Not Everyone Should Own a Packard

Danny Koker of “Counting Cars” cruises the streets of Las Vegas searching for classic and antique cars for his next project.  More often than not he finds a suitable project which he restores, flips, or adds to his personal collection.

Many people hunt collectables cars when traveling; I am no exception.  My eyes are always searching for an interesting vehicle just waiting for a little love.  Rarely do I purchase one, but sometimes I do.

There was a 1954 Packard located less than two miles from my home.  I actually knew the owner and had taught and coached is son at the local school.  I showed my interest in the Packard several times, but it was not for sale.  Finally a few years later the car was for sale,  they were cleaning up the yard and getting rid of their junk.  I bought this cool 1954 Packard Clipper Super Panama 2 door hardtop for the exorbitant cost of $100.  Add this to the list of mistakes that all car collectors make: NOT EVERYONE SHOULD OWN A PACKARD.

The Packard shortly after we brought it home.

The Packard shortly after we brought it home.

The body was rough, the interior was poor, and it did not run. Not only did the “Packin’ Packard,” as my neighbor called it, have these problems, I didn’t have the cash to bring it back to life.

So a driver it became. Believe it or not, we got it running with a little ZEP, and a tune up. The brakes even worked.

I made a deal with my neighbor: he would paint the car, I would buy the materials and construct a small retaining wall near his garage.  A great deal for me.

We picked a Packard color and then matched it with a 2004 Ford color that was nearly identical (check out the pictures).  

I made door panels, installed a headliner and carpet, and repainted the dashboard.  Although we painted the chrome a silver color the old Packard was at least respectable.

The "restored" version of the Packard.

The "restored" version of the Packard.

A $2500 asking price brought a number of lookers. I sold it once for $2000, but the buyer backed out leaving me $60 cash and a bounced check for $240.  No problem, I had his $60 bucks and the car, but it was still unsold.

Thinking I was never going to unload it, a creative deal came to fruition.  The Dutch Apple Dinner Theater wanted to buy it and turn it into a stage prop. To meet their budget, I sold them the front half to just behind the front door.  I kept the rear and trunk to make a cool sofa. I was to keep the engine, but I blew it up moving the car around the property before they picked it up.

The “Packin’ Packard” has new life as the star of a “Grease” dinner theater production, and a sofa in my man cave. The car destined for the junkyard and later a “not so cool” driver, is now a dinner theater star and a useful, cool sofa.

This is just one of my personal CAR TALES, I have loads more.  All cars have them.  Leave a comment and share yours!