Uncommon Woody: 1948 Packard Station Sedan

Whenever the term “Woodie” gets dropped into a conversation our minds often think of Fords, Mercurys, and other makes and models. Most likely at the end of that list is this uncommon Packard Station Sedan. Built from 1948 until 1950, these rare converted Packard Super eights were not quite wagons, nor were they sedans. Having a limited success, and limited production, it is easy to assume that there aren’t many remaining. This specific car appears rot free, but has clearly baked in the Arizona sun for a very long time. Not a complete basket case, but in need of a lot, this rare Woodie is offered at $3,200. Find it here on craigslist out of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Those accustomed to looking at Packards, will have their eyes thrown off by this modified wagon like Station Sedan. The roof line is a standard Super Eight roof, with an extension, and it’s Woodie like wagon section. The front doors have typical steel window framing, but the rear doors have wooden window framing. Also the doors look to be standard modified Super Eight doors to accommodate the Woodie wagon design, as well as the Woodie inserts in the doors themselves. Claimed to have only covered 38,311 miles, it is always difficult to trust older documentation, and the condition of the car as well. Though the low mileage really means nothing on a vehicle that needs a full restoration anyways.

The inside of this Packard is rough, but has a semi complete interior. Some items are missing but also there are some parts stored in the back of this Woodie, so perhaps the important parts are present. There are some rust holes in the floor board, and I suspect there may be more as this wagon is no longer water tight. The dash looks acceptable, and the seats, and door panels look reasonable as well, but are likely dry rotted, and stained.  The passenger door panel and accessories are missing, and some of the glass in this Woodie is cracked needing to be replaced. The cracked glass all appears to be standard Super Eight glass, although the Station Sedan specific rear window is missing.

The unique and interesting rear end on this Packard needs some help. The tailgate is barely hanging on, and the rear glass as mentioned is missing. Most of the wood is present, but it is closer to being petrified than it is anything else. Perhaps patterns could be made from the remaining wood? The sheet metal looks good on this car with no rot on the exterior, but with thinning paint, and surface rust.  Also the sheet metal appears reasonably straight as well. There is some trim work missing, and the front bumper is missing as well. With no photos, or info on the engine, the flathead inline 8 is in unknown condition. The seller is an avid Packard fan and unfortunately her husband passed before taking on this cool project. Uncommon and rare, this Packard seems worthy of a restoration. Woodie’s always seem to be that much more work, and more challenging than a standard vehicle restoration. Are you up to the challenge?

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Comments

  1. Fred W.

    From the driver’s side, looks like the “side guard beams” they started putting inside doors in the 70’s. Could be a very nice car restored.

    Like 2
  2. Howard A Member

    I want to hear from Woodie Man. I think it’s too far gone.

    • RayT Member

      Howard, I think it could be restored — and should be — although I can’t say it would make financial sense to do so. Even if one couldn’t order up ready-made replacements for the wood bits, I’m pretty sure someone with woodworking skills could do a fine job of making new pieces. And I have little doubt Packard enthusiasts could help with the necessary mechanical and trim items….

      I like the looks, and would be tempted (all other things being equal) to take it on for that reason alone. And, as is true of most cars I like, I haven’t the slightest idea what its resale value might be. I have always found that out when it was too late!

      • John

        In cherry condition, they sell easily for around $100k.

  3. redwagon

    @ fred w. at first glance the picture looks interesting. the green, ash and mahogany colors go well together – and then the more i look at it the more i realize how chopped it appears. the wood panels on the doors just seem to hang there in space as if someone just slapped them on. my mind wanders to what if i just removed the door panels and left the wood around the windows? that might look much better. and then i imagine that wood gone too and in my mind’s eye the design is much better. as someone who appreciates wood in other facets of life i hate to say it but this car would look better all steel. and perhaps easier to restore to boot.

    my opinion.

    • Ed P

      I like the wood around the side windows. The lower door trim, not so much.

      Like 1
  4. JCW Jr.

    I might be tempted to replace the wood with steel and have the wood look painted on. If parts are unatainable then restomod. It would be a nice vehicle any way you did it. From stock restoration to wild custom or restomod. I usually ljke factory restored ,but every once in a while one screams at you to rod it.

  5. Pharmag8r

    I have a 48 Station Sedan that is waiting to be restored in a little bit better condition than this though it is still a huge project. I like the Buick better and the older ones even more but I love wood so I hope that someone will restore it. Planning to pull the 46 Spartan travel trailer so we will most likely restomod it.

  6. Woodie Man

    Howard- Anything can be restored as you know. Combine deep pockets with determination and voila you have a $150,000 invested in a $50,000 car.

    The upside of this is the wood is not structural. Having owned a ’50 bathtub as my first car as you know, I have a weak spot for these ungainly Packards.

    That said even though I am in favor of saving just about everything, I agree with you this might better serve as a parts donor……..

    But then again the someone with way more skills than I might try to rescue it. Geomechs for example!

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    I certainly doubt if there are any wood kits available. A person would have to access the blueprints to be able to fabricate new wood pieces. Definitely not the kind of project I’d be willing to take on but it would be worthwhile for the right person. Sure would be a beauty in its original glory….

    • Mark S

      I’d love to take this on, have worked with wood for many years, carving and sculpture along with cabinet making are my hobbies, to bad I’m not in a position to take this on. The risk with me is I’d want to relief carve roses on the door panels. the openings look pretty straight forward I’d say it wouldn’t be to hard to draw up your own plans. The wood work would be the best part of this project and would kill me waiting to do that part. I’d prefabricated the wood and I wood use red cedar because of its resistance to rot. I’d then coat it in apoxy resin followed by automotive clear coat, cedar is a beautiful wood with a lot of grain and colour it would look fantastic and would last as well as the metal. This car should be restored and as you say Geomechs this would be a great project for the right guy. I’d love to have this car.

      Like 1
  8. Jeffro

    Should of called Terminix!

  9. BRAKTRCR

    The sellers husband passed away. I’m happily married, but perhaps she would be willing to adopt me? 67 el Camino and a bunch of other stuff in the background. And cement, lots of cement. Ok just a bit jealous. Hope she does well selling it. I think it would do better on eBay. Much wider audience

  10. JoeyB...
  11. Lumpy

    I think I’d sooner pay the 55 for the one JoeyB found than try to rescue this one…That being said, I do hope someone takes this on.

  12. Pharmag8r

    Values for a while were at around 100K but the market seems down on a lot of cars right now.

    I want the sun visor off of this one.

    • Brad C

      You can have that visor for a paltry $3,200. Comes attached to an awfully ugly car.

  13. Chebby

    Going by that first picture, you could remove all the wood, put storage lockers in the doors, and have the world’s first utility-body cargo sedan.

    Like 1
  14. Paul B

    As you can see from JoeyB’s post, the maroon ones are gorgeous. There was one in this color in my hometown in the 1960s. A quietly wealthy elderly gentleman owned it and he was always seen in suit and tie and driven by a chauffeur. As interesting as they look in photos, these cars knock you out with their class and elegance when you see them for real. Somehow they are just above and beyond everything around them. Still, I would be very fearful to take this on. What a massive undertaking. But the person with deep enough pockets and access to the right skills will have a thing of uncommon if downright strange beauty.

  15. Rex Kahrs Member

    You could fabricate the wood parts out of treated lumber, which would match the green paint!

  16. Howard A Member

    Fireman Chet Kelly ( Tim Donnelly) had one of these in the lame Emergency TV series.
    http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_682052-Packard-Standard-Eight-Station-Sedan-1948.html

  17. Charles

    WHOA! Big bucks to restore this Packard. Wood alone would be a steep price, if you could find someone who does this type of woodwork. Then, the engine, drive train, interior…..a off-frame rotisserie at best…. $100K at least .

  18. gardener

    these old cars are hard to fit and finish but that said not all that hard if you have the tooling and time a 36in curve finder will get you a long way a72in would be better and just basic wood working joints sand paper and scrapers the missing parts the packard club would be a big help but the $$ would kill you if you didn’t do a lot yourself.But they are one of the most beautiful woodies going.Good luck to the new owner and have fun.

  19. Rustytech Member

    That’s a lot of work, and definitely well beyond my skill level, but boy when it’s done that’s going to be one gorgeous wagon!

  20. 86 Vette Convertible

    As someone that has in the past been asked to make some car and boat parts (walnut dash, some missing Woody parts, internal cabin parts, etc.) I have the knowledge and tools to do it. Unless you’re truly ‘in love’ with it, it’s going to cost a pile of time and money to get new wood parts for this unless you somehow find NOS parts or someone already reproducing them. I do furniture restoration on the side so I have pretty much ever tool required but not enough patience to take it on again. Like was said, it would take a pile of money along with a lot of time to get these missing wooden parts reproduced. You’d likely have to do a lot of steaming or laminating to get the right profiles on the parts so add into the mix the need for various ‘one off’ bucks to make your parts. Then add machining etc. to it along with a lot of cussing.

    Love Woodies but this one looks to be a money pit before it’s done and that’s just in the wooden parts.

    Like 1

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