Jump to content

value range for 1938 Packard Super Eight coupe


Guest jim rosenthal

Recommended Posts

Guest jim rosenthal

Any suggestions as to where to look up the range of values for this model? Hagerty's Cars That Matter doesn't go back before WWII, and a quick look on line elicited nothing- some paid sites who claim to be experts. I don't mind paying for information if I think it's from an informed source, but this seemed dicey to me. Any opinions would be welcome, and thanks in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The value is fairly specialized and not many guides are that reliable. You can look in the Old Cars Price Guide and at least you will find something there. If you can give a good description of it or send photos, I could give you an idea. The 38 Super 8s are plagued by cracked blocks, so if the engine hasn't been rebuilt, you might plan on a fairly expensive rebuild if it isn't running well. Also these are fairly rare, so finding a car like it that has sold publicly recently might not be so easy. Dave Mitchell packard12s@hotmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jim rosenthal

This car is in the December Raleigh Classic auction- dark red, with sidemounts in the fenders and a trunk. Restored in the 90s, I think. I am going to fly down and look it over if I can. It was in their previous auction and did not sell- probably did not meet reserve. Any thoughts would be appreciated. www.raleighclassic.com, and the car is lot 601- I am not good at posting links that work....West, is this car built on the same chassis and wheelbase as the 110 and 120 of that year? I remember reading that somewhere in this era the Super Eight was a longer car. This one looks longer and a bit more graceful in the photos, but I can't tell if it's the styling or the distance between the axles really IS longer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coupes are rare in the 1938 Super 8 line, as Dave mentions. I've seen them bring fairly high prices, but everything depends on condition and engine status. I know, I have a 1938 Super 8 engine that has a block problem, and am thinking of putting in a '37 engine that I have. The '38 blocks had some kind of casting problem, and it's the old saw about there are only two kinds of such engines, those that have gone bad and those that are getting ready to.

The coupes in 1938 were, to me, beautiful cars.....good luck with purchase....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jim rosenthal

Is the 37 engine the same one except for the year of manufacture? It would be just my luck to buy a car with a cracked block, I would have to go back and crack another head, like the one that sold it to me. Is there a typical area that they crack in? I have no idea what other Packard engines would fit- sure, most of them are straight-eights, but there seem to be a lot of different engines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a beautiful looking car, with what appears to be a very nice restoration. Two comments, one on quality of restoration: The running board mat doesn't look quite right, and if it isn't, my question would be, "where else have they cut corners." Second comment: That's a beautiful trunk, but it looks terrible on the car. As far as value, a knowledgeable Packard person should look at it with you to let you know if it was restored properly with correct materials, engine compartment details, interior details, etc. Especially if you're interested in spending more than $50,000 for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jim rosenthal

West, do you know anyone in the Raleigh-Durham area that might be available? The car is near there and I am thinking about going to look at it the Monday immediately following Thanksgiving. I am very keen on the idea that someone who knows these cars ought to see it- they will see all kinds of things I wouldn't know I was even looking at. No false pride here, let me tell you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The '37 engine has some slight differences from the '38, such as water pump mounting. '38 engines are tough to find, that's why I bought the '37 engine, "just in case".....I know of one '38 engine that's been repaired, it apparently had over 12 cracks in the block, and this was just from age and wear, NOT freezing. I've not yet found the issue with my block, but suspect a failure in the casting in one of the exhaust port areas, as last time it ran steam was pouring out the exhaust.........

A nice '38 coupe can easily be over $50K, but as mentioned, there's a lot to look at....if you can't find someone, let me know, I have a sister in Charlotte and that might be an excuse to drive down.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jim rosenthal

Right. They don't have the information, so WYSIWYG. Caveat emptor and all that.... someone much more knowledgeable than I needs to be there with me to look it over and educate me. I don't know enough about Packards to be my own appraiser/surveyor on this, not that I would on any car.... I need an objective party for that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just looking at the 2 photos, it looks gorgeous. To really evaluate it, I would need to see engine and interior photos, and any documentation on what has been done, which may or may not be available through the auction company. The color is appropriate, and while West may be right, it may look cleaner without the trunk, the metal trunk has considerable value, and given the limited amount of storage space in the car itself, if you are going to tour with the car would be very useful. Getting a metal trunk restored to that condition could cost you $7000+. This is a rare and desireable car, and probably will sell close to or within the estimate if the rest of the car looks as good as what you can see in the 2 photos. You really should have someone who knows 38s take a look at it for you if you are uncertain. I have had 38s for over 20 years, just finished restoring a 38 1608 Derham convertible victoria, and know them pretty well - if you can get more photos from the auction company, I will be glad to take a look for you. Dave packard12s@hotmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Guest jim rosenthal

Funny you should ask. I am going down to look at it. I could not get there before the auction- I got sick and didn't want to travel- but evidently it did not meet reserve, so I am driving down Thursday AM to look it over and try to get an idea whether I want to buy it. Watch this space for further details. I've emailed some folks knowledgeable about Packards of that era- I hope someone can meet me down there and help me determine the condition and value of the car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Guest jim rosenthal

I drove down to NC and looked over the 1938 Packard Super Eight coupe within the last week or two. I was also fortunate enough to have a knowledgeable Packard restorer who lives in NC look the car over at my request and expense. The upshot of all this is that the car is in very good condition, tight and solid, probably restored in the nineties and well-kept since that time. I did not drive the car, but did hear it run, and to me it sounds fine and started without difficulty.

Of note, the engine has been changed out for a 1953 Packard straight-eight- I would assume this is the 327 cu in model. The rest of the drivetrain is original- the bellhousing was adapted to the later engine. Given some of the postings I've seen, I wonder if the original 1938 engine was replaced because of block or rod bearing problems, but the restoration and the changeout of the engine to the 1953 engine was done before the current owners acquired it, and there are no records, nor is the original engine with the car. So the reasons for doing all that can only be speculated about.

Any comments as to what anyone thinks this car might be worth are duly noted. As said, it shows quite well, seems to have been done well (according to someone who knows what he is doing- not me, I hasten to add) and might very well drive better with the 1953 engine than with the original. However, to those of us who value originality and recognize it or its absence, the value would be less. How much less remains to be determined.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A very desirable year and body style. I know some people don't like talking numbers on this forum, but I'll put it out there.

If original, as you describe, I would say value is in the $50K to 60K range, pretty easily. I value my convertible coupe only slightly above that, given the engine issue, and the coupe is not only pretty but rare.

Now, with a newer engine, even admitting that that might make it more reliable, I think not over $40 to 45K.

You could use the car on CCCA tours and show it with that club, but not open the hood. I believe the current tolerance on engine changes is one year production, plus or minus.

None of my comments should keep you from buying the car, depending on your desires and financial ability, just my thoughts. I can tell you from experience that if you buy it and think that you'll find a '38 engine to put in, be prepared to spend $10K to $15K easily for a correct engine. The last one I was quoted was at $12K, supposedly rebuilt, but unknown....

Good luck, beautiful car, and if it fits your needs go for it....only the Packard guys will know something is askew when you open the hood...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jim rosenthal

Thanks. I think that if we can get to a deal, I would just drive it and use it as is. It doesn't have its proper engine, but it isn't a SBC either, for which I am grateful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not quite on topic but nevertheless related. Packard Export Corporation in 1949 provided to Dealers and distributors of Right-Hand drive equipped vehicles information on retrofitting 288 engines into Pre-War cars as replacement engine. I'm sure there is a thread, maybe more than one, on the PackardInfo Site referencing this. Best I can provide is this link to the documentation for this procedure - Packard Motor Car Information - Packard Literature and Manuals - Right-Hand Drive Engine Replacement Service Letters

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jim rosenthal

Well, a deal did not get made. Essentially they want more than I think the car is worth. I think whoever sold them the car did not level with them as far as the change of engine, but that is only my opinion and not based on anything but conjecture. But the experience was a good one. I think what I would like to find is a 40-41 Super Eight coupe, preferably not black but I'll take what comes along that is usable and nice and not a project. I'm sure this search will take me a while. Wish me luck, everybody.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jim rosenthal

Yes. The car was in their auction twice, in June and December, and did not sell. I believe the reserve was set at $85K or thereabouts. This is a very attractive car which was well-restored in the past, probably in the 90s. The car was inspected at my expense by a retired Packard restorer who is expert and not too far from the car's location. He thought the installation of the '53 engine was well done and that in other respects the car was quite original, although it does have some added items such as an electric fuel pump. Overall he liked it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jim rosenthal

Funny you should mention that... there are not many cars where the closed version is worth more than the convertible, are there; the MB 300SL, the Ferrari 275 GTB and 275 GTS... I can only think of those two. There must be others. Sorry for the thread drift...there must be others. Maybe the Ford GT40, but very few open versions were made and even fewer are left.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like the right decision Jim. Pretty car though but IMHO 1/3 comes off for engine situaiton.

On closed vs. open values if you are interested their was a thread on that in the general section about a year ago. Not sure I agree on the 300 SL values as that baton seems to go back and forth, although a couple of very big dollar GW sales recently may pull the gullwings up beyond the open 300 SL. Out of my rent district but fun to follow anyway...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jim rosenthal

The Gullwings have historically outsold the roadsters, although the roadsters are actually much more usable (and safer) cars. The roadsters are gaining, though. An alloy Gullwing (there were only a few of them) failed to sell at a bid of 3.3 million recently- they are REALLY high-dollar cars, high enough that if you had one, you essentially couldn't drive it anywhere outside a show. Not much point in that.......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...