Matt Harwood

Unusual 1942 Packard 160

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Packard friends, I have a car I can't quite pin down. I recently acquired this handsome 1942 Packard 160, but I'm not quite sure what it is specifically. It's a 160 sedan, but it has a divider window and a single side-facing jump seat in back. I've never seen that particular combination. Is this a formal sedan? A response to the Cadillac 60 Special Imperial? It's an incredibly original car with 38,000 original miles and long-term ownership. I've known the car since I was a kid here in Cleveland, although it comes to me by way of New Jersey. Fantastic survivor with a very nicely preserved interior.

 

No overdrive, but it runs and drives beautifully save for a persistent exhaust leak--hopefully replacing gaskets isn't a nightmare job like on the Buicks. Any tips there? I believe the manifold-to-block gasket is blown at or around cylinder #4.


But what model is it specifically? Very unusual.

 

Thanks!

 

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A 1942 Super Eight 160, Model 2004, Body Style No. 1562, 138 inch wheelbase, is the basic model.  The addition of a retractable partition window but with broadcloth upholstery throughout, rather than the typical drivers compartment leather upholstery for limousine types, makes it a berline style body.  The berline was sedan fitted with a partition window intended to be owner-driven but also outfitted for occasional formal use.  The  one side-facing folding auxiliary seat was added for the short-term use when an addition passenger accompanying either a full complement of passengers or for an attendant for the rear seat passengers.   Since it was not a standard listed Twentieth Series model, this car was a special order which Packard was famous for accommodating.  

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Fascinating car, post, and response.  It has to get a lot more obscure than this to stump the experts....

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Back in the day I was was playing with some Packards, and was told the jump seat facing sideways was for one reason only. It was for the help. Help doesn’t face the same direction in the rear seat as the employer. So it probably was for a footman or secretary.

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54 minutes ago, 58L-Y8 said:

A 1942 Super Eight 160, Model 2004, Body Style No. 1562, 138 inch wheelbase, is the basic model.  The addition of a retractable partition window but with broadcloth upholstery throughout, rather than the typical drivers compartment leather upholstery for limousine types, makes it a berline style body.  The berline was sedan fitted with a partition window intended to be owner-driven but also outfitted for occasional formal use.  The  one side-facing folding auxiliary seat was added for the short-term use when an addition passenger accompanying either a full complement of passengers or for an attendant for the rear seat passengers.   Since it was not a standard listed Twentieth Series model, this car was a special order which Packard was famous for accommodating.  

 

This car is on a 127 inch wheelbase. Is it still the same?

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The images look to be 138" but its your car so you would know.   The 127" wb  160 is a Model 2003, Body Style No. 1572, the six-window touring sedan for six passengers.  Even more of a real anomaly, barely enough room to fit the partition window parallel with the B-pillar, to say nothing of the auxiliary seat which must be rather tight.

 

What does the data plate show?

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34 minutes ago, 58L-Y8 said:

The images look to be 138" but its your car so you would know.   The 127" wb  160 is a Model 2003, Body Style No. 1572, the six-window touring sedan for six passengers.  Even more of a real anomaly, barely enough room to fit the partition window parallel with the B-pillar, to say nothing of the auxiliary seat which must be rather tight.

 

What does the data plate show?

 

Data plate is blank except for the serial number. The divider window has side tracks but there's nothing at the ceiling--it just closes against the headliner. There are also snaps along the top back of the front seat, as if there was some kind of snap-in privacy curtain. There's a hand crank inside the middle compartment where the clock is, and the passenger side door where a jump seat would be is instead a little storage compartment.

 

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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

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The 1562 is the 2004, 138 inch wheelbase six passenger touring sedan.  When you have a chance, measure the wheelbase to be sure.  The partition windows where done that way, track on the side, closed against the headliner.  A privacy curtain would not be unusual.

 

Dave Czirr (Owen Dyneto on the PackardInfo Forum) records and analyzes Packard serial and thief-proof number (the large numbers stamped between the triangles on the firewall in the engine compartment).  He would be the individual to contact for correct answers.

 

I'd recommend you visit the PackardInfo site, check the Photo Archives for 1942. there is a 160 pictured there that might be your car. 

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Measured today and the wheelbase is 138, my mistake. It's a 160 and doesn't look anywhere near as big as my Buick Limited, so I figured it was the smaller car.

 

Thanks for the added information!

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Have you had a chance to contact Dave Czirr with the pertinent serial and thief-proof numbers?

 

This is the '42 2004-1562 pictured in the PackardInfo Forum Photo Archive.  By the other photos, it has Electromatic clutch and overdrive, no partition window, is fitted with the rear compartment footrail.   

 

'42 Packard 160 2004.jpg

Edited by 58L-Y8
Added another '42 160 2004 for reference (see edit history)
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I can't speak for 1942 models, but I have corporate documentation stating that the 1937 Super Eight and Twelve sedan models could be ordered with the Formal Division.

Back around 1966 I saw a Super Eight with the division and there exists a Twelve in Houston with the division.

(Has anyone checked Jim Hollingsworth's book on the 1940s to see if he treats the topic?)

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The following is the correct answer to your question Matt.    The car you have there was originally a funeral home car in Cleveland.   I know this is a fact as my dad was very good friends with the long time NE Ohio owner, and even knew his father, who bought it from the funeral home in the early 1950's.   It was in pristine condiiton when they aquired it, and only used it on Sundays.  While most 356 powered Packards of the 1940's have overdrive, this car does not.  No need for O/D in a funeral procession.  Also, the "One Sixty" script emblems on the hood sides were added later.  The funeral home either ordered the car with them deleted or Packard didn't put them on cars being sold for commercial use.   How do I know this?  My dad is the one who gave the long time owner the "One Sixty" scripts to put on the car.  He pulled them off a car in a wrecking yard in the late 50's/early 60's.   I dont believe the long time owner ever got around to installing them.  I think they were sold with the car & the current owner may have added them.    If you look up old photos of this car in NORCCCA newsletters from the 1980s' & early 90's there will be a lot of photos of it, and you'll see those hood scripts aren't on it.  Another thing that may have been altered is the top cross piece on the middle of the front bumper.   Does it say 160 or 180?   It may have been plain originally.  The long time owner had the bumpers re chromed in the late 1980s and I remember some conversation about that but don't remember the exact details.  The fact ther car doesn't have a radio also backs up the funeral home provenance.  I believe it had seat covers on the front seat for a long time as there were a line of snaps running along the top of the seat surround in front of the division window opening.  The car only had something like 33,000 original miles on it in the early 1990s.  Glad to see the car back in NE Ohio where it belongs and I hope some one local buys it.           

 

 

Edited by K8096 (see edit history)

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