|1940 Super Eight Club Sedan|
1940 1803 Super Eight Club Sedan
1935 1201 Club Sedan
1935 1204 Coupe 2-4
1947 2106 Clipper Touring Sedan
1942 2005 Touring Sedan
1941 120 Touring Sedan
1939 1288 Business Coupe
1948 2222 Super Limo
A Packard Named Franklin
This classy Packard Super 8 Club Sedan resides with the Baccaros. We had thought our collection was complete when we added the ’55 Custom Clipper to the garage with the ’47 and ’48. However, I always wanted a pre-war Packard and really longed for this particular car when I first saw it in 1993. George Bruns, a good friend in our club bought the car out of state and brought it to a Lone Star Packard Club meeting in the fall of that year. I even remember the meeting place - Hickory Hollow BBQ in the Heights. We admired the car and told George if he ever wanted to sell it, we wanted it! Of course we only had two Packards at the time.
Over the years many people inquired about the rare Packard Sedan, but George told them it was already “spoken for” and promised. George kept his word and told me several times he was taking good care of my car. A couple of years ago he called me and said he was ready to turn it over to my keeping. The price was perfect for us and with much excitement we went over to pick it up. For a good many reasons, it had been started, but not driven for about two years and we decided that a flat bed was the best way to bring it from Cy-Fair to League City. It arrived at our home in April of 2009. Being a former history teacher, I thought an appropriate name for a 1940 car would be Franklin. ( you may remember George and Jackie called it Big Red) Our ’55 is named Ike so Franklin is most appropriate.
This Packard Super 8 160 Club Sedan is a historic vehicle. The data plate indicates it is number 176 of only 176 160 Club Sedans built. Jim Hollingsworth, Packard expert and author of the book, “Packard 1940, a Pivotal Year”, verifies it is the last 160 Club Sedan off the line. It is also somewhat unique in that it was not sold through a dealer, but actually bought from the Packard Factory outlet in Detroit. The data plate reads 9/19/40 PMCC Detroit Branch. I wished we knew more about the specific history of the car.
We did very little to Franklin other than a brake job and tune up and we did install a battery disconnect switch for safety. A wax job did wonders for the finish! The engine is very strong and I had no problem getting it to 70mph and it was still climbing when I lost my nerve.
Perhaps more than any other manufacturer Packard confused the public with the naming of specific models. In 1940 there were two juniors, the 110 and the 120. At the other end we find two seniors the 160 and the 180. Both were powered by the new 356 CID straight 8 that replaced the Twelve. Basically they were very difficult to distinguish exterior wise but the interior on the 180 was a little more fancy. Different finish on the dash, built in rear vanity etc. Both were available in long wheel base and limo models which was also made it harder to identify them. The 180 did have cloisonne hubcaps and the early production models had the 160 sharing the same Packard script hubcaps as the junior models. Later in production they did add the hubcaps that said 160. In 1946 - 50 Packard went back to giving names to the various models instead of numbers. The 160 became the Super 8 and the 180 became the Custom Super 8.
Our Laguna Maroon beauty has so many extras it would be easier just to say what options it does not have. It does have dual sidemounts with full covers, a trunk rack, beauty rings on the wheels, whitewall tires, a deluxe banjo steering wheel, deluxe radio and heater, a thermostat controlled shutter grill, oil filter, and the Cormorant hood ornament. Of course under the long hood is a 160 horsepower, 356 cubic inch, 9 main bearing straight 8 engine. It does not have overdrive, but we easily cruised between 55 and 65 mph on a trip to the Texas Packard Meet in Salado last year.
While the lacquer is showing some age it is still very presentable and we don’t plan on new paint anytime soon. It has already appeared at the 2010 GCAACA Valentine’s luncheon, Keels and Wheels the past two years, and Classy Chassis in 2009. Look for Franklin at future GCAACA and Lone Star Packard Club meetings. Franklin “shines up” good!