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Packard 745 at Hershey


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Did not want to muddy the waters of Ellie Mae's inquiry post so I am posting this separately. Those who attended Hershey may have seen the 745 Coupe Roadster or Roadster project basically in front of the Giant Center. Reportedly, seller was asking $45,000 for this car - which was basically incomplete and very rough.

Granted these are very desirable cars but I cannot think of a more expensive restoration prospect I have seen recently.

Any updates on this car or comments on the price?

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Yes, I believe the owner was quite serious in her $45,000 asking price, at least according to a friend of mine who she discussed the car with. Outside storage in New England; probably for many years.

What do you do with a car like this? If you do attempt a restoration, anything less than top notch is not worthy of the car, besides, nothing on this car doesn't need major work. Well beyond the capabilities of 99.9% of us I would think, except maybe a pro like Restorer32 with a cache of parts already. Otherwise, would be pretty easy to get "upside down" here for sure, even if you could buy it for a song. One of the very best Packards, though...

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That rough project Packard at the Hershey flea market will be hard to sell at her $45k asking price in today's market conditions.

I did not see it myself~

Only the photo posted here...

BUT~

I guess you can always ask any price you wish ?

What was the asking price on Saturday afternoon at pack-up time ?

That's the real question !

I suspect she will only get about half of that asking price .

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)
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We restored an 840 Roadster that was in similar or possibly worse condition several years ago. The owner paid a bit more than the asking price of the 745 when he purchased it. The point is, if you desire a 745 Roadster and want one restored to your idea of what it should look like you can't do a whole lot of comparison shopping for a project car, given the rarity. Potential buyers are often overly swayed by "curb appeal". If the car needs repainted what difference does the condition of the original paint make? If the upholstery is going to need replaced who cares if the original is in bad condition? Same with the engine. Virtually every project car is going to need a full mechanical rebuild so why should the condition of the engine (other than completeness and lack of cracks etc) be a consideration? Who cares about the condition of the chrome, wiring harness etc.? All will need redoing anyway if you want a show car. Some of the best bargains out there are cars in just the condition of this 745 assuming you really know what you're looking at. Is there a better unrestored 745 Roadster around for $45K or less? Maybe but I kinda doubt it. Believe it or not there are folks who actually enjoy the restoration process more than the actual ownership and driving of the resulting car. I have seen it many times. It's not always about the money, thank Heavens!

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I tell EVERY ONE of our potential customers the same thing. "You can likely buy the best restored example of whatever car you want for less than the cost to restore yours". But, you know, at least in my experience, folks restore cars for their own reasons which very seldom have anything to do with profit motive. We are restoring (well maybe "fixing up" would be a better term) a '65 Studebaker 4 door sedan which the owner bought new and wants to bequeath to his Son. A real rust bucket so you can easily imagine the cost/resale value, but to this fellow the car is important. I never ever discuss value of cars with customers. We sell our time and whatever expertise we have developed over the years at a fair hourly rate and let the customer decide if his car is worth the effort and expense. Let's face it, most times you are "upside down" in an antique car the day you purchase it. Happily, it's not always about the money, just like I didn't get into restoring cars professionally for the money. Believe me, there are a lot of easier ways to put bread on the table!

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Good points, Restorer32. I hope someone does restore this car. My point is that it will require a full; 100% professional restoration both due to the condition as well as the fact that it would be short selling the car to try and cobble something together. I would imagine for the right buyer it could be a fantastic project; you save a very significant car and get to do it to your specifications. The progress is probably a huge part of the fun if you can afford to do it. Given the model and body style as well as the fact unrestored examples are virtually impossible to find it should eventually be acquired and restored. Maybe $45,000 is not too out of whack for such an opportunity, posted partly because I am really not sure, to be honest, and the different feedback is always interesting!

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There are very few cars that you can be given for free, pay for a professional restoration and not be under water after. I agree with the comments regarding curb appeal. However, if a car needs paint, there are different degrees of prep required depending on how bad it has gone. This car looks like it was held together with string - I would imagine all the wood is gone - wow - that would be expensive.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, current shop rates seem to be hovering around the $80 an hour rate. I know there are some out there less, but I believe that to be accurate for the big names.

For a car like the Packard shown, 3000 hours minimum. That's a quarter million, give or take, and doesn't count missing parts, chrome, leather, and so forth.

There are very few cars out there (and this was mentioned before) that are "worth" what a professional restoration costs. Sentimental reasons enter into the equation (I've seen over $100K spent restoring a Model A sedan that had been in the family for a long time), as well as wanting to attend and win Pebble Beach or other such events.

Does that sound about right, Dave?

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We did an 840 Roadster a few years ago that was in similar though not quite as bad condition. If asked to I would "ballpark" restoring this one at $175-225K, assuming it is fairly complete, for a "Hershey" quality restoration.

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At $200K for a restoration, and $45K purchase, then you're not "in the bucket" very much.

Now, for the next question.

That's for an AACA, Hershey, restoration, as you say, an average $200K.

What about for a CCCA 100 point restoration (remembering that CCCA judging includes mechanical condition and operation, AACA does not, other than driving on show field)?

How much for a Pebble Beach restoration, or is that the same quality as a CCCA restoration? (I think it's a step up, but just asking)

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The nicer the nice the higher the price. Wasn't suggesting that "Hershey" quality is necessarily in any way inferior but you know what I mean. A 200K restoration should include mechanical rebuild of all components. If you want the interior done by a "known" PB upholsterer and the mechanicals done by "known" rebuilders then obviously the sky is the limit. Lots of smaller lesser known shops around doing nice work at less than $80/hr. especially in this economy. All depends on their overhead and labor costs.

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Yes, I agree that there are smaller shops less than the $80, I use one myself that's in the $50 range, not for full restorations but for help on tasks that I have trouble doing. For example, I'm replacing the wiring in my '37 Cord. I have most of it installed, but not terminated. Under dash, and the connections under the firewall, are places that my aged body have some trouble adjusting to, so that shop will help me on that in January.

I'm not saying anything is wrong with "Hershey quality" either, I'm not a guy that has cars judged to start with, I'd rather have a car I can drive and not worry about this or that being perfect. I've judged in CCCA, and things are tough, every instrument has to work, the engine has to run quietly, cooling system has to be in good condition (unless it's changed, used to check for rust in the radiator neck), in addition to cosmetics and originality. That's tougher standards than AACA.

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They used to check functioning of cigar lighters. We showed a '32 Packard for a customer who didn't want the lighter hooked up so we dabbed a bit of flourescent orange paint on the heater element. The judges were none the wiser.

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Understand the argument about paying for mediocre paint, interior, etc. when planning a full restoration but given the heavy bodywork involved in the example here, missing parts and structural wood needed, assumiing a better example was found for say $60K, that would make more sense, right?

I think $80 an hour is pretty reasonable compared to what a lot of other trades as well as dealerships charge. Assume shops must figure the customer is there for the long haul vs. a small repair as part of the formula.

Would be great to see this one restored, though.

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Love the paint on the lighter story. CCCA judging strict as to operational items, but if you have a little dirt underneath the fenders, or a spot of grease on a grease fitting (that was obviously there because you DROVE the car to the show), then the dirt is ignored in judging points. I don't believe that AACA judging is that lenient, but I'm sure someone could comment on that.

I too think that some of the per hour cost is a bargain. From personal experience, I've done upholstery work at hourly rates that are less than what most barbers make per hour. And my cuts have to be much more precise........

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We did an 840 Roadster a few years ago that was in similar though not quite as bad condition. If asked to I would "ballpark" restoring this one at $175-225K, assuming it is fairly complete, for a "Hershey" quality restoration.

Depends on the shop & the level of restoration required. I fixed price at 200k would be a bargain for a very high quality restoration. A Time & materials job and concours quality would easily push this to 300k.

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Agree this is a very rare car and opportunity - that would seem to negate price guide, but pretty limited market as well. I would say she is as lucky to sell at $45K as someone would be to buy for the #6 price. The car is probably worth 45 large to someone but I think it went home with her...

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True on the won't grow back, when leather is dead, it's dead for good......

And I agree that a fixed price to restore of 200K would be a bargain. That car is a heap of work, though, first thing to do on the body would be strip the metal off, and make a trip to the lumberyard.......

Worthwhile project though, beautiful cars when done.

I was at a Grand Classic, CCCA event, many years ago, in Corpus Christi Texas. While there was a nice attendance of cars, it wasn't a great attendance. Jerry Moore of Houston was there, saw that there were holes to be filled in the display area (which was inside the basement of a hotel), and called back to Houston, "Bring a truckload of 745's."

What showed up was a truck with 5 or 6 perfect 745 roadsters, each done in different colors. What a sight.

It was at this event that the owner of an early Rolls Royce drove out of the 70 degree basement, into the 100 degree heat of Texas. I happened to be standing next to the car outside, when we thought we heard the sound of popcorn popping. Looked over, and the beautiful paint job on the aluminum cowl was just popping apart. Seems the aluminum expanded a lot quicker in the heat than the paint did!!

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  • 9 years later...

I realize this is a very old post but I'm willing to bet many folks will remember this car sitting in shambles on the edge of the red field @ Hershey in 2010- I certainly do. Did anyone ever do anything with it? Would love to know if someone made a go of the project.

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It's a Packard 745 Roadster in restorable condition (actually not that bad of restorable condition even though it needs everything) - it will not hang around long before it finds a new owner and not too far from the asking price.  Keep in mind that some things are better and a 745 is one of them. 

 

Love the Martin tires - when did they stop making those = perhaps around 1968ish ?   And did Martin become Lincoln, that became Lester ? 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

It's a Packard 745 Roadster in restorable condition (actually not that bad of restorable condition even though it needs everything) - it will not hang around long before it finds a new owner and not too far from the asking price.  Keep in mind that some things are better and a 745 is one of them. 

 

Love the Martin tires - when did they stop making those = perhaps around 1968ish ?   And did Martin become Lincoln, that became Lester ? 

John-this is an old post from 9 yrs ago. I was just wondering if anyone knew what ever became of the car.

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On 12/16/2019 at 9:44 AM, md murray said:

John-this is an old post from 9 yrs ago. I was just wondering if anyone knew what ever became of the car.

When you mentioned old post - I think it is in Indiana being restored.  Update:  Told not Indiana but it went out to West Coast - or at least they thought it did.

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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Sidenote:  I have seen several 645, 745, and 845 cars come on the market recently and they are a substantial challenge to restore today - much more so than in the 1970's, 80's, and 90's when there were a larger volume being done and out on the road. I have torn my hair out on many a Packard part that I would not have given the slighted thought to a few years ago.  On the flip side of the coin, there are some pluses today in parts too - example reproduction carburetors (which by the way are like night and day in fabulous when I have installed on on a car).  

 

A good friend called this week and was tearing his hair out regarding a 1931 Bijur tank fitting that technically should not be hard to find, though ... 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was exhausted just looking at the work but I will say the car was at least complete in the sense it was assembled.  John's concern over little parts might be worse with a basket case car.  Today, one is less likely to turn a marginal sedan for parts, another factor of time.  Those big 29- 31 Packards though, are what comes to my mind if one says CCCA.  

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