1937 Packard 120 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Packard's First Entry in the Mid-Priced 8-Cylidner Market
Packard Motor Company, the leading luxury automobile manufacturer of the world, produced world renown vehicles from 1899 through 1956. It was founded in Ohio in 1899 as the Ohio Automobile Company, then was purchased and moved to Detroit in 1902 and re-named Packard Motor Car Company.
The One-Twenty is an important car in Packard's history because it signified the first time that Packard entered the highly competitive mid-priced eight cylinder car market.
This car is a 1937 Packard 120 Convertible Sedan, with Dietrich Body. It cost $1,355 to purchase in Detroit. A 1937 Packard Convertible Sedan is rarely seen, although the exact number is unknown. This model is equipped with a 282 cubic-inch motor with 120 horsepower, dual side mounts and a heater.
This car was delivered new in Monterey, California on April 30, 1937 by the Stahl Motor Company. History is lost until February 27, 1963 when the vehicle was shipped to Grand Rapids, Michigan. On August 8, 1964 it was purchased by Rolland Eastwood Sr. of Davidson, Michigan. The car sat in a garage for 41 years, virtually untouched until restoration was started. This stunning vehicle re-emerged in late 2006.
Sold for $96,250 at 2010 RM Auctions
In 1932, Packard introduced a smaller, lower-priced car called the Series 900 Light Eight. This had proved a disappointment, but as the Depression continued, the need for a price leader become more prevalent. Thus, the company introduced the One-Twenty, named for its wheelbase. The 120 was introduced in January of 1935.
The 900 had used the same engine as the full-size Standard Eight, while the One-Twenty had a new straight eight, with a smaller displacement than the larger Eight, but making 85 percent of its power. The body was all new, and there were new features that were not yet seen on Senior Packards, such as an independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes.
The One-Twenty models were well received, and nearly 25,000 were sold in the first year, more than three times the volume of all other Packards combined.
This example is painted in maroon with a tan interior. It has a convertible coupe body style and was part of the Lewis Golub Collection for many years. The 282 cubic-inch, L-Head eight-cylinder engine produces 120 horsepower, and there are four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes and a three-speed manual gearbox.
In 2010, the car was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey auction presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $50,000-$70,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $96,250 including buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010
Packard was one of the oldest car companies in American by 1937, and was also the leading luxury marque at the start of the Classic era. Packard built their first automobile in 1899 at the Ohio Automobile Company of Warren, Ohio as the company was then known. It became the Packard Motor Car Company in 1902 and moved to Detroit the following year.
Packard was an exclusive producer of expensive, luxury cars. They struggled through the Great Depression. In an effort to expand production volume in 1935, the company introduced a new line of mid-priced cars called the One Twenty. Priced around $1,000, the car drove Packard to eighth place in U.S. sales by 1938. It was very well-built and featured Packard's first application of independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes along with carrying the prestige of the Packard name. The car was powered by a 282 CID straight eight-cylinder engine producing 120 horsepower. It rode on a 120 inch wheelbase chassis.
This Business Coupe is one of twelve surviving coupes built by Packard in 1937. The current owner purchased the car in 1993 as an anniversary gift for his late wife.
Sold for $63,250 at 2010 RM Auctions
Sold for $93,500 at 2014 RM Auctions
The Packard marque built a reputation for fine luxury cars during their illustrious career. Along with elegant and stately vehicles, they also built robust heavy trucks. Truck production on East Grand Boulevard ended in 1923, but the Packard chassis still proved to be a suitable and sturdy platform to be adapted for practical purposes. Packard service cars and wreckers were fairly common in the 1920s and 1930s. Packard dealers would sometimes use these trucks as a means of advertising the strength of the cars that they sold.
This Packard Pickup rests on the 138-inch wheelbase 138D One Twenty chassis. It originally wore a factory touring limousine bodywork. The body was later truncated aft of the front doors and the back of a compatible pickup cab was grafted on. An original box from another period truck of comparable size was carefully selected and added, and it features a ribbed steel floor. The exterior has been painted black with red pinstripe and there are dual side-mounted spares, white whitewall tires, and an original Packard trunk, which has been integrated into the cargo bed. On top of the truck is an original illuminated Packard Service Car sign. Inside, there is black leather upholstery, a wood-grained instrument panel, a radio, clock, and cigarette lighter.By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2014
Sold for $99,000 at 2015 Barrett-Jackson
This Packard 120 Convertible has been treated to a professional restoration. The car is powered by an 8-cylidner 282 cubic-inch engine offering 120 horsepower. It is finished in its original Packard color of Autumn Gold Poly with a brown leather interior and wood grain dash. The car has been given dual side mounts, rumble seat, factory radio, heater, twin BLC fog lights, and luggage rack.By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2015
Not all custom one-off Packards were built on the Senior series chassis, especially those done in Europe. Coachbuilders sometimes favored the smaller models with shorter wheelbases when designing a car with more sporting intensions, for which the popular 120 Packard and its 120-inch wheelbase proved quite desirable.
This one-off Packard by Hermann Graber of Berne, Switzerland, is four inches lower when compared to factory convertibles. The low windshield, leather bucket seats, and a convertible top with exposed landau irons give it a very sporty yet elegant appeal at the same time. Interestingly, this car was restored by its original coachbuilder in 1991.
The Packard One-Twenty was produced from 1935 through 1937 and again from 1939 through 1941. The One-Twenty signified Packard's move into the mid-priced eight cylinder market; a highly competitive segment that was filled with many marques with numerous offerings, options and price ranges. The move had been made due to financial reasons and the need to stay competitive; the Great Depression was taking its tool on the entire automotive industry but mostly on the high priced manufactures. The lower cost marques also had a tough time but a few were still able to move a considerable amounts of products and wade out this terrible time in history.
The One-Twenty was quickly designed, created, and made ready for sale. First offered in 1935, it could be purchased in numerous body styles that included coupes, convertibles, and two- and four-door configurations. Under the hood lurked an L-Head eight cylinder engine capable of producing 110 horsepower. The price range was competitive, with prices ranging from the mid $900's to the low-$1000's. This combination of mid-cost and adorned with the Packard nameplate proved to be the right combination and in its first year nearly 25,000 examples were created. The rest of the Packard model lines only accumulated to around 7000 examples being sold.
For 1936 Packard increased the displacement of the engine and horsepower rose to 120 and gave the One-Twenty a top speed of 85 mph. A convertible four-door sedan was added to the line-up with a $1395 price tag, making it the most expensive One-Twenty body style. Sales continued to be strong and more than doubled over the prior year. This would be the best sales year for the Packard One-Twenty.
Packard introduced the Six in 1937. This was the first time in ten years that a six-cylinder engine could be found in a Packard. The reasoning was again economics and the constant struggle to stay in business by offering a quality product at a reasonable price. The Packard Six meant that the One-Twenty was to move higher up the market, being offered with more amenities and options. Two of these options were the 'C' and 'CD' trim levels. A wood-bodied station wagon and Touring Sedan were added to the line-up. A limousine body style, sitting atop a 138 inch wheelbase was also available for the first time, setting the buyer back a hefty $2000. There were 50,100 examples of all One-Twenty body styles producing during this year.
To conform to Packard's standard naming conventions, the One-Twenty was known as the Packard Eight for 1938. A year later, it was back to being called the One-Twenty. There were still a slew of body styles to choose from, able to satisfy all of their customer's desires and needs. The price range was competitive, costing from around $1100 to $1856. Though the product and the price were good, sales were slow with only 17,647 units being produced. The recession was taking its toll. Packard had even introduced many new mechanical improvements such as placing the shifter on the column rather than on the floor. For the following years, sales began to rise again, now amassing to 28,138 examples being produced. The name One-Twenty was now hyphenated.
For 1941 Packard offered the One-Twenty in eight body styles. The styling had been modified from the prior years, with the headlamps now residing in and on the fenders.
The One-Ten and One-Twenty were both dropped in 1942 and their names were merged with the Packard Six and Packard Eight lines. The One-Twenty had in production for seven years and 175,027 examples were produced.
By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2010
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