Less than 36,000 miles from new
1941 PACKARD 180 CUSTOM SUPER 8 SEVEN PASSENGER LIMOUSINE
COACHWORK BY LEBARON
Chassis No. 1420 - 2033
Two-tone grey and blue with grey broadcloth passenger's compartment and black leather driver's compartment
Engine: straight eight, L-head, 356ci., 160bhp at 3,500rpm; Gearbox: three-speed column shift manual; Suspension: independent front with rear leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel hydraulic drums. Left hand drive.
As the 1930s drew to a close the Packard Motor Car Company found itself facing a dilemma. The newly introduced Junior Series cars grew in popularity, but the Senior Series cars suffered. The economic and political tone of the country dictated a new norm and unfortunately for Packard their higher priced cars began to suffer. By 1940 Packard, largely under the direction of George Christopher, cleverly placed even more distance between the two lines of Packard motor cars. Prices for Packards ranged from the very modest, less than $700, to the very expensive, over $6,000 for the custom coachbuilt 180 series cars. Nevertheless, many clients found few differences between the Packards of old and the newer models and, despite the improved production methods employed by Christopher, sales suffered.
To help alleviate some of the problems for the Senior Series cars, Packard engineers gave several new additions to the 1941 180 Series cars, some of which included hydraulically operated windows, gravel shields and wood inlaid interior trim in place of the previous standard metal dashboard and trim. Eleven different body styles were available, six of which were coachbuilt creations by prestige designers such as Rollson, Darrin and Lebaron. The 180 Custom Super 8 models were available as cabriolets, sports sedans, town cars, formal sedans, touring sedans and touring limousines, the very last of which is demonstrated by the 180 on offer here. The 1941 Custom 180 Super 8 Packards, known as Nineteenth Series cars, combined all the nuances of elegance, refinement and automotive excellence displayed by Packard's competitors. Nevertheless, the global political climate made potential buyers for these unabashed luxury items quite limited and, though they were the favored car of American and foreign dignitaries, sales diminished and only a limited amount were produced.
This very low mileage Packard joined the Browning Collection in the mid-1980s after being purchased by noted classic car enthusiast Mr. Tom Crook from an Atlanta, Georgia estate. The interior appears to be in highly original condition and shows the appropriate aging and patina for a nearly 60 year old original interior. The rear compartment shows only minimal moth damage and is in generally well preserved condition. The edges of the glass in the rear compartment show some yellowing, however, the lovely inlaid wood trimming appears to be in very good condition. The black leather driver's seat and compartment show some wear from use. All dashboard gauges appear correct and in good condition with the odometer showing less than 36,000 miles which is believed to be correct from new.
The two-tone grey and blue exterior paintwork seems to have been the result of a much older repaint. Some spidering and cracking is evident in various areas, however, the overall appearance is quite presentable. The panel is good with all the doors, hood and trunk closing solidly. The Packard's underbody looks very original and is not in show condition. The engine, though showing some oil leaks and drippage, is in good condition given the length of time without a restoration. On a recent short distance test drive, the car performed proficiently with the engine running smoothly. This 180 also features dual yellow glass foglamps, dual sidemount spares with hardcovers, original Packard side mirrors, original fuel/mileage ration sticker and a New Jersey inspection certificate from 1942. This lovely, low mileage Packard 180 is a wonderful example of the last impressive cars of the coachbuilt era and is undoubtedly one of only a handful of its kind in such wonderful original condition.