1938 Packard 1604 Super Eight

Known by Packard aficionados as the Sixteenth Series, the 1938 Super Eight quickly became the best-selling Packard of the era. Packard survived the Depression reasonably well due to the fact that it diversified its offerings; while many of its competition were building only V12 engines, Packard realized that the cheaper-to-build 8-cylinder motor could be equally smooth and powerful, so it continued to offer both Eights and Twelves on different chassis.

The 1938 Packard Super Eight consisted of the Series 1603, 1604, and 1605. The Series 1603 had a 127 inch wheelbase, the Series 1604 rested on a 134 in platform, and the Series 1605 measured 139 inches. All three shared the 320 cubic-inch L-head straight-eight engine which had 130 horsepower. This engine would continue for another year, before being replaced in 1940 by a 356 cubic-inch unit with 160 horsepower.

Mechanical changes were minimal for 1938. Stopping power was handled by hydraulic brakes and the transmission was a floor shift three-speed selective synchromesh unit. Many of the visual changes were also made to Packard's Junior models. One of the prominent appearance change was the split vee windshield with chrome dividing the split windows. Standard equipment included a cigar lighter, and an electric clock.

For 1938, the Packard Super Eight was a versatile vehicle offered in three wheelbase sizes and powered by a smooth engine. They were luxurious and highly refined, fitted with luxurious coachwork, and powered by proven engineering.

By this point in history, Packard's 'junior' Six and One-Twenty lines accounted for the majority of the company's sales. 30,050 examples of the Packard Six were produced in 1938 (introduced in September of 1937) and 22,624 examples of the Packard Eight were built (Series 1601, 1601D, and 1602 - introduced in September of 1937). Total Super Eight production (Series 1603, 1604, and 1605) for 1937 was 2,478.

by Daniel Vaughan | Mar 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 1604 Super Eight vehicle information

Convertible Coupe

Chassis Num: A501065

The Packard One-Twenty, also known as Packards 'junior' Six, accounted for the bulk of Packard's sales. 1938 was the second year for independent front suspension (via wishbones and coil springs) and hydraulic brakes. These features greatly improved d....[continue reading]

1938 Packard 1604 Super Eight vehicle information

Convertible Coupe

This 1938 Packard Model 1604 Coupe Roadster is one of just 71 examples produced in 1938 and less than 10 are believed to survive. It is believed that the original owner was underwold figure Paul de Lucia, aka Paul 'the Waiter' Ricca who served 3 yea....[continue reading]

1938 Packard 1604 Super Eight vehicle information

Convertible Coupe

This 1938 Packard Super 8 Roadster model 1604 was purchased new by Frank Cody, Superintendent (1919-1942) of the Detroit Public Schools and President (1933-1942) of 'The Colleges of the City of Detroit,' later renamed Wayne State University. Holding ....[continue reading]

1938 Packard 1604 Super Eight vehicle information

Coachwork: Mayfair Carriage Company Ltd.

Packard introduced its Sixteenth Series models in September of 1937. Most changes for the Senior cars were cosmetic including pontoon-shaped fenders and split windshields. The Super Eight features Packard's silky-smooth 320 cubic-inch, 130 horsepower....[continue reading]

Convertible Coupe
Chassis #: A501065 
Convertible Coupe
Convertible Coupe
Coupe by Mayfair Carriage Company Ltd.

Concepts by Packard

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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1938 Packard 1604 Super Eight
1938 Packard 1604 Super Eight Price Range: $2,900 - $5,800

Model Year Production

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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