ORIGINAL STRAIGHT 8 MOTOR, WORKING O/D, RUNS & DRIVES GREAT, NICE PACKARD!
The 120 was the car that saved Packard from the ravages of the Great Depression, and it turns out that they're some of the best-driving Packards of all. This 1940 Packard 120 4-door sedan offers legendary Packard straight-8 power, functioning overdrive, sidemounts, and wonderful patina that will make it a favorite tour car.
Packard was never known for taking risks, and that's part of the marque's appeal today. The 120, which was smaller and less expensive than the senior Packard cars, was roughly equivalent to a Buick yet offered big car styling that's instantly recognizable. The tall grille with the Packard ridge at the top, long hood, and tasteful rounded bodywork all successfully blurred the lines between the 120 and its big brothers. This handsome 4-door has a highly original look, and while we know it was painted some years ago, it looks quite original and had we not just told you about the repaint, it would be easy to believe this is factory paint. It's got a few signs of use, yes, a little fading here and there, but in today's world where patina is very much in fashion, this car is a knockout. All four doors fit well and close with that massive sound that makes cars like this so appealing today and with dual sidemounts, the affordable 120 look like it should cost a lot more than it does. Chrome is probably mostly original and in good condition, particularly the radiator slats, bumpers, and hood vents, all of which give this car its upscale look. We like the look and wouldn't change a thing.
The blue cloth interior is quite likely original, although like the paint, it's hard to be certain. The materials look about right, the patterns are what Packard was using in 1940, and things like the door panels, garnish moldings, and big bakelite steering wheel are in very good shape. The gauges are a bit weathered but they all work, and you'll note the knob under the dash for the factory "Aero Drive" overdrive, which is also fully functional (even the indicator light still works!). The radio is freshly restored but not working for some reason; we suspect a bad antenna lead, but that should be an easy fix. Three on the tree shifting is effortless and the controls are quite light so the 120 is easy to handle on today's roads. The back seat is positively cavernous by modern standards (remember this was the "little" Packard) and the trunk will hold anything you need for a tour.
The 120 used a 282 cubic inch version of Packard's straight-8, and the silky smooth road manners and strong torque output make this sedan a lot of fun to drive. The engine was probably rebuilt back when the car was painted decades ago, but it hasn't been driven a lot and it runs superbly today. It starts easily using the original 6-volt electrical system and downdraft carburetor, and at speed there's a wonderful exhaust note from the single tailpipe that's unlike any other 8-cylinder car you've heard. The transmission shifts properly, clutch take-up is clean, and the brakes feel reassuringly firm, making this car built for the road. And thanks to the lighter engine and bodywork, it's one of the best-riding and handling Packards of the era. Steel wheels with hubcaps and trim rings look dressy, especially wrapped in recent BFGoodrich Silvertown wide whites.
Nicely preserved and just right for getting out and driving, this Packard offers all the virtues of the senior cars all at a very reasonable price. Call today!
- AM Radio
- Bias Ply Tires
- Cloth Interior
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- Body Style
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