Lincoln Man Couldn't Walk Away from 1941 Packard

BY VERN PARKER
Motor Matters

Though Rick Parker had long favored Lincoln automobiles, he didn't want to miss what he knew would be an enormous gathering of Packards in Warren, Ohio, back in 1999 to commemorate the centennial of the first Packard automobiles.

He didn't anticipate becoming enamored with several of the 1941 models on display, and especially liked the 160 series convertible sedan model. Parker tried for two years to talk himself out of what he first thought was infatuation. Then he spent the next two years searching for one and eventually found two cars: one in Phoenix and the other in Salt Lake City.

The owner of the Utah car was vague about the history and condition of his convertible, while the owner of the Arizona car was knowledgeable about every aspect of his Packard. Parker thought he had found the car of his dreams, but wanted to be sure, so he flew from Maryland to Phoenix.

After a satisfactory test-drive, Parker said, "Let's put the top down." The owner confessed that he had never had it down. Together, the men wrestled the metal bows into submission. The next question was about the boot. The owner had recently had a new top made, but no boot. Parker gave him the money for a boot to be made by the same shop that made the top.

After purchasing the Packard, it arrived in a closed truck at a mechanic's garage in Maryland. When it was unloaded, the top was in the lowered position with a handsome new boot in place secured by 35 snaps.

The Packard was at the shop for 10 days while the mechanic gave it a once-over. The 7.00x16-inch bias-ply tires were replaced with radials. The 356-cubic-inch straight-eight-cylinder engine with nine main bearings checked out okay.

Research indicates that the 4,140-pound convertible sedan carried a base price of $2,225 in 1941. "My best guess is that about 75 or 80 were built," Parker says. This was the final year a convertible sedan model was offered. The Packard is equipped with metal-shrouded dual-side mounts capped with mirrors, stainless-steel gravel guards on the rear fenders, a five-button AM radio, a heater, dual-trim rings on each wheel, bumper guards, and a deluxe four-spoke banjo steering wheel. Four horizontal chrome "whiskers" adorn each fender. The 14 vertical vanes in the radiator are thermostatically operated.

With a nod to the style of the future, the Packard has no running boards. The interior offers many luxury appointments from the tan Bedford cloth and red leather upholstery to the wood-grained dashboard and windowsills.

Packard hexagons are prominently displayed on the bumper guards and hubcaps. Also on each hubcap is "160" with a chrome-plated script, and "One Sixty" on each side of the engine hood and on the trunk lid.

He also installed an overdrive unit. "Overdrive makes all the difference in the world," Parker explains. With the overdrive unit engaged, the 110-figure on the speedometer might actually be achievable. The mechanic who installed the overdrive now refers to the 1941 Packard as a "road locomotive."

This 4,140-pound 1941 Packard convertible sedan carried a base price of $2,225 in 1941. This was the final year a convertible sedan model was offered. The Packard is equipped with metal-shrouded dual-side mounts capped with mirrors, stainless-steel gravel guards on the rear fenders, a five-button AM radio, a heater, dual-trim rings on each wheel, bumper guards, and a deluxe four-spoke banjo steering wheel. Four horizontal chrome "whiskers" adorn each fender. The 14 vertical vanes in the radiator are thermostatically operated. With a nod to the style of the future, the Packard has no running boards. The interior offers many luxury appointments from the tan Bedford cloth and red leather upholstery to the wood-grained dashboard and windowsills.