Packard 120 photo

1937 Packard 120


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 toll 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 amount 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 was 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

1937 Vehicle Profiles

1937 Packard 120 vehicle information

Dietrich Sedan Convertible
Coachwork: Dietrich

Packard's First Entry in the Mid-Priced 8-Cylidner Market....[continue reading]

1937 Packard 120 vehicle information

Convertible Coupe

Chassis Num: 10993855

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-Twen....[continue reading]

1937 Packard 120 vehicle information

Business Coupe

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 th....[continue reading]

1937 Packard 120 vehicle information


Chassis Num: 1090-1260

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 ....[continue reading]

1937 Packard 120 vehicle information

Convertible Coupe

Chassis Num: 10993221

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 inte....[continue reading]

1937 Packard 120 vehicle information

Convertible Victoria
Designer: Graber

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 pop....[continue reading]

1937 Packard 120 vehicle information

Darrin Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Darrin

Packard introduced its first 'mid-priced' model, the 120, in 1935, and it was offered in a range of factory-produced body styles. The offerings remained relatively unchanged for 1937 except for the addition of a modern new Convertible Victoria design....[continue reading]

1937 Packard 120 vehicle information

All-Weather Cabriolet
Coachwork: Rollston & Company

Chassis Num: 120-C-1042
Engine Num: X-113033

This Packard One Twenty is one of two known survivors with Rollston's all-weather cabriolet body. It is a chauffeur-driven model with an open driver's compartment and an enclosed rear compartment. The inside features broadcloth upholstery, jump seats....[continue reading]

Dietrich Sedan Convertible by Dietrich
Convertible Coupe
Chassis #: 10993855 
Business Coupe
Chassis #: 1090-1260 
Convertible Coupe
Chassis #: 10993221 
Convertible Victoria
Darrin Convertible Victoria by Darrin
All-Weather Cabriolet by Rollston & Company
Chassis #: 120-C-1042 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1937 120
1937 Packard 120 Price Range: $1,150 - $1,600

$1,355 - $1,450

Model Year Production

1942Chevrolet (254,885)Ford (160,432)Plymouth (152,427)33,776
1941Chevrolet (1,008,976)Ford (691,455)Plymouth (522,080)
1940Chevrolet (764,616)Ford (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
1932Chevrolet (313,404)Ford (210,824)Plymouth (186,106)4,844

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