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Is "Streetrod" a nasty word here?

I have a chance to pick up a straight '37 4 door that someone has tossed a 350 Chevy in. It's in primer and probably not to far gone to be put back to original, but I don't have that kind of money or patience.

I've always wanted a Packard. My grandfather loved Packards and built the only Packard motorhome that I know of. He took a '39 dual side mount 4 door and cut off the backend, lengthed the frame and mounted a trailer on the back. He also took two over drive trannies and mated them together...I wish I could remember the details but I wasn't even born when he did all this. I used to play on the car when I was a kid and the last I heard some in Spokane, WA bought it and turned it into a coupe/convertable.

Anyways, I can pick this '37 up at a decent price...would y'all frown on someone with a street rod? I'm not going to hack the car up or anything and I'd prefer to make it a resto rod which means I'm going to need a lot of help running down parts.

Thanks.

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G'day Ruane,

Might try posting this over on Packardinfo.com "The Most Comprehensive Free Online Reference for Packard Owners" in the Modification Discussion Forum there.

If you do buy the '37 can you please list it in the Owner Registry there with a pic, any known history and how you acquired it?

A very interesting story about your grandfathers Packard Motor Home, if you remember more I'd like to hear about it.

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I have a magazine story on Grandad's motorhome that was written by the guy that turned it into a coupe/convert...I'll try and get it scanned and share it with you. I had just grabbed a magazine and started reading a story entitled "I Restored the Parts Car" and it began with "I bought a 1939 Packard motorhome..." and the bells went off in my head that grandad built the only one.

Thank you very much for the info, I'm going to look at the car tomorrow and with any luck I'll be a new Packard owner soon (Albeit a modified Packard)...just like Grandad.

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We usually do not frown on a situation where the car has already been hacked and whacked. It is the cars that are complete, rare and restorable that are chopped up that we get irritated about.

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The statements you made Keiser 31 ....which I will paraphrase:

***** It is not about the already hacked and whacked cars ....but the cars that are complete, rare and restorable is what we get irritated about*****

I take issure with your thoughts. I have a 32 902 convertible coupe Packard that fits your statement to the "T"....even more so... I posted it on ebay for 3 days ....got lots of attention...that I grant you.... but no one stepped up to the plate. This fine piece will go for sale again this spring at 49k...a veritable steal, for all that has been done to date on it for an original restoration. Now if it does not sell...I will be refit it with an updated drive train and suspension components. If that comes to pass.... you nor anyone else who proports their personal views to this alteration in a negative fashion ....have anything to complain about. All would have had their chance and passed.

I am not singling you out keiser, my apology if you feel that. I just wanted my veiw of matters to be heard is all. Some food for thought...nothing more.

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If you own it, you can do whatever you want with it. Let's face it, I don't care if you light your cigarettes with hundred dollar bills. All that is up to YOU!

We have seen countless scrap yards crush classic bodies because they simply didn't sell. Oh, well... That makes our cars worth even more.

Posting an item on eBay for three days doesn't mean much unless you believe the whole world caters to your position. Finding a suitable buyer might take years, but it's still the owner's ultimate decision to sell, or crush, or resto-rod-mod a classic. I think it's covered in the Bill of Rights under, Persuit of Happiness.

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Restorer....The amount of money I can realize doing what I do is far more than I could ever realize putting one back to original. I have a goodly number of Packards presently. I will not waste my time on a sedan and do not buy anything other than 32..33 and 34 coupes, club sedans and convertibles. All are standard 8's. I have a 30 and 32 convertible coupe along with a 33 victoria convertible... all original cars. My current plan is to sell each of them to someone who wants to put them back to thier original state. But I certainly am not going to wait years to find that suitable buyer simply speaks of. How would I recognize someone willing to do that in this day and age? I am not far from Royal Oak simply....stop around one and and drive one of mine. You may not like the idea but you sure would like the way it handles the road. I keep everything else as original as original can be. My goal if for the person sitting behind the wheel in one of my cars to not have a clue till he turns the key.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: superods</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am not far from Royal Oak simply....stop around one and and drive one of mine.</div></div> Site etiquette requests that members identify their area of residence (for various reasons). Where do you live? I'll be right over.

Dave Dare (248) 544-8834 (I'm also in the phone book)

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Hi Raune, and welcome to the forum. Most Packard guys are good folks and will help you all they can, but you are right, not everyone will give up parts to a street rod project if they feel that someone who is doing an authentic restoration could use them; some people don't care, and as long as you pay their price they will sell you anything. In short, it may be a bit harder to find parts cheap for this project.

Since you already have an interest in Packards, I would encourage you to look at original (not modified) Packards before you make your decision. There are a lot of Packard owners who would love to show you their cars, take you for a ride and perhaps even let you drive a real Packard and then you can get a feel for why they have the reputation and even mystique that they do. This has everything to do with engineering, build quality, style, and they way they drive - the bulk of which will be significantly changed in a modified car. The other facet which I really enjoy in owning a vintage car is the history of it - whether it was owned by Joe the plumber or a Hollywood star, researching the previous life of your car can be fun and rewarding, and gives you a little extra to talk about when people ask you about your car. Even if you can't find out any of the history, you can sit it in and imagine life as it was when the car was new - the music, traffic, stores, fashion etc. To me, a car that is original is much more of a historical experience than one that has been modified. Yes, it is true, some rods may be worth more, but not many, and to me value isn't the deciding factor anyway. I love sedans, limos, formal sedans, and town cars as well as open cars and I like cars from the preteens to WWII and beyond, not just those that are valuable in terms of dollars. There are some great Packards out there which you can drive and enjoy without spending lots of money.

I don't know where you live, but I, or someone here can probably tell you where to find a Packard guy in your area, or you can join one of the Packard clubs or CCCA and look in the member roster. You will find that if you have an original car, you will be more welcome in the hobby clubs like CCCA, AACA, PAC, PI, etc. These are great social groups with activities that it is fun to participate in with an old car, where you can make lots of new friends.

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Just because I cannot afford a car does not mean that it cannot irritate me when someone alters it. I do not condemn anyone who does what they want with a car of theirs. I don't like it, but I agree with simplyconnected.....it's yours to do with it what you feel. I almost put a 340 in my '31 Dodge coupe when the original engine was buried, but I wanted to keep it original and was lucky to find, dig up and restore the original engine. That was up to me to either upgrade the drive train or suffer through saving the original. It's all in what you want. Oh....I don't feel singled out at all. We all have our opinions and that is half of the reason we are on this site. I always appreciate everyone's feedback.

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Simply, I also went after Mike (superods) with both barrels when he first arrived here and talked about what he was doing. Then I went to see his place expecting to see a hacked up piece with a crappy 350 in it. It was quite the opposite and I came away duly impressed with his workmanship and him as a person. The cars could probably be put back to stock without a frightening amount of effort, and certainly for less than the cost of a full restoration. I'm ashamed of how I acted before I met him and had all the information.

Regardless of <span style="font-style: italic">how</span> he's putting the cars together, he does it with a good deal more respect for originality and Packard-worthy craftsmanship than most other rodders. Hell, he had these amazing wire wheels made that look pretty darned authentic but can still carry 17" www radials. They fooled me when I saw them.

I'm still no fan of modifying these cars, but if they're going to be modified, doing it to Packard-worthy standards is the only way to do it. We've all seen the amateur abortions out there (that white limo with the Viper drivetrain, the yellow sedan with--ugh--fender skirts, the red, white and blue sedan, etc.). Raune, avoid that and you'll go a long way towards not upsetting people.

I do, however, have to disagree with Mike that his modified cars are worth more than stock, and probably have a smaller market (rods are often built to taste, while original cars are almost universally appreciated). Hard to say for sure, but if you're doing this as an investment, you're better off driving down the road throwing $20s out the window.

On the other hand, people say that modified Packards, no matter what you do to them, drive like 3/4 ton trucks. If you want that kind of driving experience, I have a Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 available that would be A LOT cheaper. laugh.gif

I looked to buy Mike's '32 coupe roadster and spent several days examining and thinking and organizing my finances to acquire it. If anyone wants photos of it, I have dozens, and I have done a thorough inspection of it along with a restoration expert and can tell you just about anything a buyer would need to know. The only reason I didn't buy it is because while I have the resources to buy it, it will be a long, long time before I have the resources to restore it to the condition it deserves. I already have one project languishing in the garage, I didn't need another with my limited means. But it is a car worthy of restoration--very complete and solid.

And please, Mike, sell me that maroon '34. Please!

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The current situation is that for close Packards, they are worth more modified. Open is a different story.

For a Super 8 37 Packard, they are bring around 50K in good shape. A well done modified one will be in the 75K or higher range. Mike probably has a better feel for that though.

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Matt me lad...appreciate all those kind remarks. I am not an advisary ...I am just me. I do what I am personally capable of with the packards I have aquired. Of course I have others to help but for the most part I am capable. I have yet to see a nice 32 3 window rumble seat or a 34 coupe rumble seat altered and for sale. Those are my kind of Packards. Sedans are off limits. Not profitable not appealing. I have been told the most appealing Packards are the 34 the 33 and the 32's. So those are the years i focus on. Hoping to have one or two done early spring and early summer. I am picking up Matt and we are going to enjoy a ride, which will be an improvement on that dodge ram. Besides a ram dones not ride that badly Matt!!! Is the long wheelbase !!!! I think is 170 ??? At any rate there will be more info available soon on what I am doing...just been getting new shop in order. Again thanks for the support Ken and Matt...mike

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Ruane,

I wish you luck on your project. I have enjoyed the comments from all of you too.

I love the cars that are restored to original condition and appreciate the effort it takes to get all the details correct. Like a rolling time capsule.

We should all remember, it is also not easy to pull off a resto-rod or custom. Much craftmanship is required to package and engineer elements that were not originally found together.

I am glad to see so much interest in Packards. It seems like more folks are interested than ever. I think we all smile when think about the growth that has occured. Many of the cars have appreciated in value quite nicely despite the economy. The next few months will tell.

Peter Tacy

Ferndale, Michigan

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave Mitchell</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hi Raune, and welcome to the forum. Most Packard guys are good folks and will help you all they can, but you are right, not everyone will give up parts to a street rod project if they feel that someone who is doing an authentic restoration could use them; some people don't care, and as long as you pay their price they will sell you anything. In short, it may be a bit harder to find parts cheap for this project.

Since you already have an interest in Packards, I would encourage you to look at original (not modified) Packards before you make your decision. There are a lot of Packard owners who would love to show you their cars, take you for a ride and perhaps even let you drive a real Packard and then you can get a feel for why they have the reputation and even mystique that they do. This has everything to do with engineering, build quality, style, and they way they drive - the bulk of which will be significantly changed in a modified car. The other facet which I really enjoy in owning a vintage car is the history of it - whether it was owned by Joe the plumber or a Hollywood star, researching the previous life of your car can be fun and rewarding, and gives you a little extra to talk about when people ask you about your car. Even if you can't find out any of the history, you can sit it in and imagine life as it was when the car was new - the music, traffic, stores, fashion etc. To me, a car that is original is much more of a historical experience than one that has been modified. Yes, it is true, some rods may be worth more, but not many, and to me value isn't the deciding factor anyway. I love sedans, limos, formal sedans, and town cars as well as open cars and I like cars from the preteens to WWII and beyond, not just those that are valuable in terms of dollars. There are some great Packards out there which you can drive and enjoy without spending lots of money.

I don't know where you live, but I, or someone here can probably tell you where to find a Packard guy in your area, or you can join one of the Packard clubs or CCCA and look in the member roster. You will find that if you have an original car, you will be more welcome in the hobby clubs like CCCA, AACA, PAC, PI, etc. These are great social groups with activities that it is fun to participate in with an old car, where you can make lots of new friends. </div></div>

Dave,

That was an excellent reply. One of the reasons I love old cars is to sit and them and think about history and what the owners were doing when things like the Pearl Harbor attack happened.

That being said, this car could be saved and brought back to original, but as far as I can tell it's a plain jane '37 4 door. It's missing the interior, the bumpers, and all the trim pieces. It would cost me more then the car is worth to hunt down even an original engine/tranny combination for the car.

As you or someone else said, it's not what your car is worth...it's how much enjoyment you get out of the car. I'm going to be giving up a near show quality '66 Impala two door with less then 1000 miles on the engine and 77,000 original miles. I've just always wanted a Packard and if I have to settle for a modified one I will.

EDIT: A few others had excellent posts. I would love an original Packard like my grandfather used to drive, but I can't afford a $40K toy car. I'm going to meet with the guy tomorrow and see if we can work out a deal. Someday I hope to be able to afford a Packard that is original and sit in the garage, but at this point in time I'm excited that I have the extra money to afford this car and get to say I may soon own a Packard....even if it costs me my Impala.

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Matt Harwood, I consider your word as gospel. We've been graced with so many of your helpful, (free) posts; you have saved countless people many hundreds of bucks, all in the name of helping other restorers with their problems. I appreciate your wisdom, dedication, and service to this forum.

You're right about the money. This is a passion, not a hobby (and certainly not an investment). Notice, very few have deuce coups and '57 BelAir's. Instead these restorers satisfy a deeper yearn for cars that suit their personal fancies, not someone else's. You can tell in their choice of cars. Packards are very nice, but so are a host of other cars.

Based on what Matt said, I would love to see and appreciate Mike's cars. I know the South Amherst/Henrietta area well. I must have passed there hundreds of times on my way to Walton Hills Stamping and Cleveland Engine Plants.

Thanks for the invitation, Mike.

Dave Dare

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Matt Harwood</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

I'm still no fan of modifying these cars, but if they're going to be modified, doing it to Packard-worthy standards is the only way to do it. We've all seen the amateur abortions out there (that white limo with the Viper drivetrain, the yellow sedan with--ugh--fender skirts, the red, white and blue sedan, etc.). Raune, avoid that and you'll go a long way towards not upsetting people.

</div></div>

Trust me, I have modified a lot of cars in my life, but I have never hacked one up. I always bear in mind that a car should be able to be put back to stock.

I watched in horror as one of my friends took out the fire wall with an air chisel to make the power brakes work on his '37 Dodge. I honestly don't know how hacked up this '37 is, I'm hoping it's not at all, but I'm guessing it is. Someone dropped a small block Chevy in it, put a Chevy rearend in, and put a rack and pinion steering in it. It's rough as hell and I'm going to need to do a full body off the frame restoration on it, but I'm going to save an old Packard (If I do buy it.)

When you come right down to it, that's not such a bad thing is it?

By the way, this is what I'll be having to put up for sale if I do buy the Packard. It's been modified a bit, but it still looks like a stock '66. Something similar is my plans for the Packard.:

Impala1.jpg

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Any one is welcome to come by any time. Next time by Dave ring me up and I'll buy lunch. Unfortunately things are in an upheaval. I am months behind. I found a nice place with great facility and a ton of potential which will help facillitate my passion. Hope to get back into the thick of it soon.

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Ruane

If you are a real car guy it doesn't make any difference if it is an original stock or modified and you like it, save an old car! Enjoy it and drive it like ya stole it!

_________________

54 Austin Healey 100

78 Triumph Bonneville 750

31 Model A Coupe highboy "rat" with a 56 hemi

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