Tarp Find: 1937 Packard Super 8 Club Sedan

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Just look at this old Packard sitting there hoping someone will uncover it and make it go again! Certain cars have certain expressions, and this one looks calm but ready to go to me. I know someone out there wants to! It’s located in Cincinnati, Ohio (not California, for once) and is ready to be purchased from this eBay listing, where bidding is unbelievably below $1,000 as I write.

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The seller doesn’t tell us much about the car, other than it’s “rust free” (our definitions must differ a lot, but I’m guessing they are speaking of rust holes), is from Arizona and has sat for the past 30 years. What a shame that a car with this much grace has been just sitting. The body does look solid, although obviously the plating will have to be redone and I’m sure there are dents and dings, like the scrape just behind the rear wheel on this side. Thankfully, the wheels for the side mounted spares are in the trunk.

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It looks like someone tried to buff out an area of the paint on the driver’s door. Not sure how the front fenders would look as they are through to primer in spots, but I’d sure give it a try. When I wash and wax a car, I learn more about it’s body than any other way. I’ve actually washed a car (the owner did look at me funny, but they said okay) before I bought it just to see what was under the years of dust and dirt. Yes, I bought it after washing it! Back to this car–I know this isn’t the V12 or most desirable model from that year, but I think it’s beautiful!

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At first glance, the interior is a wreck. Ok, at second and third glance, too. But, importantly, everything is there, even including what is left of the fabric roof. At least that gives you something to go on as a pattern. Too often I come across cars where an overly enthusiastic neophyte “restorer” has thrown everything away, assuming they could buy new from a catalog, and now there’s nothing to go by when something needs to be created (or imitated) from scratch. On the other hand, this car looks like everything is there to go by.

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And, if everything isn’t there, there’s a parts car that goes with this one that might have it!

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Here’s the inline eight cylinder engine. I’d love to get my hands on this one and make it purr again! How about you? Here’s what it could look like!

 

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Comments

  1. Van

    The dual side mounts look cool, it needs more headlights.

    • whippeteer

      Limbo lower now $19,000
      Limbo lower now $15,900
      How low can you go? Currently $3,750 with no reserve

  2. OhU8one2

    If ever there was a auto manufacturer I wish was still producing cars today,hands down it would be Packard. Obviously some of the best designs ever made. I would sure live to see what they would offer the public today. I’m sure it would be classic,elegant and timeless. In my opinion they rivaled Lincoln,Cadillac all the way through until they closed. Oh what might have been.

  3. OhU8one2

    If ever there was a auto manufacturer I wish was still producing cars today,hands down it would be Packard. Obviously some of the best designs ever made. I would sure love to see what they would offer the public today. I’m sure it would be classic,elegant and timeless. In my opinion they rivaled Lincoln,Cadillac all the way through until they closed. Oh what might have been.

  4. packrat

    Sadly, (as has been oft-said here before), most of these big cars of the prewar era don’t have the following they once did, because the population that really desired them has largely passed away, especially long old four-doors with manual gears and stiff steering like… this happily Unmolested-looking example… They’ve seen prices drop to the point that, actually, if I were able to act unimpressed about the REALLY COOL styling of this undesirable, original, American-designed and manufactured example of an iconic marquee… *tries again* You’ve got to be realistic: This one’s going to take a LOT of work to restore to concours finish, and of course to do it right you’ll have to sink *thousands* in show chrome and a zillion coats of hand-rubbed lacquer, to really do it right, I mean. That’s the only way, of course, because putting a fresh soft top in it while leaving the finish as it is would be Just Wrong. Sad, because you know in its time, it was a remarkable statement of luxury and engineering–and even with the scars on, its styling is still beautiful eighty years later– Alright, I can’t stand it: give up on the chrome, the paint, pounding the dents out for right now: With some fresh mohair inside and a thoroughly sorted drivetrain, this old locomotive will make a regal, Sunday-drive-friendly beast you could comfortably seat the entire family in for soccer practice, ice cream run, and gathering smiles from the walkers all the way as you tool through the park on the day the kids and their friends want to go feed the ducks. No panic if it starts to rain, you back it into the trash can or you want to park it cheek to jowl at Sonic for half-price burger night–one belt buckle scratch does not a tragedy make. *Sigh* I need to work on my poker face, don’t I.

    Like 1
  5. Capt Doug

    I bought a running 1937 120CD very much like this one in 1964 from a barn in PA when I was 14 with my paperboy earnings – cleaned, polished and made it look spiffy until I was old enough to drive and it was my high school car – kept it until the mid 90’s when I lost storage.
    Even with my classmates Mustangs, GTO’s, 442’s, Model A rods and the family passed down 50’s sedans in the parking lot I always felt like I was driving the classiest car of the lot.
    Almost all parts for this car are available mechanically and interior. Check the wiring harness closely but overall it is a fairly simple car and has strong club support and a few help forums online These were one of the best engineered car of their time.
    It can run at highway speeds, within reason, and a very popular touring car that will always attract attention, there is little value to be had in a concourse restoration but it is not a valuable model like the open cars or coupes, so with a mild restoration effort it will be an immense source of pride and a comfortable driving classic.
    The Packard motto:
    Ask the Man Who Owns One!.

    • Scot in San Jose

      Hey Capt Doug
      I will get a Packard one of these days. Never considered a senior Packard because I expected the expense of the interior when compared with the juniors. Am I mistaken?

  6. Jesper

    I love these old cars.
    They maybe doesnt drive like newer cars, but that design is beautyfull.
    Its fine with me, that many dont like them, so i maybe can buy one.
    Its not nessesery to restore it to a price winning show car. Its ok. You can se its a old car.
    Make it driving, and drive it so yongsters can so where it almost began. The golden age.
    I love them

  7. Howard A Member

    Sadly, packrat is right. I’ve gotten lambasted for my views on the aging hobby participants, but here’s a clear cut example. At a recent auction, I saw a car like this, in good condition, not great, struggle to get $10g’s. For anyone willing to take on a project like this, it is not for the faint of heart, or wallet. When completed, a stately car indeed, but you can probably save yourself a lot of trouble, and just go buy one. And these are a hassle to get around in, like driving a truck. 20 years ago, this probably would never have even made it to the classifieds, but today, I’m sure Noel inherited it, and wants nothing to do with it.

    • nessy

      Howard, I don’t think you saw a Packard like this in good condition, struggle to get 10g at an auction. If you saw a Packard, you saw a Junior model 110 or a 120. This is a Senior Packard which is in a totally different class. A Senior Packard is a full CCCA Classic. This is also a formal closed corner long wheelbase model. This is a serious machine, still worth big dollars restored. I’m only 40ish and love big Pre War Classics, having four Packards, two Super 8s and two V12s of this era myself. I have a number of young friends who also lust after cars of this era. There will always be young people around from the new generation who still want these cars.

      Like 1
      • Tom S.

        SCM’s 2016 Pocket Price Guide shows a median value of $40,700, and a best sale of $220,000.

  8. Dairymen

    What do you mean “a hassle to get around in”. I have several of these and the ease of how they are able to get around is astonishing. Remember packard was only second to Duesenberg in the 30’s. They were mopping the floor with cadillacs (I know cause I own both 30’s packards & cadillacs and the cadillacs don’t drive as smooth, easy and quiet.

  9. Rando

    My uncle has a big old Packard that looks at least similar to this. haven’t seen it in years. He bought it as a finished Street Rod. 454. Nice Maroon paint, gray soft interior, wire wheels. Sweet ride. I hope someone does something with this one. Street Rod or restoration – just get that big beauty back on the road.

  10. Dairymen

    Don’t rod it
    There’s a 36 same model street rodded for sale and it doesn’t do these cars justice.

    Like 1
  11. Eric Dashman

    Great looking front end like the prow of ship. Packards of that era were so elegant (and expensive). It’s up over $8K now and 6 more days to go. Wonder where it will end up.

  12. Neil

    This was my Dad’s first project car in the early 60’s. Complete body off restore. It turned out absolutely beautifully. He showed it a number of times in The Classic Car of America shows.

  13. Old geezer

    Very classy car, elegant and graceful. I hope it gets restored to its former glory

  14. Chuck Foster 55chevy Chuck F

    Quite a few old Packards on Ebay, we used to have a Packard Henney hearse like the red one ($12k on bay) back in mid 60s, some vandals set it on fire in Joquel Supply yard in Ft Wayne IN next to Emmaus Lutheran school, maybe 1967. I remember being left in it at night with that burgandy velvet interior while my parents visited friends, such child abuse.This one would be fun to restore while driving, who wants to buy 5 project cars?

  15. Terry

    I’d take a 3/4 ton Dodge diesel and transplant the mechanicals, fix the interior and go go go.

  16. Jack Quintrall

    Friend and I bought one of these, a series 120, straight eight for $75 in 1958. He speed-shifted it and blew the trans. We parked it at a dairy in Downey, CA and left it. Other then the trans , it was in great shape. What fools these teenagers be!

  17. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    Patiently awaiting those rememberances of the Porsche 356 to pass away into the night so I can get myself in one before I do the same. 356A please with optional sunroof & split bench seat.

  18. Bill McCoskey

    As pointed out above, this is a very rare 1501 Super Eight Club sedan on the longer wheelbase [examine the rear door length of the parts car – much shorter]. The current NADA price guide lists the values as:

    Low [running car, needs restoration]: $23,700.
    Average [Nice car, not show winner]; $45,900.
    High [Beautiful, show winner]: $94,300

    If it’s a complete car, and the only body wood rot is in the roof area, This is a great deal, up to about $12k as a purchase price.

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