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1939 Packard Touring Sedan

This big black 1939 Packard Touring Sedan was easily the most imposing thing at last Saturday's Lincoln Highway Car Show. It's in unrestored original condition, mechanically sound and solid, but showing its age a bit in things like worn rubber on the running boards and little dings and cracks in the paint. On the other hand, I hope I look this good when I'm 72.

"Ask..." In 1939, Packard was every bit as prestigious as Cadillac, if not more so. This car isn't a purpose-built limousine, but nevertheless it's got more legroom in the rear seat than in the front. Packard buyers tended to be the sort of people who could afford a driver to go with the car, and those who sprang for one would have had ample room there in the back.

"...the man..." Under the side-opening hood, the 130 HP flathead straight eight has a lot of surface rust, but still runs as buttery smooth as the day it rolled off the end of the assembly line at Packard's East Grand Boulevard plant in Detroit.

"...who..." Packard had a formidable reputation for its engineering and build quality which was richly deserved. During World War II, Packard built the V-12 Merlin aircraft engine under license from Rolls Royce, and the Rolls Royce guys--who knew a thing or three about engineering and build quality--were impressed by how much improved the Packard version was.

The '39 is fully-equipped, with a clock on the passenger side and a six-tube AM radio so you could listen to Kate Smith and Glenn Miller during the trip.

"...owns one." It's big; by modern standards it's slow and inefficient and nowhere close to agile, but there's no question it has a presence about it that no Camry or CTS or E-Class could ever match.

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

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I've been to some events at the Packard Proving Grounds and I decided, forget a Bentley or a Rolls, if you want to arrive in style, a dual cowl phaeton Packard will do just fine.

More Packards here:
http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=2508
and here:
http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=1946

video of classic prewar Packards on the remains of the Packard Proving Grounds test track:
http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=1958

Hi, I just purchased a 1939 Packard Six, 4 door touring sedan. Looks very much like this one (interior, etc.) except it has no radio. Would it be possible to request a couple head on shots of the dash, particularly showing the radio installation? I have a line on a radio for this car, but want to be sure it's correct.
Thanks, Steve

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