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1935 Packard 120 sedan colours and opinions.


Ed Luddy
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A 1935 Touring sedan I was looking at today was originally white, so I'm told. It's a  Windsor Canada built car sold new in western Canada and was still in the original family until recently. I know a white was available on the colour charts but I've never seen one. This car is very correct as far as the restoration has progressed. The main body shell is completely redone to a very nice degree including the "White' paint.  Interior all done and looks to be installed properly. The rest is all in pieces including engine. 

Is there a paint code on the body serial # tag? I'm not the least bit Packard savvy. But I like this Canadian built car still here in Canada about 2 -3 hours from where it was built. If I'm able to make a deal I'd repaint to a soft pale green in the 30's palette.

 White doesn't become it to my eye.

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My 35 120 sedan was grey when new. It too is a Canadian car, sold new in Edmonton. The previous owner repainted it Silver about 25 years ago. I would have kept the grey if I had painted it. It's a very nice car to drive. Lots of power and great hydraulic brakes. They were excellent value for the money.

Ken

35 packard.JPG

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6 hours ago, KLF said:

My 35 120 sedan was grey when new. It too is a Canadian car, sold new in Edmonton. The previous owner repainted it Silver about 25 years ago. I would have kept the grey if I had painted it. It's a very nice car to drive. Lots of power and great hydraulic brakes. They were excellent value for the money.

Ken

35 packard.JPG

Very nice! The car I'm looking at was sold new in Calgary.

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We had a 39, but if I were to buy another jr. Packard, 35 to 37 I think is a great looking car, especially if you could land a club sedan.  Nice size, power for the era.

 

White is one of those colors, even if original, I would change.  Your green sounds much more appealing on that body style.  I think you want to understand how much wood is in the body, and if in paint, hopefully any wood issues were addressed earlier in the resto. 

 

Very well supported cars with a couple guys out there specializing in jr. Parts, Ron Aquino and guy on Packard forums, including here on AACA called flackmaster.  I had great luck with Max Merrit parts.  Last resort, "banter bros." In NJ, have parts, but be prepared to be frustrated though..

 

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5 hours ago, Hudsy Wudsy said:

Whenever I see a white pre-war car, especially a sedan, I think that the owner painted it to use in his daughter's dream wedding. In short, I don't think they ever look authentic.

 

I agree with that. I'm going back to look at it again next week. I really like the car, but need to find room and $$$. Too many other cars needing work right now!

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14 minutes ago, 28 Chrysler said:

White paints before WWII had problems of becoming  chalky. Light grays and creams would hold up better.

Packard Ivory was a light color used mostly for pin stripes. 

White was considered in the 1920's only appropriate for three types of vehicles: milk delivery trucks, ambulances and a child's hearse.  All other were considered gauche.  In the 1930's, light cream such as Packard Ivory, Cord's Cigarette Cream or Studebaker's Tulip Cream was acceptable but primarily for open body styles.   By the advent of WWII, a sedan or coupe in light cream was acceptable.  Taste and attitudes toward certain colors changed in that period almost as much as the styling. 

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An interesting aside (at least to me?) about white not being considered 'proper', at least in this country. In much of the United Kingdom, white was quite acceptable on automobiles. It is interesting looking at many era photographs of automobiles from places like Australia and New Zealand how many light colored or white cars there were there. The same is true for much of Africa and India from the 1910s and '20s. Many of the manufacturers in the British Isles sold cars painted white, both at home and abroad. To a lesser extent, so did some manufacturers in continental Europe.

 

Even the famous 'black era" of Henry Ford's model T, Canadian built chassis, sent to Australia and New Zealand, where locally built bodies were installed. A significant percentage of the cars were painted white when they were new.

 

There were of course exceptions in this country. One of the most famous being Buick's "White Streak" series (about 1908 through 1910) were in fact painted white when new. A few custom ordered luxury cars would be painted white almost every year. Other than that, very few American cars from the beginning until after WW2 were white when new.

 

I would almost bet, that today, there are more production model '30s Packard sedans painted white than there were in the 1930s! I have in the past said the same thing about "brass era" cars. Except for Buick's White Streak? And a few minor exceptions. It just wasn't done

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I mentioned earlier that white pre-war sedans always made me think that the owners daughter recently got married. Beyond that, I have to say that I genuinely think that painting one of these vintage sedans white actually devalues them. I can't recall the details at the moment, but there was a car that I really liked last year, but simply wouldn't consider because of that reason.

Edited by Hudsy Wudsy (see edit history)
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35 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

It would have been a constant battle to keep a white car clean, considering most roads were gravel before the second world war.

 

Craig

 

That is certainly one of the reasons in those days against white as a color in this country! But it is also part of why I find so many white cars in Australia and New Zealand so interesting. While the British Isles and Europe had comparatively good roads dating back to the (later) days of the Roman Empire, America had terrible roads of mostly dirt or mud. However, so did Australia and New Zealand!  On the model  T forum I have spent too much time on, we (quite a number of regulars there currently living in Australia and New Zealand!) have in years past had several lengthy discussions about the locally built bodies being sold new and painted white. Numerous original era photos clearly show cars either white or an extremely light shade of color or gray. A few original paint survivors still exist, as well as some nicely restored cars sworn to have been white since new. No one has yet come up with a satisfactory answer as to why?

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On 10/22/2020 at 5:39 PM, Ed Luddy said:

 

Is there a paint code on the body serial # tag? I'm not the least bit Packard savvy. But I like this Canadian built car still here in Canada about 2 -3 hours from where it was built. If I'm able to make a deal I'd repaint to a soft pale green in the 30's palette.

 White doesn't become it to my eye.

 

There's no paint code on the data plate, and no factory records remain.  Your best bet if you want to determine the original color is to look underneath places for original paint.  But I agree with what others have said that white would look all wrong on this particular car and would devalue it for market purposes.

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10 hours ago, wayne sheldon said:

"...about the locally built bodies being sold new and painted white. Numerous original era photos clearly show cars either white or an extremely light shade of color or gray. A few original paint survivors still exist, as well as some nicely restored cars sworn to have been white since new. No one has yet come up with a satisfactory answer as to why?"

Simply conjecture, but as part of the British Empire, since white cars were acceptable in England, the custom was extended across the Empire.  In equatorial countries or those where the climate was hotter, a white car would gather and retain less heat, something considered desirable to live around.   Tinting pigments likely were available everywhere, though the durability under intense sun an issue.  

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I'm going back on Tuesday for a better look at the car. I'll get some photo's. The interior is just about perfect. Body is very nice, Frame is the same. My biggest concern is inventory of all the parts for reassembly. Being here in Canada with the border closed makes my parts locating somewhat a PITA.

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