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Used Packard Prices in 1942


1935Packard

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The Classic Car Club magazine had a really interesting article recently on the value of "Full Classic" cars when they were just used cars; the gist of the article was that the classics were incredibly cheap for a long time, in part because all used cars were very cheap.

I bought a March/Aprl 1942 issue of the “Red Book National Used Car Market Report" on ebay to check out some Packard values, and the results were really interesting. Here's the value of a used Packard Super 8 convertible coupe (or, as they earlier called it, a coupe-roadster) as of March/April 1942:

1941 Super 8 convertible coupe: $1610

1940 Super 8 convertible coupe: $1160

1939 Super 8 convertible coupe: $835

1938 Super 8 convertible coupe: $758

1937 Super 8 coupe-roadster: $399

1936 Super 8 coupe-roadster: $210

1935 Super 8 coupe-roadster: $180

1934 Super 8 coupe-roadster: $105

Amazing depreciation, isn’t it? I assume the key problem was that old cars didn't last for very long: If a car would last only 60,000 miles before falling apart, a 5-year old car was probably pretty much at the end of its life.

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)
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Guest Trunk Rack

bear in mind that our currency has been substantially de-valued over the years. To get a realistic perspective of what those dollars were, multiply them by approx 18 to get their equiv. purchasing power today.

also bear in mind, as the above poster noted "they dont built em like they used to". Cars ALL cars, today, have short stroke motors, meaning their pistons, valves, & bearings arent working anywhere NEAR as hard as they did in that era, when, because road conditions and driving habits demanded it, cars has much lower (higher numerically) final drive ratios.

Thus a motor of that era actually spun more than TWICE as far, and its longer stroke "guts" worked FOUR TIMES as hard, for any give road speed, meaning that in terms of actual distance travelled, a 60,000 mi. car in that era, had its "running gear" travel maybe MORE than twice as a modern vehicle.

Add to that the problem of vastly superior oil and air filters these days, so motors arent injesting the abrasive crap that earlier car's motors did.

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Would be interesting to see the prices for the same cars right after the war. I bet each example more than doubles in price. Within a few years, of course the Classic Packards became collectible, at least to the "pioneers" like Pete.

1935Packard, did you schedule your Hershey days yet??

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Guest Trunk Rack
. . . . . . . . . Within a few years, of course the Classic Packards became collectible, at least to the "pioneers" like Pete.......

Thank you for the compliment, but I and the other early members of the CLASSIC CAR CLUB OF AMERICA did NOT think of ourselves as "pioneers"...then or now !

We can claim no credit for the "accident of birth" that had us in the right place at the right time to be able to take advantage of the culture of that day, that felt that ANYTHING old was laughable or worse.

It is hard these days to explain to younger people in how much contempt the times of the day held us; those of us who wanted to rescue the "best of the best".

My favorite example is certain old re-runs of I LOVE LUCY tv shows, some of which were done clear into, and thus reflected the public view as late as the 1960's... In at least THREE of those re-run "skits", LUCY demonstrates how "dingy" she was because she got involved in some big luxury car of the 1930's..!

In some respects, the participants in the CLASSIC CAR CLUB OF AMERICA were rebels, "going against the grain" of the general public view. But whatever you call us, while it is now flattering to think of us as "pioneers", the fact is we were just a bunch of young car nuts who thought driving around in out-dated huge luxury cars with giant motors was FUN. The idea that these cars were worth anything could not have occured to us until much later.

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Sounds like it was a good time to me! While it is nice that these cars have too much value today to just use for basic transportation, I would imagine that is exactly what happened. Very cool to see a Packard or other classic in a photo from the 50s - 60s just parked with other cars on some side street; they probably averaged a lot more use then.

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Guest Trunk Rack

Sounds like it was a good time to me! While it is nice that these cars have too much value today to just use for basic transportation, I would imagine that is exactly what happened. Very cool to see a Packard or other classic in a photo from the 50s - 60s just parked with other cars on some side street; they probably averaged a lot more use then.

GOOD OLD DAYS ?

C'mon, man - the only thing "good" about the good OLD days is that they are GONE!

You "nostalgia buffs" cant IMAGINE how dangerous and scary it was to drive U.S. Highway 66 when it was two and three lanes, and the horrible, grinding head-on crashes when people got impatient and tried to pass.

Have you SEEN a car without air-conditioning in the last decade or so ? Think about a high-humidity hot day stuck in the traffic jams we had even then.

When is the last time any of you have had to do an engine over-haul? With modern oils, and oil and induction air filters, much higher-speed rear axle ratios, our cars run so much faster, smoother, and MUCH MUCH LONGER without ANY attention than would have been possible even as recently the cars of the 1940's. When is the last time you had to bend over the fender of a car, changing spark plugs, points and condensor ?

OLD CARS USED AS CARS ?

Why NOT ? Visit a super-market or hardware store parking lot in my area, 50 years ago, or last week...and you might very well see mine.

(Have to admit driving it on Southern California freeways over the past week-end was not for the faint-hearted...sure, I can keep up with traffic...but all those young-uns talking on their cell-phones while weaving in and out, following too closely at 80+ mph....not pleasant).

(drove from the San Fernando Valley some 70 miles down to the elegant Concorse at the St. Regis hotel at Dana Point. Magnificent location for a car show. Getting there was scary - at 70 - 75 mph on my Packard V-12's ACCURATE speedometer, people were going by me like I was standing still !)

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Somewhere around here I have an auto industry magazine from about 1948 or 9 that lists car registrations by year and model and how many of each are registered by state. I can't think of the name of it, but we cleaned out an old Cadillac dealership in the late 70's and it was in with that stuff. If there were some way to post the information on the website here it would make an interesting read if there is any interest in it. It at least shows how many cars of a particular year were still on the road at the time. I'm sure there must be other copies of the thing, but it's the only one I've ever seen. I don't think it goes into any prices on used cars though. One of my Great Aunt's husbands bought a 1932 or so Packard or Chrysler dual windshield job out in Chicago in the late 40's or early 50's for $75 and drove it for about 15 years. She hated it as the red leather seats would stain her clothes if it were damp out. Leona showed me a picture of it once and I just couldn't believe my eyes! She said it got hauled to the junk yard in the 60's and it makes me wonder if it really did get junked out. Looking at those prices though, the $75 sounds about right...

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