Solid 1936 Packard Coupe Hot Rod!

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Sometimes something in a more primitive form can be incredibly appealing. As you can see from the photo, this 1936 Packard 3-window coupe is primed and ready for sale with a starting bid of $15,000 and no reserve. A VIN is listed and the title is said to be clear. The car is currently located in Muskego, Wisconsin. You can view the listing on here on eBay.

From a mechanical standpoint, the engine is a 350 cubic inch Chevy V8 connected to a 4-speed manual transmission. A Camaro rear end is under the car, and none of the parts are specified by year or origin other than what is listed. Currently, the car does not run. If you have plans on restoring it, the original engine and transmission will come with the car, so you do not have to source those.

Not a single thing is listed about the interior. The photos show it is primitive but effective. According to the listing, the body was taken right down to the metal, etched primed, and has black urethane primer, which is what you see presently. There are underside photos of the car and it does look to be in very good shape. What little rust there is appears to be superficial surface rust on the frame and suspension components.

The seller says that a body and fenders in this good of shape, with so much metal still intact, is hard to find. When you stop to think about it, that does make sense, especially for a car this age. It would be really neat to keep the car as it is presently looking, get the engine running, and slap a number on the side and put stickers on it, to mimic a stock car type look. Working to get it to dominate autocross would be awesome in my opinion. What would you do with it?

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  1. Todd FitchStaff

    Wow. Love this. Nice one, Brentton! Autocross, eh? That would be interesting… probably magazine-worthy. I like the old-school stock-car angle, but I’d favor a ’60s-style street fighter look. Wish we’d seen it before the primer. Packards of this vintage are amazing whether stock or modified. Whatever the new owner does, it’s one sweet ride.

    Like 5
    • Capt. Doug

      I drove a 1936 Packard 120CD as my DD High School car in the mid 60’s, stored it when I left for college and sold it 30+ years later. The Packard appraiser said it was the most original car he had seen.
      That was only because my Dad refused to let me hot rod it as a teenager. Even though I bothered him weekly.
      This 115 coupe for sale is about as close to that high school dream I have ever seen, with some period looking interior, Packard Blue paint, original wheels and hubcaps, this is just the rod I always wanted.

      Like 6
  2. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    Solo II Autocross?!?! That’d be a real kick in the pants-even just to watch! But they’d put it in some crazy class because of the drivetrain change, wouldn’t they?

    Like 1
  3. Zach

    This car deserves to be properly restored. Save the hatchet jobs for the Fords and Chevys.

    Like 2
  4. JeremyD

    Leave it in primer. Maybe some pinstriping, leave it looking like a moonshiner’s car.

    Like 2
  5. Steve R

    Cars like this don’t have much of a following. People are fond of saying that muscle cars will soon drop in price because the current owners are aging out of the market and there will be no one interested in them. That has happened with oddball makes like this Packard. It may be cool, and probably used good parts, but the purchase price, plus the cost to finish is hard to justify. If interested, id let it sit on the market for a while, then make an offer substantially less in a few months.

    Steve R

    Like 3
    • Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

      The age of the 1st gen hot rodders is dwindling and the price of their cars have already begun to falter; you’re right, Steve R., our group is slowly diminishing as well as is evident by a larger number of our gen muscle cars being sold completed vs “shade tree mechanics” doing their own mods.
      The next trend, as was pointedly pointed out to me-& correctly so-in an earlier BF review this week with clean CRX’s and S10 type pickups as the Golden Chalice for the their holy grail.
      Ashtray to ashtray, rust to rust….
      Good find, Brentton.

      Like 2
      • Steve R

        The fall off of muscle cars will take longer and be more gradual. It won’t be as severe as the cars built prior to the 1950’s, they are actually driveable in stock form, they also have a large following of younger people. Muscle car era cars are still relevant in popular culture, not so with most earlier cars. The really rough cars should be used ignored by buyers, but cars that have survived in relatively decent condition will always have a market.

        Steve R

        Like 2
      • Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

        That makes sense, Steve, and it’s encouraging-from the aspect of longevity in our appreciation of “Go-Fast” machinery.
        But then the downside is we won’t be buying a Bud Moore Mustang or a Yenko Camaro for pennies on the dollars any time soon…😢

        Like 0
  6. OhU8one2

    Streetrod all the way. Why? You tell me when was the last time you saw a Packard streetrod? Myself, I would check out all the factory available colors, then choose one of them and paint the car that color. Then add A/C system and drive it everywhere.

    Like 7
    • BlondeUXBMember

      … then add some taller original looking wheels/hubcaps/trim rings/tires for a real sleeper.

      Like 1
  7. John S

    Tough call… The original engine & misc. are included, but most likely need to be rebuilt… The interior needs, well, everything… then the body work & paint. As a stocker, the cost vs. return on investment may very well be up-side down.
    As a rod, all of the above applies, however in today’s zany market, who knows? BUT if a guy can do all his own work and really wants a classy cruiser, it can be accomplished. I do think the price is pretty steep for what’s offered.

    Like 1
  8. Robert G

    All Packards are worth a lot of money with the original power train in them. It would be a shame to botch it up. In the current configuration with the original power train installed back into this vehicle it is salvageable.
    This car is well worth the money if there is the original power train comes with it as he says.

    Like 3
  9. Joel G Chamberlain

    I am just finishing a 1936 Packard 120 Touring Sedan. This car has a 1937 Grille and dashboard for whatever reason. Sold early or weird title issue? Who knows? 120’s and 115’s are called Junior Packard’s and the guys with the big expensive senior cars won’t even turn their heads for these models no matter how nicely restored, so I say, ok to street rod it. A Packard at a street rod show really turns heads. There were only 5 at the Midwest Street Rod Nationals here in Springfield, MO last month out of thousands of cars. This one is well on its way and would be tough and expensive to restore.

    Like 1
  10. Jack Quantrill

    This looks tuff, just sitting there! A beauty!

    Like 2
  11. Dairyman

    It’s a 115 that makes it automatically a 1937. That’s why it has a 1937 dash in it. This coupe in the original configuration would be worth somewhere in the $25-30k range. They are nice cars to drive that have no problem keeping up with modern traffic up to 60-65 mph. Someone made a desirable car into a chunk of scrap. There are several hotrodded 1930’s Packard coupe on the market and failed to sell.

    Like 4
    • Kurt

      Fully agree DM- fully restored to stock with a Packard drivetrain and one of their beautiful stock Packard colors, this would look awesome.

      Like 3
  12. Coventrycat

    I suppose it’s better than sitting rotting away, but I would never hot rod a Packard. I don’t have a problem with it as long as it’s tasteful, meaning no Grant steering wheel or stupid looking shifter.

    Like 1
    • Ken Carney

      It would be tasteful if I did it CC. I’d do it the way Larry Woods did his ’32 Nash Ambassador in ’72. Saw his car in the September ’72 issue of Rod & Custom Magazine and man, was it awesome! Stock look outside with all the modern stuff underneath. Mr. Woods took the time to build the car to incorporate the old and new in such a way that the build was
      seamless right down to the ’32 Lincoln KB rims wrapped in period correct wide whites with modern brakes behind them. This car could be that and a whole lot more. All it takes is the
      right person to finish the car the right way with no short cuts.
      Not all street rodders are butchers and Larry Woods’ Nash was
      the proof. Just wish it was me doing the building!

      Like 1
      • robert g

        I don’t know if that is such a good idea. I have seen people dump $200,000 and more into the customization of a car only to have the vehicle drop in value to the point where they could not get twenty thousand dollars for it ten years later.
        No matter how careful or expertly the modifications are done the value of this car will drop like a stone after it is modified.

        Like 2
  13. charlieMember

    Neighbor restored a ’38 110 or 115 convertible, got a crate Packard 6 engine, did the body work and other mechanical work himself, had it painted and upholstered professionally, found a canvas top somewhere, buyer flew from CA to NH to look at it, bought it, and drove it back to CA. 65 mph much of the way, no problems at all.. What amazed me throughout the process was how simple it all was. The car, that is, not the process. A chassis, fenders, upper framework, doors, hood, trunk lid, etc. Another neighbor had a ’35 Chevy Standard, still with wood frame members and canvas insert in the top. Not much to that car at all. Wood obviously rotted somewhere, since doors would not close tight, interior a mess due to leaks in roof, but simple to restore, but never would be worth the cost of doing it. It screamed RAT ROD.

    Like 0

    Folks love old cars because there is NO Plastic, NO electronics, with bench seats, the possibility of fixing the car yourself. The bench seats allows a guy the ability to hold his sweetheart as he is driving. Those were the good days.

    Like 6
  15. Al

    Leave the outside original except possibly the paint- metallic looks great on these cars as it’s ‘softer’ and won’t clash with the strong lines on the car. Upgrade the mechanicals to bring the driving ability up to today’s standards and you’ve got a car that can go anywhere and still be appreciated for it’s historical value. I’ve done that with my ‘34 REO Coupe that has been in the family for 71 years.

    Like 0
  16. Robert G

    The old power train was sufficient to drive that car anywhere, updating it just devalues it.

    Like 0
  17. Al

    I was thinking mostly about brakes, steering and suspension. My ‘34 drove like a tank and braking was a nightmare. Ok for short trips. Not ideal for long ones. I agree if value is what your looking for. But not for enjoying extensively.

    Like 0
    • Bill

      Really like the REO,
      I’m the one that brought the Packard!

      Like 0
      • Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

        Very cool, Bill! Keep us all updated on any changes you do-it’s a truly unique “ride”.

        Like 1
  18. TimM

    Looks pretty close to being done!!! Looks like it’s just missing the (yuck) wiring!!!!

    Like 0
  19. 1st Gear

    GASSER ! GASSER ! ! GASSER ! ! !
    I need to say nothing more.Thank you very much.

    Like 0
  20. Robert G

    This car is way too expensive to chop it up, and it is far too heavy for a gasser. It would be a huge waste of money for that. Do you want to pay $20,000 for a car that your are only going to use the body for a gasser?

    Like 0
  21. Bill

    Well guys, I have bought the car. And I like it just the way it is!

    I am a carpenter and have changed the wood on the inside. The dash was to rusty so I painted it metallic gun metal gray! Me and my wife have put the front windshield and back glass in!

    The car sits at a shop for now. I have asked for disk breaks up front. And want to keep the old suspension. Still a lot of work, but I think it will be on the road for the year 2021.

    Like 2
    • Al

      Well done. I’m sure you will enjoy the car.

      Like 1

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