much of these cars as I would have guessed and pegs the top end at $25,000. I’m guessing it would be hard to find another 71-year-old car as nice as this one that hasn’t been restored, so unless the bidding gets hot and heavy at the end, someone could take have a real bargain.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Nice, no, VERY nice. Quick correction, the 22nd series began in ’48, my grandfather bought a brand new ’48 Custom 8. Packard had a gazillion options, no 2 were alike. I rarely saw black ones, and that hood ornament I’ve never seen, but a nicer example, you’ll be hard pressed to find. Now, if they can just figure out how to start it, be in business. Great find, and one ride, you’ll agree, it was no Chevy or Ford.

    Like 13
    • Howard A Member

      Our 1950 Standard 8 w/1st year automatic. That hood ornament was my grandfathers.

      Like 7
      • Bill McCoskey

        My first car in high school was an almost identical Packard Eight sedan, but in gray metallic and a 3-speed & OD trans. Bought mine when I was 16, from the original owner, it had done only 18,000 miles. Sold it in 1973 when I went into the military, never saw it again.

        Like 4
    • Jim Swickard

      Howard, my Dad bought a new ‘49 in black, plus had a black ‘49 Henny Packard Hearse to match. We lived in Charleston, Illinois, only about 100 miles from where this one is located. Very likely this was our family car.

  2. Stan Marks

    Pure beauty. I can hear the low rumble sound, coming from the muffler.

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      Don’t forget the “whistling fuel filler”,,,

  3. Francisco

    I could remember riding around in a car like this when I was a kid. Thinking about it, I can almost smell the exhaust leaking from the muffler into the back seat. Now I realize why I always had a headache and got carsick when riding around with my parents.

    Like 1
  4. MikeH

    On the battery cutoff switch—chances are the battery is under the driver’s side floor boards, and on the floor, just in front of the seat is the logical place to put it. Very convenient.

    Like 2
    • Bill McCoskey

      Nope, battery was a long thin version, sat next to the engine, left side.

      • Stan Marks

        Bet you wish you still had it. We all wish we had our favorite old cars. My crystal ball wasn’t working.

      • Howard A Member

        Long 6 volt tractor battery can still be found. There was a hole in the inner fender to help cool the battery.

  5. charlie Member

    1. The mother of a good friend had one, and drove us kids a lot, and rarely used 2nd gear since the shift was such a long reach for her. I was really into cars and asked why, she told me, and said, other than steep hills at low speeds, you did not need it. It would pull from a stop in 3rd, but it used a lot of clutch so other than to demonstrate it, she did use 1st.

    2. Many new cars draw a lot of current when sitting still and have aftermarket battery cut off switches (usually under the left front fender – or right if the battery is on that side) if they are going to sit for more than two weeks – I had a car at the Reno airport for several years and it was often 6 weeks between visits to it and it always started (Toyota) but the staff at the garage was always moaning about having to jump start new Mercedes and other “fine cars”..

    3. And if this goes for less than $15,000 it is a bargain. You can drive it at 70 mph all day with the overdrive, but I would put on radial tires first. And a dual chamber brake master cylinder, and new brake lines. A great car for a tour, like the Great Race (if you can afford it!).

    Like 9
    • Stan Marks

      Great observation, Charlie.

      Like 3
  6. Luke Fitzgerald

    Real car.

    Like 3
  7. Dave

    The comments make this listing. Memories

    Like 3
    • Stan Marks

      Listing or lasting? Just asking..

  8. JEFF

    parents bought one new in Milwaukee , since cars were hard to come by,,,, cost $3000.00 my mom said they even charged for the steering wheel,(Ihave the original sales slip) straight eight ran smooth but 10 miles to the gal. and I got car sick riding in this car quite often. I got it running a few yrs ago ,but have to again as it has sat for a few yrs,,, and it does ride very nice

    Like 3
    • Chuck Dickinson

      It would’ve had to be an optional ‘deluxe’ steering wheel to charge extra for it.

      • Stan Marks

        One question, Chuck…..

        What if you decide not to get the optional steering wheel?
        Does it still come with a column?

    • Howard A Member

      Not sure about the steering wheel charge ( there were shysters back then too) my grandfather bought a new ’48 Custom 8. We found the original bill of sale from Edwards Motor, I think, in Milwaukee. He got 3 options that weren’t standard, the Cormorant hood ornament, $18,( lot of money for a hood ornament, $217 bucks today) a rear view mirror, $3, and a radio, I think was $25.( over $300 bucks today) It had the 3 speed with O/D and electro-matic clutch, possibly included in the Custom 8, the bill said nothing about them being options. Some say you could balance a nickel on the cylinder head when running, it was that smooth. And to start it, you floored the accelerator, which also flooded a hot engine. “Ask the PERSON who owns one”( adjusted for today)

      • Bill McCoskey

        Howard,

        I’ve spent 50+ years showing people how easy it is to balance a nickel on edge, on an IDLING Packard straight eight.

        On a Custom Eight, the Cormorant hood ornament was standard equipment, but not the outside mirror or Radio.

        The standard steering wheel for the Eight, Eight Deluxe, and Super Eight cars, was a brown painted version The Ivory plastic wheel was an option on those, but standard equipment on the Super Eight Deluxe & Custom models.

        Overdrive and the Electro-matic clutch were both options on all levels & models. Probably 95% of Customs were ordered with Overdrive and EMC, typically only the Custom Eight Henney Packard hearses were not equipped with OD.

  9. Stan Marks

    Re: losing your cookies…
    I bet you sat in the back seat.
    Did you have to pull over?
    Or did you keep the window down?

  10. M Kieffer

    Battery shutoff was an anti theft device. J C Whitney sold them!

  11. JEFF

    Stan,, I do have it and it is a 48 2 dr I forgot to mention

    • Stan Marks

      Gotcha, thanks.

  12. Fred Wiley

    Auction ended Oct 11, at 7pm .Sold for $10,000. that was a bargain. Car appears to be in good condition. The hood ornament is the Flying Wing. I have a 1948 Deluxe with the same ornament. The cars were pretty basic as manufactured but there were many options that could be added from the factory and others from the dealer. Dealers made extra money selling and installing options like sun shades, fog lights, bug screens, bumper attachments, and spot lights. A Ivory Colored steering wheel was available made out of that new stuff called plastic.

  13. Jeff DeWitt

    The capacitors in the radio are probably bad. New caps, an alignment, and maybe a vibrator and it would likely work fine.

    • Stan Marks

      Jeff, You talking about a car, or a woman?? LOL!!!

      • Bill McCoskey

        Stan,

        Unlike the later Packards, the 1941-47 Packard radio was made by Philco, not Delco. Even in 1978, the Philco 4-pin vibrator was becoming hard to get.

        About 1978 I walked into my local NAPA parts store needing a vibrator for a 1947 Packard radio.

        The following conversation is true, really! And he was 100% serious!

        Me; Hi, I’m looking for a Philco 4-pin vibrator, got any?
        Parts man; Nope, sorry. Maybe you should try the sex shop down the block.

        This was the same 18 year old man who, when I asked him for some Champion A4 10mm spark plugs, asked me what they fit. I replied “1948 Packard”. His reply? “Sorry, we don’t sell foreign parts here!”

        His dad, the owner of the NAPA franchise, and I were good friends, and I never let him live down those comments his son made.

        Like 1
  14. Rick Robbins

    Great Aunt and Uncle had this very model and in black. I always thought it was cool when I was very young. My father had a Studebaker dealership at the time so I was and still am partial to Studebakers.

  15. Roger Buck

    My father bought a 1947 (tall narrow grille) in 1950 from a neighbor down the street. I remember him writing out a check for $1000 on the hood of the car.

  16. Kenn

    The whitewalls and skirts add class and style to this beautiful machine. Wish I had room for it.

  17. Mitchell Ross Member

    Wow, sold for just under $10 grand. I can’t think of a better way to spend that money

  18. Stan Marks

    Bill, that’s a riot. LOL!!!! The younger generation… What do they know??

    You know where Philco began? I’m sure you do. But some of the youngin’s here, may not. Break the two halves of the name Philco.
    You have Phil.-co.. Founded in 1892

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philco
    .
    Here’s the wiki of the founder.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo_Farnsworth

    • Bill McCoskey

      Stan,

      Well I guess as someone with an education background in electrical engineering, I better know who ‘Ol “Philo T” was! He was the guy who basically came up with the technical ability for video transmission and reception, but never quite got the credit. His bio is worth reading for anyone interested in learning about early electronics.

      • Stan Marks

        You got it, my friend.
        Don’t recall if I asked..What part of the country do you call home? I’m in western Pa. On the Ohio line.

  19. Bill McCoskey

    Stan, I’m on the DelMarVa peninsula, in Kent, Co, MD, about 15 min from Delaware.

    • Stan Marks

      Gotcha…..
      I’m a mile north of I-80, east of Youngstown, Ohio, in Hermitage, Pa.

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