V12 Luxury: 1937 Packard 1508 Touring Limousine

In crime dramas of the period starring James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson, Packards like this are the getaway car–after the Tommy guns have said their piece. This is a 1937 Packard 1508 Touring Limousine with a 144-inch wheelbase, a divider interior, and a V12 engine. It’s for sale here on eBay in Strongsville, Ohio, with a clean title and bidding to $8,600 (with reserve not met). Don’t you want to rescue it?

Considering how long ago 1937 was, this car is not all that bad. The biggest “oops” is that the engine and transmission are out of the car, but the drivetrain doesn’t look too bad in the photos. I don’t see the carburetor, but supposedly it’s included and the engine is “complete,” though not running.

The rest of the car is rough but not terminal, and the vendor says it lived for more than 50 years in an actual barn. Maybe it had to be hidden away after the hit on the cross-town rivals. The interior is the Packard’s best asset, and it’s even possible that most of the upholstery (black leather in front, tan cloth in back, as was standard limo practice) could be saved. The headliner is definitely toasted, but even the jump seats look good. Who doesn’t love a good divider window? This one appears intact, and maybe even rolls up and down.

The dashboard looks good, too. The body appears accident-free, and most of the trim is there, minus a hubcap or two, some badging and the radiator ornament. The bumpers are there but you’ll need to have a good chrome shop on speed-dial. There are no undercarriage shots, but the only visible rust is the surface variety popping up through what’s left of the (possibly original?) black paint.

These cars were very opulent in their day, competing with the V-16 Cadillacs, and this one was undoubtedly quite elegant—check out those dual side mounts. The owner thinks there could be big bucks for the buyer/restorer in using the Packard in a limo business, but that seems a rather déclassé approach to what is, after all, a Full Classic. How about a movie car instead?

Restoration will not be cheap, even if the V-12 turns out to be in good condition. (But if that was the case, why would they have taken it out?) The resurrection of this big beast is going to be years in the making, with the body off the chassis and multiple specialists at work and parts suppliers engaged.

Anybody priced bodywork lately? I just got quoted $1,300 for little squiggles of rust on the flanks of my Saab 900 Turbo convertible. An open checkbook will be necessary to bring this Packard back to its original ready-for-Hershey-when-it-opens-back-up glory. Have you got one of those?

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Comments

  1. JerryDeeWrench

    My check book is open but empty. Love this automobile.

    17
    • Alan Volk

      I know the feeling.

      4
  2. William Shields

    I agree. It would be a headturner but when I opened my chequebook it just laughed at me and said “not in this lifetime sport!😝”

    11
    • RGSmith1 Member

      Mine didn’t even have the nerve to let me to even get close!

      2
  3. Bultaco

    I’ll bet that V12 weighs at least 1000 lbs.

    6
  4. brian boyer

    saw the carb in one of the E-Bay photos.

    1
  5. Farhvergnugen

    Emerged from a Big Sleep off a short pier…check for dead bodies, Marlowe…

    5
  6. Johnmloghry

    Yeah, big money in restoration here. I do hope someone with adequate finances brings this beatiful limo to show quality condition, it deserves the best money can buy.
    God bless America

    8
  7. Bob McK Member

    What a fantastic find! So wish I had deep pockets. It will take tons of cash to make her beautiful again. Best to the new owner.

    5
  8. Chuck

    Restomod. Hellcat power. Modern amenities, suspension, brakes. Drive it.

    4
  9. Harriston Richardson

    The guy that works for BIG HOSS on Las Vegas Pawn ,He,s one of the best i ever seen. Bet he could take on this one.

  10. Harriston Richardson

    I once saw a Cadillac from Al Capones time in a Auto Magazine for sale , it was listed as Possibly belonging to Frank Nitti but it never actually proven ,and you know who he was in The Untouchables right?? It was a Black Cadillac similar to this one that was in the magazine. They were asking 10000.00 at the time.

    1
  11. Chuck Simons

    TO the aficionados, was the roof open? I see a welded panel in there.

    • Mountainwoodie

      I’m thinking there was a leather panel in the center of the roof.

      What a magnificent beast!

      1
  12. Bill McCoskey

    Use this very expensive car in a limo business? That’s a great idea, if you want to lose even more money! I’ve yet to meet anyone who has been successful in running vintage cars as a limo service. Most people who do try to accomplish it finally give up after 3 to 5 years.

  13. George

    Rebuilding that V-12 will be between $10K to $20K depending on machining and internal parts needed! A Distributor cap is $ 1200-$1500, for example ! Definitely not for the underfunded !!

    1

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