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1941 Packard 180 Phaeton


Halfton65
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Let me start by saying I don't know much about Packards but recognized this as something special. It's a 1941 Packard 180 4 door convertible, dual windshield, rumored to be ordered by a dignitary originally. My only resource on available models is Old Car Price Guide and I don't see this as a model listed.

 

Can anyone shed some light on this car?

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Interesting car! It is definitely not a phaeton as the car in the photos has roll-up windows while phaetons were open. Interestingly, the front pieces on the side of the hood ahead of the Cloisonné are identical to those used on the 1941 Henney-Packard, which otherwise used 160/180 trim even when using the 120 engine but I was not aware of them on passenger car body styles.

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Very neat car. Also I would call it rare, but that doesn't translate into huge dollars. I agree more photos and info needed to pin down a value. In it's current condition it won't be an easy car to sell unless it is priced right. I am sure there are some Packard experts who can help you out. I would recommend Tom LaFerriere in Rhide Island. He is a hobbiest / dealer that will buy it outright or sell it for you on consignment. If your not a car guy it may be the best avenue for you to sell it. Good luck.

Toms number is 401 651 2295

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Though Packard records of the numbers of individual body types built either weren't kept or haven't survived, a statistical analysis to estimate the production numbers of each type was done some years back by a Packard collector Charles Blackman and over time has proven very accurate, I do have a copy of that document somewhere. The estimates were based on a study of the sequential portion of surviving vehicle numbers and the number on yours (I see the plate in intact) will tell not only the exact model of your Packard (either a production 180 convertible sedan, or a custom) but also its sequential number. PM me if you wish and I'll dig out the document and look it up for you.

Edited by Owen_Dyneto (see edit history)
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A bit more info.  Packard did not produce a 1941 convertible sedan in the 180 series.  In the "senior" line of cars they were available in the 160 series on the 1903 chassis as body types 1477 and 1477DE for the Deluxe version; estimate of production for these two models per the Blackman analysis is 30 and 37 respectively.  The vehicle number on your car (plate on cowl forward of driver's windshield) should tell the whole story.  If it's either 1477-2XXX or DE1477-2XXX it's a factory bodied 160 convertible sedan.  If is numbered with a chassis number, 1906, 07 or 08-2XXX then it was sold as a chassis to someone like Rollson for the coachwork.

 

Also consider the possibility which happens frequently enough that it's a 160 which someone "upgraded" by adding 180 script and features.  In any case the vehicle number should tell us exactly what it is.
 

Edited by Owen_Dyneto (see edit history)
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A collector near me has a restored 1941 160 deluxe conv sedan.   Just as Owen said, he said there were no 180 conv coupe or conv sedans made.  They were all 160s.  The big difference between the standard 160 and deluxe 160 convertible models was the real wood trim on the tops of the door interiors, which this car has.   The 180 script on the trunk could have been added by a dealer when the car was new, or a later date.  

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A friend of mine owns this 1941 Packard 180 convertible sedan, but it's custom-built bodywork, not a factory body (Rollson maybe?). I'm sure it's not the only one. He loves the car and drives it regularly, but I find it a little ungainly overall. It's just MASSIVE. I believe it has a roll-up divider window, not a folding windshield like the car above. If the car in question is a 180, it has to be custom-bodied. Would wheelbase be an indicator?

 

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Matt, that car is a Rollson one-off with an extended wheelbase (148"?).   

148 would be a standard long wheelbase chassis.

The car in the OP's photos appears to be a standard factory offered body. The question remains if it's a 160 or a 180. As has been mentioned, it is not known that Packard EVER made a factory-bodied 180 convertible.

I would also go so far as to question weather the car in the photo that Matt posted started out life as a 180.

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Some additional food for thought:

 

I agree with 'Owen', the Data Plate isn't original ... wrong font.

The badges on the hood latch mechanism are inconsistent with Packard '41 180 factory badges (they used the Packard Crest in '41).

The 180 normally came with electro-hydraulic windows... I don't see any evidence of the dual solenoid setup where it would usually be on the firewall.

I can find no reference to body 1423 in any source material I have access to.

.

At this point, I'd like to know what the engine number is.  A factory 180 would start with 'CD', while a 160 would start with 'D'.  I assume it's a 356.

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Would the firewall number help any? What other indicators would be the 160 vs 180?

I'll be talking to the owner this week and try to get an engine number and more details. I'll probably get more threads going on more of his collection, there are some very unique cars on the property.

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No, the embossed firewall # (theft-proof #) would not help, it would only confirm it's a 1941.  Motor #s won't help either as the 160 and 180 engines were in the same number series.  The very best would be find the original patent or vehicle number plate, the one on the car is obviously a reproduction with incorrect information.  Other than that and looking thru whatever old documentation that might have come with the car for the real vehicle number, have you looked in the usual places for a coachbuilder's tag. 

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Obviously measuring the wheel base - the 1903's are 127"

The hood trim looks like Henney, but the sidemount covers are Packard (no external cover hinges)

If custom bodied, there may be a body plate (right cowl or door jamb often)

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With almost complete certainly there is no other place where the vehicle number would be found on the vehicle itself; to the curses of future owners once the original VN or patent plate is separated from the vehicle by some fool there is almost no way to ever recover the identity and history of the vehicle.  If you've tried prior owners, old documentation, The Packard Clubs roster keeper etc. and drawn a blank, it's close to hopeless.   I wish I could understand why there are so  many who separate the VN plates from their vehicles - of course one deliberate reason is when one is creating a bogus vehicle.  - plenty of those around.

 

bkazmer has already noted where to look for the coachbuilder's tag, to which I'd add the rear door step plates were used by some coachbuilders.  But most as he already noted are on the passenger side cowl between the front door and hood, and down low, almost at the running board area - they are not hidden, in fact usually the coachbuilder is proud of his work and it's prominent.

Edited by Owen_Dyneto (see edit history)
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148 would be a standard long wheelbase chassis.

The car in the OP's photos appears to be a standard factory offered body. The question remains if it's a 160 or a 180. As has been mentioned, it is not known that Packard EVER made a factory-bodied 180 convertible.

I would also go so far as to question weather the car in the photo that Matt posted started out life as a 180.

Never say never!  Reportedly, they made two 180 station wagons; which was supposedly not available in that series.

 

Craig

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I said it is not known that Packard ever made one. That doesn't mean they didn't.

The only big difference between the 180 and 160 is electric windows. It would seem to appear that Packard did not think it was a good idea to put electric windows in convertibles and station wagons. If I were buying a "180 station wagon", I'd want to have solid proof that it was sold as a 180. Just an engine number would not be sufficient. There were VERY, VERY few 160 station wagons built, let alone 180, so any Super 8 station wagon would be up for question.

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Since there were no 160 or 180 station wagons in the lineup, Packard would have no way to provide a vehicle number, so a study of what the vehicle number is, is the place to start. If the number begins with a chassis type number (for example 1903, 1904, etc) the original unit of sale was a chassis w/o coachwork and the vehicle was completed by a coachbuilder. If the vehicle number begins with a body type (for example that of a 4-door sedan) chances are the conversion to a wagon was done after the point of sale by Packard. I'm not aware of any 160 or 180 station wagons that were bodied by Packard; the single 160 I'm aware of was a post-sale conversion.

Edited by Owen_Dyneto (see edit history)
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Here's a 1940 Packard conv sedan on e bay right now.  The auction has it labeled as a 160, but looking at the taillights makes me think it's a 120.  There's no good engine photo to see if it has a 356 in it.      

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Packard-160-Sedan-4-door-Convertible-Convertible-/121760895600?forcerrptr=true&hash=item1c5983d270&item=121760895600

Edited by K8096 (see edit history)
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