1938 Packard 1605 Super Eight

James Ward Packard was unhappy with his new Winton car and after returning it to the Winton factory behind a team of horses one too many times, he was challenged by Alexander Winton to build his own car. Packard accepted the challenge and not only built a reliable car but a company that would define the very meaning of luxury in the American car. The Packard built automobiles were exclusive to high society and it wasn't until 1935 with the introduction of the Model 120 that Packard became available to the middle class. The 120 was instrumental in saving the company from certain doom, but along with it, the company still catered to the needs and demands of society's best with a line of 12-cylinder cars. For 1938, the Packard senior cars shared bodies with the eight-cylinder cars. The Super Eight cars consisted of the 1603, 1604, and 1605. The 1603 had a 127-inch wheelbase a single body style, the Touring Sedan. The Model 1604 had a 134-inch wheelbase and seven body styles. The Model 1605 had a 139-inch platform with three factories and four custom body styles.

The Super 8 had a selective synchromesh three-speed transmission, semi-floating rear axle, four-wheel hydraulic brakes, and disc wheels. The engine was an L-head, nine main bearing, straight-eight displacing 320 cubic-inches, and offering 130 horsepower.

The Model 1605 factory bodies included a business sedan, business limousine, and a convertible sedan, with prices ranging from $3,150 to nearly $4,000. The Custom styles demanded a much higher price and new for 1938 were the addition of a Rollston Town Car and two Brunn customs including an all-weather cabriolet and a touring cabriolet.

The 1938 Super 8 had a pressurized radiator cap, pontoon fenders, electric clock, and cigar lighter. Buyers had the option of purchasing accessory packages that included the Custom Accessory Group or Deluxe Accessory Group.

For 1938, Packard Super 8 production accounted for just over 4 percent of the company's 55,718 vehicles built.


by Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2019

Related Reading : Packard Eight History

The Packard Motor Company relied on making luxurious cars that were highly refined, fitted with luxurious coachwork, and powered by proven engineering. This belief had placed them among the elite in the auto industry during the early 1900s. As the world entered the Great Depression, the Packard Company was one of the few that managed to survive. In fact, they outsold all of their competitors combined.....
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1938 Vehicle Profiles

1938 Packard 1605 Super Eight vehicle information

Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Dietrich

Engine Num: A502325

James Ward Packard purchased a Winton automobile and had some complaints about it. He was subsequently challenged by Alexander Winton to build a better car. He accepted the challenge, and Packard's first automobile fired up on November 6th of 1899. A....[continue reading]

1938 Packard 1605 Super Eight vehicle information

Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Dietrich

The Dietrich label was typically reserved for custom, full bodied, and special ordered cars from Packard. By this time, Packard was doing most of its coachwork in house. This beautiful Dietrich Convertible Sedan is both big and sleek. The coachwork i....[continue reading]

1938 Packard 1605 Super Eight vehicle information

Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Dietrich

In 1938, the Packard Super 8 Convertible Sedan sold for $3,970 and was one of the most expensive bodystyles in the Super 8 Packard line-up. It was a five-passenger car riding on a large 139-inch wheelbase and weighed 4,945 pounds. It was equipped w....[continue reading]

1938 Packard 1605 Super Eight vehicle information

Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Dietrich

This 1938 Packard 1605 Convertible Sedan may have been originally purchased by silent movie star Zazu Pitts. The vehicle was restored in 1995 and has traveled over 20,000 miles on tours in the United States and Canada. ....[continue reading]

1938 Packard 1605 Super Eight vehicle information

Sedanca de Ville
Coachwork: Barker

Chassis Num: A500689
Engine Num: 396128

This 1938 Packard Super Eight has a Sedanca deVille body built by Barker. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, this Packard was driven from Toronto to Palm Beach, Florida by chauffeur, Walter Bibby. He would then collect his employers and the owner....[continue reading]

1938 Packard 1605 Super Eight vehicle information

Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Bohman & Schwartz

Packard produced 55,719 cars in 1938, very commendable since this was a recession year which occurred as part of the Great Depression. Of these, 2,478 were Super 8 models. Packard would go on to survive until 1958 when it ceased production. Several o....[continue reading]

1938 Packard 1605 Super Eight vehicle information

Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Dietrich

The Model 1605 features a Dietrich-designed Packard body. 1938 was the final year for the Super 8, which is built on the large Senior chassis.....[continue reading]

Convertible Sedan by Dietrich
 
Convertible Sedan by Dietrich
 
Convertible Sedan by Dietrich
 
Convertible Sedan by Dietrich
 
Sedanca de Ville by Barker
Chassis #: A500689 
Convertible Sedan by Bohman & Schwartz
 
Convertible Sedan by Dietrich
 


Concepts by Packard



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$468-$3,165
1938 Packard 1605 Super Eight
$7,500-$9,500
1938 Packard 1605 Super Eight Price Range: $3,165 - $7,500

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Packard
1942Chevrolet (254,885)Ford (160,432)Plymouth (152,427)33,776
1941Chevrolet (1,008,976)Ford (691,455)Plymouth (522,080)
1940Ford (541,896)Chevrolet (541,896)Plymouth (430,208)
1939Chevrolet (577,278)Ford (487,031)Plymouth (423,850)24,350
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)55,718
1937Ford (942,005)Chevrolet (815,375)Plymouth (566,128)122,593
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)788
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)
1933Chevrolet (486,261)Ford (334,969)Plymouth (298,557)4,800

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