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The Perfect Christmas: 1942 Packard 180 Touring

1942 Packard 180

Christmas is nearly upon us and it’s time to get those wish lists in to Santa, or your signification other! I’d say I’d like to find this 1942 Packard 180 Touring Limo under the tree this Christmas, but truth is I want this one to come a bit early. Hopefully Santa can get it to me in time to take the sleigh above it out for a Christmas Eve sleigh ride. If he can get it to me early enough, I might even have time to load up the entire family to go cut down a tree! Alright, so maybe I’m dreaming a little too much, but seeing this Packard with the sleigh, wagon, and artificial tree conjures images of a ’40s Christmas. This Packard can be found here on Hemmings with an asking price of $7,500. Thanks goes to Mark E for the tip!

Packard 180 Interior

In its day, this Packard was one of the finest cars you could buy. Everything about this car was top notch luxury, from the fine interior to the big straight eight. Packard introduced the 180 series for the 1940 model year. The 180 was Packard’s crown jewel and featured impressive features for the time, including optional air conditioning, the first power windows, and partition glass in limo models that completely disappeared when lowered. Sadly, when war time rationing and production began in 1942, Packard was forced to stop production of these lovely cars. Before making the change over to war manufacturing, they managed to build about 2k of these big limos. Of those built, very few remain today.

Packard 180 Limo

As with any limited production car, restoring this 180 is going to be expensive. The seller claims their Grandfather was an avid Packard collector and purchased it in ’75. He never got around to restoring the car, but he did keep it stored in a climate controlled garage. Before passing away, he told his grandson that 90 percent of the needed parts to restore it were in the car. I’m not sure if he means that the car was 90 percent complete or if he had 90 percent of the needed parts. I’m sure either way it is going to require a lot of work and loads of money to finish it. The asking price actually seems quite reasonable for the last of the pre-war Packards to be built, but restoration costs put it outside the realm of affordability for many of us. For the time being I might just have to be happy with restoring the sleigh that’s on top.

Packard 180 Touring

For a 70 year old car, this Packard is in surprisingly solid shape. It is starting to show it’s age, but I don’t see serious cancer. Of course I would want to inspect it closer, you just never know what might be hiding underneath it or in the areas you can’t see. I hope someone saves this piece of classic American luxury. It was built in one of the most interesting time periods and is a symbol of a bygone era. This is one of the few cars I could justify spending the money to restore. I can only imagine all the incredible stories this car could tell and I’m sure the next owner will create countless memories with it. So, would you tackle a project like this?


  1. jim s

    interesting items in the photos with the car. going to need a lot more photos or a very detailed PI of car and parts. very nice find.

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  2. Don Andreina

    Cover pic makes it look like it has antlers. Nice find

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    • keith

      the packard exists but the seller sold it earlier this year when he was offered 2500 usd..later changed his mind and did not refund the funds…now i see it at 7500 usd.

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  3. Barry Thomas

    Josh, I love the old classic limos. Not sure about value of a restored model, but if one is doing this out of “love”, then it would be a great project. These cars certainly had presence that, many (or most) cars these days lack.
    Barry Thomas’ “Wheel to Wheel” blog

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  4. Mark E

    Josh: Production on the 20th series 180 lasted 5 months and provided only 672 cars, only a fraction of which were limousines. Your figure of 2,000 is maybe the entire production of Packards for that year.

    That being said, consider this: a friend of my father’s had a 1942 110 Packard convertible. (The 110 was the cheap, entry-level Packard) The owner searched FOR DECADES and could not find a pair of tail lights for his car. Now, admittedly, this was during pre-internet days but it goes to show how rare just common parts could be.

    Another item? In the interior shot, see the big bare open spot in the middle? Packard put a big fancy insert in there made of that new-fangled cutting edge material…what’s it’s name? Oh yeah, PLASTIC! During WW II research developed the plastic we all know and love today but the first early plastic was more like a pretty (but very unstable) bakelite. A 1941 or 42 Packard with that plastic insert in perfect condition is nearly unheard of and, to my knowledge, repros of it are not available.

    Whoever buys this car has a big job ahead of them but when they’re finished they’ll have a beautiful AACA full classic car which would be worth enough that he or she could put $100k in the restoration and still come out ahead on. I hope someone takes it on and restores this grand old girl!


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    • Mark E

      Here’s a pic of the interior of a 1942 180 showing the plastic center piece & insert around the clock. You can also see the other various knobs & pieces as well as the steering wheel, all of which did not hold up very well to extreme conditions…


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    • Josh Staff

      Hi Mark, Thanks for all the added info! I got that production number from PackardInfo, so I assumed it was correct, but I thought it sounded way too high for a prewar Packard. 672 sounds more accurate to me!

      This car really is a beautiful machine, but I’m sure it is going to cost an arm and a leg to restore. Just its size alone will make it more expensive to restore, not even including some of the exclusive features like the plastic dash insert. But boy would it look good done back up to original condition!

      Thanks again Mark!

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  5. fred

    Looks like this one spent some time outside before the owner garaged it- but not too bad. Years ago I purchased two Packard 110’s on Ebay (a couple of years apart, to sit in front of my antique mall as attention getters & eventually sell). The first one came from Canada and was exactly as described- a 1937 car, maybe a 10 year old restoration that was very close to Concours quality. Needless to say it came inside at a hint of rain. Was really sorry to see it sell. The second was a ’38 that was not even close to the description. It looked ok in photos but smoked severely and could not make it up the hill to the post office! The owner conveniently left that part out of the description. Both were purchased around 2002- 2003 for under 10K. A lot has changed since then!

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  6. fred

    This photo looks just like the ’37 Six I had . Sigh…

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  7. Dan Strayer

    Before anyone gets too excited about this find, I’d HIGHLY recommend going to Packardinfo.com and looking at the posts there of how the seller has behaved toward potential buyers.

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  8. That Guy

    It took a few tries but I finally found the thread Dan Strayer refers to. This seller sounds like a piece of work. You probably want everything in writing and documented in triplicate before giving him more than a token deposit. Forget sending a commercial carrier; you better do this yourself. Make sure you have several big, surly “associates” with you when you show up with your transporter; keep them well in the background but visible enough to send the message. And make sure the car and all the parts are out of the garage before you fork over the cash.

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  9. jimmy

    does it come with the wagon/carriage on top!

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  10. David McKee

    If I’m not mistaken, this is the same model of Packard that Hank Williams Sr. and the Drifting Cowboys used as their band transport/hauler back in the late 40’s

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