Time Capsule: 1948 Packard 8 Sedan

front

For many years Packard built wonderful luxury cars, well known for their smooth running engines and comfortable ride. In their final years, styling was, well, an acquired taste. The “bathtub” styling was considered futuristic at the time. This Packard is listed on craigslist in Tarrs, New York with an asking of $6,000. The seller purchased it from the original owner who parked it 1962. It is said to have only about 35,ooo miles.

engine

The engine has had some new bits, but it looks amazing, like they’ve detailed the engine compartment. The engine is a 145 horsepower, 327 CID flathead eight. The trunk looks like it’s been restored, but it is possibly original.

left

They provided just the one picture inside and the dash looks really nice. If the rest looks as nice, that would be amazing.The paint is said to be original with no damage history. It might look really nice with a good polish and waxing. This definitely looks like a car you could just buy and drive. Not many think it beautiful, perhaps, but I hope the new owner keeps it original and treats it well.

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Comments

  1. Marty Member

    And that’s exactly what I would do with it, buy it, and drive it….after I lost the red spark plug wires and the flex radiator hose. But other than that, I love it as it is.

  2. Luke Fitzgerald

    If the story is to believed (wow) and is anywhere the way it looks – double wow

  3. Luke Fitzgerald

    Just opened ad – I think Dave’s right – trunk looks a bit fresh -still and all, I like it – that steering wheel!

    • Davnkatz

      I kept looking at the trunk and wondering where I had seen something like that before. Suddenly it hit me! looks exactly like the spray-on bed liners used for pick-ups. I do not ever remember a car trunk with that treatment. In fact, luxury cars especially – and Packard was such – were fully covered with CARPET.

      Just took another long look and I am wondering WHAT is being covered. Just call me skeptic!

      • Bill McCoskey

        The trunk is all original. They were sprayed with an asphalt based undercoating, then a simple removable carpet [same material as in the rear seat floor area] was set on the floor of the trunk, nothing on the sides. This car is not the cheap “Standard 8” or “Deluxe 8”, it’s the middle line “Super 8”. You can tell from the outside by the chrome beltline trim extending down the sides of the trunk lid. The Super also had the 327 engine, the other cheaper cars had the 288 engine.

        Over the years I’ve had about 25 22nd series Packards, from the very rare 6-cylinder Taxicab, to the big Henney built Custom 8 limousines. I’ve had 4 or 5 of the Standard & Deluxe cars, and a few of the Super 8 cars too. I currently have a Super 8 sedan, and a Super 8 convertible Victoria that I found in a junkyard in the Barstow, CA desert back in 1985.

        Once had a 1950 Packard Custom 8 with the 356 9-main bearing engine, the car had 1,100 miles on it when I got it about 1987. I am not exaggerating when I say that the car could not be heard running unless you listened at the tail pipe. One of the cars I regret selling.

  4. Charles

    Sweet!

  5. Kevin

    three on the tree

  6. grant

    So….the seller bought it from the original owner, who parked it in 1962. This is a 68 year old car. So the original owner had to have bought it brand new at around 20 years old. These are assumptions yes, but safe ones. That makes the original owner somewhere around 90 ish now. Not impossible but getting up there. Now the rub. Would a 20 ish year old man have chosen a Packard of all things for his brand new ride in 48? This is a family car. So I’m sorry, but I’ve heard too many story’s not to have some questions about this one. Not saying it isn’t true. But I’m skeptical. And that doesn’t even reflect on the car, which is very nice, aside from the questionable trunk treatment.

    • Gerry

      Totally agree…..

  7. john

    Erudite scepticism Grant! Lovely car though.

  8. Mark E

    If this car runs & drives and needs nothing major done to it, it’s a screaming deal at today’s prices. I’d put these Packards up against a Rolls of the same year. Heavy & well sprung with a smooth as silk straight eight, it will run along at 65mph all afternoon for 20 mpg.

    The only thing I’d personally change is the hood ornament. This has the most uncommon one, possibly because it’s the least attractive. You could order different ornaments at the Packard dealer so why not? Oh and I’d also put wide whitewalls on her. Not usually a fan but they make these cars look twice as big!

    • Ed P

      Wide whitewalls would be appropriate on this car.

  9. Howard A Member

    This sure brings a smile to my face. As said before, my grandfather bought a new Packard like this for $2800 in 1948. ( expensive car then, almost $27,500 today and probably twice the cost of a Ford or Chevy) We had a 1950. While the 327 was the biggest motor you could get, it still didn’t set the world on fire,( the car weighs almost 5K lbs) but as a cruiser, it was tops. Doesn’t say if it has OD, but looks to have the “Electromatic Clutch” ( I see all the gadgetry on the firewall), that sucked the clutch pedal down when you let up on the gas. And who could forget the “whistling” gas filler. ( that was embarrassing at a gas station, and eventually, I’d get gas in 5 gal. cans, and fill it in my garage) I tend to agree with grant, and I believe WoodieMan will agree, this wasn’t a car a young man would buy. My grandfather was 40ish when he bought his. The only way a young man would have a car like this, is if it was passed down from the folks, and then proceeded to trash it, because it really was a barge, compared to what other young men were driving at the time. Great find, but note to new buyer, be prepared to have people say, “A Packard, what the heck is that”?

    • Howard A Member

      Oops, correction, the “327” was the middle or Super 8, the “356” was the biggest, Custom 8. Ours had the “288”, the smallest, just called the “Eight” or Standard 8.

  10. Brad Peterson

    Door liner looks water stained,wonder what the interior smells like

  11. Jim

    Nice find. The story might have some embellishments and the trunk might be undercoated but if you are in the market for a late 40’s 4 door this is certainly a good deal.

  12. Braktrcr

    I always liked these. But I like Nash cars too. Correct me if I am wrong, the starter button is under the gas pedal. Floor it and that engages the starter.
    I think they’re beautiful. You get behind the wheel of this beauty and you will go back in time.
    The trunk… I grew up in the Chicago area, and Ziebart undercoating was a very popular aftermarket treatment. Looks like the trunk may have been treated.

    • grant

      Is that what Ziebart looked like then? I’ve heard of it but never seen. I thought it (the trunk) looked like Rustolleum but again, I’ve never seen the Ziebart coating.

    • Ed P

      The trunk is a non-issue for me. It looks to be in fine shape. If carpet was part of the original equipment, then add it, if it makes you happy.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Braktrcr, yes, the starter was when you floor the gas pedal. It was great for a hot engine and would almost assuredly flood the motor.

      • Ed P

        I’ve also seen starter buttons under the clutch pedal. I wonder how often the starter was engaged when the pedals were pushed to the floor?

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Ed, I always thought that too, but I think there was a relay that cut the starter out once it was running. That would make sense as with these old barges, the gas pedal was on the floor all the time. :)

  13. Chris A.

    My favorite is the 1941 Packard Clipper sedan. Much lighter looking than the post war “Bathtubs”. Twenty-five years ago I found a ’33 Packard Roadster with the standard 8 and a 1937 Super 8 sedan in western PA. There was a sign on the Roadster dash saying “Do not attempt to start-cylinders have been filled with oil”. Second sentence said “undercarriage has been greased”. Car really looked good sitting on the blocks but I didn’t have $16K.

  14. 53MGTD

    This car is in Tarrs Pennsylvania not New York.

  15. AMC STEVE

    I don’t care what the story is offer 4K and drive away.

  16. Thomas Allen

    It’s a candidate for your “flip it” project. Keep us posted. 🚗

  17. Wayne

    We called these pregnant elephants at the Packard dealership I worked at in Oz

  18. charlie Member

    It looks very complete – it has the fender skirts! The paint looks funny though, the blacks would have some iridescence, not as bad as the dark blues, but this looks like it was coated in cosmolene and then left to collect dust. My 4th grade girlfriend’s mother had one, she was not very tall, and amost never used 2nd gear because she had trouble reaching it, even with the seat pulled all the way forwarrdd. She said she didn’t need 2nd, it would go just fine from 1st to 3rd because it was the big Packard 8.

  19. charlie Member

    Buicks of the early 50’s had the same starter arrangement, ’69 Camaro, with standard transmissions had not only the Start position on the ignition key, but a relay under the clutch pedal. My ’68 Chevelle did not, so once, when out of gas, I managed to drive it about 100 yards on the starter motor to get it to a safe place to stop (a gas station, no less).

  20. Silas

    I love Packards. (I own two). This one is very nice, but it is not worth $6G.

  21. Ralph Robichaud

    To each his own (taste that is) but to me this is one of the most stately, unadorned luxury highway cruiser ever produced along with the ’49-50
    Mercurys.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Ralph, mine rolled like thunder!

  22. EU Broker

    My first car was a ’49 Packard 23 series. 288, 3 on the tree. Bought it in the 70’s from an elderly gentleman who lived in the neighborhood. It had the original Philco radio warranty card in the glove-box. The seats were filled with horse hair I think. And an odd electrical system, 6 volt positive ground if I remember correctly? Yes, the starter button was under the gas pedal. It was a huge, heavy beast. As someone else already said, they were known as “Pregnant Elephants” back in the day. Slow as a turtle off the line but a great, smooth highway cruiser. It was an oddball first car for a teenager to have back then but I had a lot of fun with it. My next car, however, was a Camaro, which the girls liked a lot better.

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