Packard Perfection

1949 Packard Super Eight

1949 Packard Super Eight

The scene: a Thursday morning. Like any other Thursday. I went to the gym early before work as I often do. I finished up and went to the office. I got out of the car. I got my bag from the trunk. I staggered toward the door. And in the parking lot between me and the warmth of indoors was THIS beauty. Just sitting there. A piece of artwork nestled among the Boring Commuter Appliances. Something different. Something amazing. Something that demanded my attention.

I stood. The 11*F weather suddenly didn’t register on my skin. I gaped. I was not prepared to see something like this on a cold January morning.

After standing long enough for my drool to being to freeze, I went inside to find the owner and beg to take some photos.

Silhouette.

Silhouette.

Delicious white walls.

Delicious white walls.

THAT is a hood ornament.

THAT is a hood ornament.

This car belongs to a colleague of mine named Charlie. The car, a 1949 model, has been in his family since new. Charlie’s grandfather purchased it and it’s just stayed in the family ever since. Every one of the car’s 31,000 miles has been kept in the family.

It is all original. And it’s amazing. A true survivor.

Original grill with factory silver paint inlay.

Original grill with factory silver paint inlay.

Original paint.

Original paint.

Yes, I think I'd also leave that dealer plaque installed...

Yes, I think I’d also leave that dealer plaque installed…

That oval tail light. OMG. Love.

That oval tail light. OMG. Love.

I believe this is a Super Eight. I didn’t actually get the model of Packard from Charlie. But I got small anecdotes of every other feature. This is a 1949, as I previously mentioned. That was the 50th anniversary of Packard.

This nearly knocked me over. 1949 = 50 years of Packards? I had no idea.

Anyways, the Super Eight Sedan was the most luxurious of the Packard cars made that year. It features a straight-8 engine and a 3 on-the-tree transmission. And CLASS. The class just drips from this car.

Open bonnet.

Open bonnet.

Straight-8 engine. I'd never seen one.

Straight-8 engine. I’d never seen one.

Original.

Original.

Just a work of art. The chrome, the lines, the chrome, the curves, the chrome, the split windshield, the chrome… everything just leaves my jaw slack.

Yeah. I’m gushing. Sorry. I’ve not had anything ignite my soul like this in… a while. A long while. In fact, my automotive enthusiasm has been a bit low lately. Having something kick it in the pants like this was badly needed.

Onto the interior. As nice as the body is, the interior blows it away.

THAT is how you do it.

THAT is how you do it.

Seriously.

Seriously.

THIS is the radio!

THIS is the radio!

Plush luxury.

Plush luxury.

I used to think Sharka’s interior was sorta nice. Now… well… no. The epic beauty of this Packard interior is in another league. Another sport. Another galaxy.

I mentioned about this being a 50th anniversary car and it having some small unique qualities. One is the pedals. 1949 was the only year to feature oval pedals. And on the floor rubber are little 49s here and there. I’m sure there are other things. I’m forgetting them.

Not wood.

Not wood.

This is apparently not wood. I sat in the car. I gaped at it. I inspected at close range. It could have fooled me. But no, it is apparently a HAND PAINTED finish. It is rubbed off or damaged on many Packards. On Charlie’s? Perfection.

And then there’s the gauges.

Yeah.

Yeah.

That's the good stuff.

That’s the good stuff.

You could say that I liked the gauges. A little bit. When matched with the wood, the chrome, and THAT steering wheel? Again, perfection.

Once more around the park?

Once more around the park?

I’m finally at a loss for words. Now that I’m at the end, I just don’t know what more to say. It truly is a magnificent machine. I feel quite privileged to have been able to crawl all over and through it for so long and love it with my camera’s lens.

Truly Packard Perfection.

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  • Stoly says:

    That is an awesome story! Not often a true treasure like this one is taken out of the chest and actually driven. Very, very cool.

  • Steve says:

    Original. Holy crap. That has less miles than my low-miles Roadster. Original. Holy crap.

    What jumped out to me is that this car was being driven on a freezing cold January morning. I’ve owned some old cars. And by “old” I mean ’70’s and ’80’s. Getting them to start on a freezing cold morning can be dodgy at best. That this car start, ran and drove…to the gym…and presumably Starbucks, the office, the bank and maybe a local pub for happy hour…is just awesome.

    I’ve been driving Rooster this crappy week because my sister is borrowing my daily. I’ve actually wished I had my comfy daily driver a few times because of the weather.

    Shame on me. Props to Charlie.

    • revlimiter says:

      When you commented, Sharka had been sitting in the same place for about 3 weeks. The weather has just been to cold to fix the leaking clutch slave, so he’s sat with the battery minder peeking out of the trunk.

      Shame on me too.

  • Samuli says:

    First thought that fly into my head when I soo the pic was RESTOMOD, LSx and new suspension etc like the DeSoto in Jay Leno’s garage episode.

    Then when I opened the post my soul started to scream against anykind raping or molesting. Holy batman, what a car ! I’m in love.

    Makes me want one, own one. Just the idea of slowing, opening the door to years gone by, turning the key and flick the soft tone radio on. Slowly go no where and land happily there.

    There is presence in these late 40’s cars that none other has, quiet statement of style still there, fading from pre war era but still to be seen and touched. Stance like no other, standing tall and proud, quietly.

    Cheers
    Samuli

    • revlimiter says:

      Your thoughts echo my own perfectly. I’d seen a few pix of this Packard and always thought new paint and a big motor and and and and…. and then I saw it in person. It is the very definition of perfection just like it is.

      I need a 40s car.

  • Johnny says:

    The Speedo … goes to 11.

    30 years before Spinal Tap, Packard gets it right.

  • Stephanie Wagner says:

    My grandfather had a 1949 Packard, he only drove it to town on Fridays and to church on Sundays..I always thought the car had a very regal feel to it when I was a little girl..beautiful car and wonderful memories.

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