1949 Packard Super Eight 4 door sedan
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Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Features and Specifications
|Drive side:||Left-hand drive|
1949 Packard 200Here's the story of this lovely automobile: In 2015 we bought a 1942 Packard convertible to restore and to drive, and each visit to the restoration shop stretched out over many months. In both 2015 and 2016 the work was so extensive that we didn't get our car until mid August. In 2016 we bought this '49 sedan from a private seller in dry, sunny San Joaquin Valley, California. Six weeks at the Packard restoration shop and an eye-popping nearly $14,000 later we had a quiet, tight, smooth riding, boulevard cruiser that floated effortlessly over bumps and ridges in the road. She started instantly warm or cold and ran without fuss in daily service through the summer of 2016. Then we got our '42 Packard back, and the poor '49 found herself increasingly left aside in favor of her older sibling. That pattern isn't likely to change, so we have decided to let her go to a new home where she can take center stage and be the star of the garage.
We learned a very important thing with this car, namely, don't assume that a nearly 70 year old car is going to be truly roadworthy unless a number of important things are overhauled. Packards are very well built, and an original 1949 survivor may well run and operate more or less in a parking lot and for short periods of time. However, we wanted this car to be a daily driver and to hold her own in Boston traffic, and our mandate to the restoration shop was to put the essentials into reliable working order. This meant disassembly of brakes and replacement of suspension bushings, of work to the front end, the disassembly and deep cleaning of a number of electrical switches and solenoids to make sure that everything would hold up to daily use. It meant having seatbelts installed and faded rear view mirrors replaced with old stock Packard pieces. The charging system had to be thoroughly checked and some wires replaced. Five tires had to be replaced. A plug was installed and a battery smart charger purchased. A supplemental electric fuel pump was installed for instant starts, even after winter storage. A shutoff switch was installed to help save the battery. The factory overdrive system had to be serviced to ensure its flawless operation.
In addition to this mechanical work, the restoration shop replaced door seals and a number of window seals. Our Packard had a lovely interior that had been redone by the previous owner and we wanted no part of having water-stained door panels. The replacement of these seals was arduous and took the restoration shop considerable time, but now that part is done. Our '49 performed magnificently every time we put it in service, and acquitted herself flawlessly in even the most hectic and aggressive Boston and Cambridge traffic. She provided reliable transportation to many a business appointment and gave us much pleasure on weekend trips out of the city. On highways, she would float gently along, smoothly passing over road imperfections, effortlessly gliding along with the flow of traffic at 65 or 70 mph.
Every bit of work was done with the intention that we would keep this car for the next 70 years. No shortcuts were taken. Shifting is beautifully smooth, the brakes are strong the ride is smooth, the engagement and disengagement of the overdrive quiet and unobtrusive.
So is this car a showpiece? Not at all. Mechanically it still needs to have the wipers and radio repaired. It was also our intention to have her repainted, but hey, we wanted to drive her so that was postponed. If you wanted to turn her into a showpiece you'd want to have chrome work done and the interior carpets replaced. That said, you can drive this car as is and have a solid head turner with patina. As I said, the car came from central California and doors, fenders and rocker panels are refreshingly clean and solid.
We need the garage space and this car has to go as we're not using it enough. Yes, the ownership and work we invested in this car cost us money, but we've had a lot of fun with her and we're ok about letting her go to a new home. Have fun bidding!