Pick One: Vintage Cadillac, Ford, or Packard

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The seller here is a collector of vintage cars and – due to some unfortunate circumstances – must let three of them go, all from the post-World War II era. You have your choice between a 1951 Cadillac, a 1951 Ford, or a 1949 Packard – or you could take all three back home if it’s too hard to pick. They’re all available here on craigslist and the range is from $7,500 to $20,000. Thanks for the latest tip, Pat L.!

1951 Cadillac Series 62

From 1940 to 1964, the Series 62 was the forerunner of the de Ville line which would be Cadillac’s top seller for many years to come. The seller describes this 1951 4-door sedan as a “true survivor” which would imply that everything important is original (body panels, paint, engine, etc.). It’s said to be a joy at freeway speeds and has GM’s Hydramatic transmission. Asking price: $20,000.

1951 Ford Custom

In the years following WW2, the Custom was Ford’s second-tier product trim level. We’re told this nice example was treated to a frame-on restoration which includes a rebuilt engine and transmission. Less than 11,000 miles have been added to the odometer since that time. The seller has documentation for the Ford that dates back some two decades. It’s just completed a nice road trip with no issues. Asking price: $15,000.

1949 Packard Super 8

The Packard Super 8 (aka Super Eight) was one of the company’s more stylish vehicles before and after the war. This ’49 example has been off the road for 20 years and is the seller’s current project at 52,000 miles. Some work has already been done, like brakes and the fuel system, but some more effort is needed (cooling system). This is the least expensive of the trio with an asking price of $7,500.

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  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Holy Clementine, Russ, don’t toy with an old mans heart. The Packard is pretty darn close, ours was the same color, but several key differences. We had the cormorant hood ornament, but was my grandfathers, and did not go with the car upon sale. Bill can fill in the vitals, I don’t think this is a “Super 8”, a more fancier car. Ours was a “Standard 8”, and looked just like this, trim wise. It’s possible, though, as Packard had a myriad of options then. No 2 looked alike. The Super 8 had the 327 ( no relation) and our Standard 8 had the smaller 288. Also, ours was an Ultramatic, the 1st year, 1950. Most Super 8s had all synchro 3 speeds and O/D. It was/is a fantastic car, but an update is clearly needed, and at 5,000 pounds, a 4 banger won’t cut it. Even though the saying is horribly outdated too, you can ask the PERSON that owned one.
    In case some new folks don’t know my connection with these cars, I’ll be brief.( that’ll be the day) In 1948, my grandfather bought a brand new 1948 Packard Super 8. It was his 1st new car, and paid $2808, ( when a mere Ford was half that)we found the bill of sale. He got 3 options. An outside mirror, $8 bucks, the cormorant, $28 bucks( now over $300 if you can find one), and the biggie, the radio, that cost a whopping $310 BUCKS! I believe the O/D was standard on that car. He had the car 12 years, when he tangled with a city bus, totaling the Packard, and bought a new 1961 Chevy. If he could have bought a new Packard, we knew he would have. He never served in the war, but as patriotic guy he was, we figured he bought the Packard because of its war efforts,,,,of which we may not have won without them, I might add.
    Fast forward to 1980. We “found” our Packard in a back yard in a Milwaukee suburb, up on wood blocks. It was pale yellow. Upon inquiry, the widow said her late husband parked the car in 1959, when gas got above .25/gallon. It had 40K miles. We restored the car ourselves( with the help of 3 parts cars, bought 2 cars for $300 just to get the visor) and put grandpas hood ornament proudly on the front. Aside from paint and rockers, NO mechanical problems after sitting all that time. Sadly he died before the car was finished, I had hoped to give him a ride.
    So you see, folks, BarnFinds is much more to me than just old cars. It’s cars that hit a nerve, a good nerve, and that’s hard to come by today. Thanks for listening and thanks Russ.

    Like 53
    • Cattoo CattooMember

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      Like 14
    • Don Sicura

      Wonderful story

      Like 7
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

      Howard, this Packard is indeed a Super 8 sedan [model 2272] If it’s a true 1949 version, the VIN will also have a 9 in the number [2272-9-XXXX]. The easiest way to spot the Super-8 compared to the Standard-8 and Deluxe-8 cars is the stainless steel beltline moldings continue half way along the trunk lid. The junior cars end the beltline molding at the beginning of the trunk lid. The other way is the taillights. The Super-8 and Custom-8 cars have 2 red light lens sections per lamp, the junior cars only a single red lens. The Super has upgraded upholstery with wide pleated & button-tufted seating surfaces, and additional chrome sections on the window surrounds, and an ashtray & cig liter for rear seat passengers.

      This car is well optioned with factory accessories, it’s got overdrive, radio & heater with defroster, deluxe radio antenna above windshield, windshield washers, backup light, fog lights [probably with the Packard markings on top], the rare dual [R & L] door mirrors, 15″ stainless wheel trim rings, Cormorant hood ornament, and both front & rear bumper overriders.

      The owner says the engine runs hot, that likely means the brass water distribution tube needs to be removed and cleaned out. This requires the removal of the radiator and water pump, then pull out the distribution tube & clean the dirt from the holes that send water to the cylinder areas. While this is being done, the freeze plugs on the side of the block should be popped out and the cooling water passages pressure washed to removed the accumulated “sand”.

      It’s quite common for long 8 cylinder engines [and a few larger 6 cylinder engines] to build-up “sand bars” in the water passages around the last few cylinders, and those cylinders can run hot. Because the Packard temperature sender is in the rear half of the cylinder head, it can pick up on the higher temps at the rear of the engine. This can result in the gauge reading hot, but the engine not overheating.

      The above work is not difficult, and can often be done in a day or weekend.

      The asking price is reasonable, and the Super sedan is much harder to find than the Standard and Deluxe sedans. This car also appears to be rust free as well.

      Like 2
  2. A.G.

    I don’t believe the Cadillac’s speedometer is correct for a 1951 model. Nice car none the less.

    Like 1
  3. KurtMember

    Having owned a 23rd series Packard I am biased towards it.

    Like 5
    • Boyce “ Stick” Miller

      The Packard is a 22nd series. I agree that it would be my choice of the three.

      Like 6
      • KurtMember

        I would never want to see this Packard hot rodded that’s for sure.

        Like 0
    • skody54Member

      That 51 Ford does it for me. A nice ride, indeed.

      Like 1
  4. Solosolo UK Solosolo UKMember

    I would be all over the Ford followed by the Caddy and then the Nash. All 3 are great cars.

    Like 1
    • Solosolo UK Solosolo UKMember

      Sorry Guys, I meant the Packard, not Nash.

      Like 1
  5. TheOldRanger

    My choice
    1. toss up between the Caddy and the Packard, but would take the Caddy…. then the Packard….. and leave the Ford for somebody else…. however, if the Packard was a 51, like the other two, I would have taken the Packard.

    Like 3
  6. ccrvtt

    The Cad would my logical choice as my grandfather owned a gray 1950 when I was born, but the Packard has a charisma that Cadillac only aspired to until the P cars went away. As the ad said, “Ask the man who owns one.” In this case that would be Howard A.

    Like 2
  7. Stu

    I’ve never been a Caddy or Ford guy but I’d love that 51 Cad and 51 Ford in my garage!

    Like 1
  8. Big C

    The only “more door” I’d be interested in, would be the Packard. Always wanted a Packard, but not enough to pay big bucks for.

    Like 0
  9. Charles Turner

    Love the Packard! Ask the man who owns one……indeed!!

    Like 0

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