Parked For 50 Years: 1937 Packard 120 Hearse

Here at Barn Finds, we are always looking for the unique and unusual. This 1937 Packard 120 Hearse is for sale here on eBay for an opening bid of $14,850. The car is located in St. Louis, Missouri and was recently rescued from a 50-year slumber in a parking facility in Long Island, New York.

Originally painted black, this Packard was used as a Hearse in Brooklyn, New York until it was sold to a collector in the 1960s. Today, the car is painted green and needs a complete restoration. The Packard is powered by a 282 cubic inch straight 8 cylinder engine and a three-speed manual transmission. The engine is seized and will need work or replacement.

The body of the car was manufactured by Silver-Knightstown Body Company of Knightstown, Indiana and sits on a 158-inch wheelbase. The interior looks original and dusty.  Both sides of the car are adorned with dual-mounted spares and the seller states that new tires were mounted to ease mobility. The interior has a factory heater, dash clock on the passenger side, and a Motorola 504 car radio in the wood-trimmed dash.

How would you like to see this view of the car as it pulls up behind you at a stoplight? This car is a project but it looks like most of the hard to find pieces are there. While it has been used as a Hearse in its early years, I think it would be a neat car to drop the kids off at school.


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  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    Well it’s a pretty narrow group of people that will take on a car like this and it needs everything. In saying that I think the price is about $10k to high. I’d rebuild the motor and put it back in, that alone is going to cost some coin. It’s just to big for my liking which makes storage for most of us difficult. Even if I had the resources I would not want this car, a coupe would be a different story.

    Like 6
    • Chris M.

      That was my first question. Does anyone actually take on an obscure monstrosity like this? Regardless of money.

      Like 1
  2. Bob

    I agree. At least $10,000 too high.

    Like 7
  3. Doc

    That price should be $200
    No one in their right frame of mind would spend the countless hours restoring this car used to haul dead bodies in its prior life unless proven it was someone of very significant historical last ride.
    Sorry, but this car has little value restored even if it is a Packard .

    Like 3
    • Tyler

      There is a robust niche market for coach-built cars like this, and “it hauled dead bodies” doesn’t put off adults who aren’t scared of the dark. I personally would LOVE to have this, or a late-40s Packard or Caddy coach to haul my upright bass and amp to gigs in fair weather. For $14k? Nah. But I’d throw down a few grand for a solid starting point like this if it was local. I’d be curious to know what the seller paid for it…probably closer to $200 than $14k!

      Like 6
  4. Kurt

    Just throw a couple of surfboards in the back,you’ll sell it here on the Left Coast!

    Like 4
  5. Fred W

    This is one of the better looking “barn find” hearses of this vintage I’ve ever seen. Two way radio is there because it most likely also served as an ambulance. If you are creeped out by hearses, you could always go that route. Don’t see it ever bringing anywhere near that price though.

    Like 8
  6. Arby

    Al Capone’s last ride?

    It would be good if you had a haunted house attraction.

  7. JohnfromSC

    Actually, I think that the best use of this would be for a funeral home to buy it, put in a new, reliable drive train, restore the body and use as originally designed. For a high end funeral home, this would make one heckuva way to make your final exit. And given the price of a brand new hearse, $$ could work if priced more realistically. Agree with others that the price is at least $10K optimistic.

    Like 4
  8. Dave

    I can’t think of a better way to haul a classic car enthusiast to their final resting place.

    Like 9
  9. Ted

    Hope someone with a half million they would throw at it, buys it. Imagine this pulling into the Nats, dressed in super shiny gloss black, in the weeds. Would be unforgettable. Maybe Kindig will see it.

    Like 1
  10. 71MKIV

    gotta dollar the the price is the parking fee

    Like 1
  11. ken tilly UK Member

    Bruce. “I think it would be a neat car to drop the kids off at school.” I don’t think so. If the kids of today are anything like my kids were 45 years ago there is no way that they are going to get anywhere near the school gates. I used to have to drop mine off at least half a mile before the school.

    Like 4
    • Miguel

      You actually listened to what your kids said? Why?

      Like 1
  12. Ross

    You would be better off making a deal on this one it is in canadian money.

    Like 5
  13. Gaspumpchas

    way overpriced, IMHO. The problem with the engine compartment on these is it’s very narrow and not long enough for a v8 to fit, Had a friend who swapped in a small ford 6, and even for an engine that small there was no real estate left under the hood.

    • Kurt

      Actually rebuilding the original drivetrain is the best imho and I would put in the biggest straight eight Packard made, with a BW overdrive. There are enough fans of the macabre who would love to have an old restored hearse, but they are all as broke as I am,I think…hey, steampunk Goths,anyone?

      Like 2
  14. Rodney - GSM

    Yes, drop the kids off at school or the mortuary. Their choice.

    Like 2
  15. Lemble

    Road in the back of a hearse/ambulance from Michigan to Dayton Beach twice. It was a good ride and one of the best long drive cars I have ever road in. We got to lay down and sleep in the back while the others drove until it was our turn to drive. Plenty of room for luggage on back even with us laying down. To bad the cost would be to high for the normal person the rehab this the way it should be done. These large cars are hard to store and sell later on. People just do not like to see these in a museum, I think they would rather look at the same old belly buttons. A little info, there is a gathering for these in Hell Michigan every year in the fall.

    Like 1
  16. Ken Cwrney

    I’d update the drivetrain, restore the rest,
    and then use it as a cadaver hauler. You
    just can’t get much better that. If memory
    serves me, the Arora model car company
    made a customized version of this car
    in the mid to late ’60s. I believe that it was a 1/32 scale kit that didn’t take you
    too long to assemble it. She must’ve been a grand old gal in her day. $14K is
    way too much for what you get here. Bet
    if I offered him $1K he’d take it.

    • Rodney - GSM

      Yes, the Aurora car was black with a lot of skull and crossbones decals. No chrome plated pieces so you had to paint the trim silver. It even had a shovel that mounted to the side of the hearse. For a 12 year old it did not get any cooler than that…

      Like 2
  17. Ken Carney

    Hi Rodney! I had the kit you speak of though I think that one was a ’39 LaSalle hearse. And instead of painting the trim silver, I glued aluminum foil over the grille and bumpers and
    hubcaps, and used pieces of tinsel for the side spears that ran
    along the beltline. Now that I think of it, the ’37 Packard kit was
    an ambulance instead of a hearse but did indeed look the same.
    I used to have a bunch of ’em back then. Even had the old Pyro
    kits too. Used to take the bodies and mount ’em on 1/32 scale
    slot car frames and race ’em at our local slot car tracks. Who
    knows, it might b the way to own every car you ever wanted!

  18. Dovi65

    She’s a Long Island girl. I’m a Long Island boy. I’d love to have her. Alas, time, & budget aren’t in agreement. Granted, the market for such vehicles is small, but I sure hope someone saves her, and gets her back on her wheels again. $4500 would be a better starting point, settling somewhere in the $3k range.

  19. Miguel

    Where on earth are people getting their prices?

    Like 2
    • Rodney - GSM

      …clearly from the afterlife.

      Like 1
  20. PatrickM

    Clean it up. Renew as much as possible, including a newer engine, brakes, p/s, pb, a/c and sound system and hang a Tommy gun in the back window. Paint it jet black, buy some 1930’s pin striped suits, get a skimmer hat, dress the wife in a flapper dress and paint the town red. Got any idea how many heads you will turn? I dare say all of them. Oh, how I wish I could do that!! I have a lot of friends who would not be able to stop laughing for a week.

  21. Kurt

    The plot thickens, so to speak…one bid, a nice one.

    Like 1
  22. Stevieg

    There actually is a market for these. I used to be a member of the PCS (professional car society) & this would be the belle of the ball at their meets.
    If advertised in the right periodicals, this could bring big bucks!
    I like it, as I like a lot of things. But I would prefer the Landau body style.
    I am not familiar with the Silver-Knightstown coach builder. Maybe that was the company that made standard Packard bodies, but I am fairly certain they didn’t make this. I could be wrong, but I am 90% certain I am correct on this one.
    If not restored, it would be begging for a Cummins inline 6 diesel, but I would hate to see that happen to it.

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