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1940 Packard Super 8 160 news, pictures, specifications, and information

Rollson Convertible
Coachwork: Rollson
 
As the 1930's drew to a close, the Packard Motor Car Company found itself facing a dilemma. The newly introduced Junior Series cars grew in popularity, but the Senior Series cars suffered. The economic and political tone of the country dictated a new norm and unfortunately for Packard their higher priced cars began to suffer. By 1940 the manufacturer, largely under the direction of George Christopher, cleverly placed even more distance between the two lines. Prices for Packards ranged from the very modest (less than $700) to the very expensive (over $6,000) for the custom coachbuilt 180 series cars.

This car appears to have similar characteristics of a Darrin but actually is a one-off from the Rollson Co. of New York.

This is the only car produced on a 160 or 180 chassis with the body by Rollson. The 160 series was produced with a thermostatically controlled grille shutters; they close when the engine is cold.

The owner purchased this car in the early 2000s from the previous owner of 25 years. The car has been sitting and was in need of a total restoration. The current owner restored the car and returned it to its original appearance.
Convertible Sedan
Chassis Num: 13772130
 
This 1940 Packard 160 Super Eight Convertible Sedan is a left-hand drive vehicle with a yellow exterior and a green interior. It is the Ex-Billy Wilder, Academy Award-winning screenwriter, director and producer, vehicle. It is powered by a Packard L-head, 356 cubic-inch eight-cylinder engine that produces 160 horsepower. It is equipped with a three-speed selective synchromesh transmission with column-mounted gearshift controls. Braking is provided by the four-wheel hydraulic drums.

Due to the economic turmoil of the early 1930's many manufacturers struggled financially during this period. One of the most devastated areas was the luxury car segment as the pool of potential buyers dwindled even further causing competition to rise quickly. This was true for Packard who saw their Junior Series of cars grow in popularity while their Senior Series suffered. By the start of the 1940's the company was under the direction of George Christopher who continued to further distinguish the Junior and Senior series. The entry level Packard's cost around $700 while the top-of-line offerings would set the buyer back $6000. This was a small fortune at the time and a very expensive price that only few could afford. The top-of-the-line vehicles were the 180 Series with coachwork done by custom coachbuilders. Later, the Seniors were renamed to the Super Eight 160 and the Custom Super Eight 180. They were outfitted with the new 160 horsepower engine which was adequate enough to keep these rolling luxury machines moving along at a comfortable pace on the road ways.

The Series were distinguished by a number of visual items such as the hubcaps and hood louvers. The One-Sixty also featured the 'flying lady' mascot while the One-Eighty carried the cormorant.

The example shown was auctioned at the 2006 Christies Auction in Monterey California at the Monterey Jet Center where it was expected to fetch between $100000-$120000. At the conclusion of the bidding, it had found a new owner at the price of $111625.

Mr. Wilder became the first owner of this car. His purpose was to chauffeur Ginger Rogers and her mother to an from the set where Ginger was at the time cast in the film, 'The Major and the Minor.' The film was being directed by Billy Wilder. After the film, Mr. Wilder retained the vehicle and remained with him at Paramount Studios as a symbol of Hollywood's Golden Age. In 1946 it was traded to a mechanic for a Cadillac. The new owner kept the car until his death in the 1970s. The car was then sold to a collector who resided in New Jersey. The car was kept in storage for twenty years.

The car received a restoration and was awarded a Senior CCCA Award. The car was purchased by its next owner in 2005 and was transported to its new home on the West Coast. A minor restoration was undertaken and then shown at the Palo Alto Concours d'Elegance where it was awarded a 'Best in Class'.

By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2011
Convertible Sedan
Chassis Num: A2304599
 
High bid of $77,000 at 2009 Worldwide Auctioneers. (did not sell)
Packard introduced the Eight in 1924 and was the first Packard to employ four-wheel brakes. The side-valve straight eight engine developed 85 horsepower. The model line-up initially comprised ten models on two wheelbase lengths. A few years later, in 1927, Packard enlarged the engine. In 1929, a smaller Standard Eight was introduced while the larger engine continued to power the Custom and DeLuxe Eights. By 1933, they had been re-christened 'Super Eight', by which time all Packards had synchromesh transmission.

By the 1940s, the top of the line Packards were known as the Super Eight 160 and the Custom Super Eight 180. Both were powered by a 160 horsepower engine which was powerful enough to carry the stately bodies. These two series were distinguished by a number of visual items such as hubcaps and hood louvers. The 160 was given a 'flying lady' mascot while the 180 carried the cormorant.

The 1940 Packard 160 Super Eight was introduced in August of 1939. Only 5,662 examples of all nine body styles were produced in the 160 Series for 1940.

This Convertible Sedan retains its correct and original engine and transmission with optional overdrive. It has been given a full body-off restoration and remains in excellent condition. It has the Stayfast convertible top, a Packard Maroon exterior, and leather interior painted in matching maroon.

In 2009, this Super Eight-160 was offered for sale at the Houston Classic Auction presented by Worldwide Auctioneers in Seabrook, Texas. It was estimated to sell for $85,000 - $100,000. The lot failed to sell after achieving a high bid of $77,000.

By Daniel Vaughan | May 2009
Touring Sedan
Chassis Num: 1376
Engine Num: C-500648
 
Dubbed 'Blue Max', this Packard 160 Touring Sedan has won firsts in class at many concours events following its ground-up restoration. Its victories include the 2002 Silverado Concours, the 2002 and 2003 Hillsborough Concours, and the 2003, 2005, and 2007 Palo Alto Concours.

The 160 was Packard's top-line open car in 1940 and was equipped with a big straight-eight engine and a three-speed transmission with overdrive. One unique feature of the car is its thermostatically controlled grille shutters, which would regulate the cooling airflow through the radiator based on the engine's temperature.
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Darrin
 
This car was purchased new by James Palmer of the famed Palmer House Hotel in Chicago for his then-girlfriend, motion picture actress Dolores Del Rio. Eventually, the car was sold (or traded) to Palmer's friend John Ringling North of circus fame. It remained in a Sarasota, Florida shed for many years until discovered by car enthusiasts.

The 1940 One-Sixty Darrin Convertible Victoria sits on a 127-inch wheelbase chassis and is powered by Packard's legendary 160 horsepower, 356 cubic-inch straight eight engine.

The 1940 Packard was the industry's first production model to offer air conditioning.
Convertible Coupe
 
When James Ward Packard had some complaints about the Winton automobile he had purchased, he was challenged by Alexander Winton to build a better car. So he did. Packard ran his first automobile on November 6th of 1899 and, along with his brother, William and George Weiss as partners, founded the Ohio Automobile Company, selling Packard automobiles in 1900. On October 13th of 1902, it officially became the Packard Motor Car Company.

They introduced a number of design innovations, including the modern steering wheel, which helped to propel Packard as the favorite among the wealthy, both in the United States and abroad.

A popular part of Packard lore is the story regarding a potential customer who sent a letter to James Packard. They requested information about the dependability of his cars. At the time, there was no sales literature. Packard, President and General Manager had no time to reply personally to the writer, so he told his secretary to tell the gentleman to simply, 'Ask the man who owns one.'

Since first published in an advertisement in Motor Age on October 31, 1901, it became arguably the most famous slogan to ever original in America.
A company whose name has always been recognized for its production of luxury automobile, the Packard Motors Company was based in Detroit Michigan before shifting to the Studebaker-Packard Corporation of South Bend, Indiana.

Producing their first automobiles in 1899, the brand continued on the market until 1958. Today, Packard vehicles are still sought out as priceless collective by fans.

Entering the 1940's with an entire new style and more reasonable prices, the Packard was now innovated with eletro-matic clutch Econo-Drive and over drive.

Introducing a less expensive line of car, the Clipper line was introduced in 1941. A direct competitor to the Cadillac 61 Series, the Clipper is responsible for moving Packard's sales ahead of both Cadillac and LaSalle sales combined.


On February 7, 1942, all passenger car production was halted by the U.S. Government and Packard switched to war production. At the end of the war in 1945, Packard wartime production had reached 55,000 aircraft engines and more than 12,000 marine engines.

Besides producing aircraft and marine engines, Packard also developed a jet engine. Packard-Henney ambulances were also used extensively throughout the war, and Packard staff engines were utilized by Generals Patton, Eisenhower and MacArthur.

The Packard facility had managed to make $33 million during the war through their jet and aircraft engine sales and decided to use the money to renovate the facility. Costing approximately $2 million dollars, everything was completely renovated.

Possibly the most important period in Packard's history, after the war ended the company was stepped out of the role of master car engine builder. They were now faced with intense competition from the 'Big Three'.

By the end of the war, Packard had a total of 1793 dealers, the most dealers in its history, and all were hungry for cars.

At the beginning of the war, the Clipper had been exceptionally modern and a vehicle that everyone wanted. Following the war, the four year old design now seemed old and outdated.

The Clipper Eight Standard (2101) and the Clipper Eight Deluxe (2111) were introduced October 19, 1945.

With a small engine that only measured 282 cubic inches, two body styles were available on the 120' Clipper chassis 2101.

A 4-door touring sedan and a 2-door sedan, with body numbers 1695 and 1692, both came on a 120' wheelbase.

The price of these vehicles ranged from $1,500 to $2,150.

A continuation of the Clippers that were introduced prior to the war, the
Packard eight models were an effort to modernize the model and speed up production.

Concentrating on the Clipper design and deciding to drop all other lines, including the very Packard looking senior cars of the early 1940's, the new series would still have to provide the luxury synonymous with the Packard name. Packard had a very affluent clientele that kept high standards.

In 1946, the introduction of the Clipper Six 2100 and 2103, and the Super Clipper 2103 and Customer Super Clipper 2106 was launched. The following year brought out the new Super Eight and Custom convertibles.

The older bodies were sold to Russia where they formed the foundation for the Ziss cars.

Purchasing the whole lot, including the 110, 120, 160 and the 180, everyone benefited from this venture. Packard no longer had any use for the older models, and their value was little more than scrap.

During the 1946 and 1947 model years, the factory had returned to vehicle production, but unfortunately the slow start affected production. A total of 80,660 Packards are made for ‘46 and ‘47.

Making it the widest vehicle in production at the time Clippers were now designed a foot wider than tall.

In 1949, the 23rd series Eight and Deluxe Eight were introduced by Packard. A total of 117,000 cars were sold this year, though the luxury car sale had dropped substantially.

Briggs Manufacturing, a maker of Packard vehicle bodies, was bought out by Chrysler in 1953. Choosing not to continue the present arrangement between Briggs and Packard, Packard was forced to locate another body maker quickly. Fortunately, a deal was arranged with Chrysler in 1955 to temporarily produce Packard bodies.

In November of 1955, the 56th Series Packard Patrician and 400 and the Caribbean were introduced by Packard. The last Packard cars ever produced, June 25, 1956 marked the end of Packard.

By Jessica Donaldson

Packard: A Brief History

Packard entered the 1940s firmly ensconced at the top of Detroit's luxury car market. It also saw the looming demands of war-related production coming and rationalized its line wîth the elimination of the complex and expensive Twelve. It was replaced by the Custom Super Eight One-Eighty, carrying Packard's senior custom body line. Five were Packard Customs, two were bodied by Rollson, and the balance of three was created by Darrin. Luxuriously equipped and lavishly trimmed, a One-Eighty could set its buyer back by $6,800 or more depending on special requests and options.

The success of Packard's move was amply demonstrated when 1,900 One-Eighties were sold, more than four times 1939's production of Packard Twelves. Sales of the new One-Eighty were boosted by the reception and publicity which one of its new custom styles - the new Darrin Convertible Victoria - received, described by Packard as the 'Glamour Car of the Year,' a claim that was more accurate than advertising hype.

Source - Gooding & Company
Station Wagon
Designer: Hercules
Chassis Num: 1372-3281
Engine Num: C505313F
 
Sold for $220,000 at 2013 Gooding & Company.
This Packard One Sixty Super 8 Station wagon with coachwork by Hercules was once in the Bill Harrah collection. It was restored by the Harrah Automobile Collection ship in Reno, Nevada. It has several special features including an air-conditioning unit. This Woody wagon stayed with the Harrah collection until 1986, when the collection was sold in one of the largest single-owner sales of automobiles in history.

The current owners acquired the car in 2005. It has accrued fewer than 10,000 miles since the restoration work was completed. It is painted in cream and accented with chrome. Inside are brown leather seats, vinyl roof, and wool carpet. There are three leather-finished benches that seat eight.

The air-conditioning unit fitted for Mr. Harrah was removed to preserve the automobiles correctness, but remains with the vehicle.

In 2013, the vehicle was offered for sale at Gooding & Company's Scottsdale, Arizona auction. It was estimated to sell for $200,000 - $300,000. As bidding came to a close, it had been sold for the sum of $220,000 including buyer's premium.

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