donor car/restoration

General topics, not covered elsewhere, of all things Packard.
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clipper56
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donor car/restoration

Post by clipper56 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:16 am

Hi, I have been talking about a 1939 Packard that I have been looking at and saw in person it's on craigslist but it needs a frame off restoration because it's really bad, My question is should i buy it because I can't stop thinking about it and I really like it, I have asked about this car before and people have told me don't get it because I do not have enough money to fix it and that it's not worth it because of how rough it is but other people have told me I should use a donor car and use the parts from that car to replace the fenders and other parts of the body that have bondo and I have no idea what I should do.
Thanks

clipper56
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Re: donor car/restoration

Post by clipper56 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:35 am

And if i were to get a donor car which type would be the best for it.

Dave Czirr
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Re: donor car/restoration

Post by Dave Czirr » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:04 am

Pretty hard to offer any comments without more information. First it would be useful to know whether the car in question is a Six, 120, Super Eight, or perhaps even a Twelve, and what body style, without knowing this no one could even speculate on what might be a suitable parts car. This would help give some notion value versus costs. Also pictures would be helpful. But to really try to answer we'd also have to have an estimate of just how much you're prepared to invest into the venture, and what your final expectations are (show car, tour car, etc.). As a generalization, unless you really what a challenge and very deep pockets, you're better off buying the best car you can as a starting point.

The question you ask is the most difficult type of question to try to give good advice on.

clipper56
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Re: donor car/restoration

Post by clipper56 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:24 am

it is a 1939 Packard six sedan here is a link to the car.

http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/cto/4892785168.html

Dave Czirr
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Re: donor car/restoration

Post by Dave Czirr » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:13 am

Just my own prejudiced opinion so take it for that. If I were to want to make a significant investment in Packard, I'd rather put the money into one of the models that supported, or at the least didn't detract from their reputation as a luxury car maker, not that the Six was not a good car - quite the opposite. Unless you're incredibly talented I see a car that, even assuming the mechanicals are sound and just need routine freshening, I see a car that could devour $25,000 pretty quickly and probably more, and when you're done perhaps (likely?) have a market value of less than your investment. If you're willing to put in the $ and effort with that in mind, I'd say go for it. One large factor that folks sometimes ignore when thinking about investment/value balance are such things as the value of pride of ownership, friendships made thru the hobby, participating in tours and the like, and just the value of miles and hours of enjoyable use of the car.

Again - just the way I look at it, others can very rightfully view the prospect quite differently and I hope you get some other comments to help you put it into some kind of overall perspective.

Thanks for participating in the PAC forum, and do please let us know the outcome.

Dae

clipper56
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Re: donor car/restoration

Post by clipper56 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:41 am

thanks

5682-4775
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Re: donor car/restoration

Post by 5682-4775 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:29 am

Hi

Dave gives the best advice. You should consider very carefully before committing major time and money to this car. That said, at its cheap price, you could approach it as a learning tool about pre-war Packard models. Dealing with the problems just involved with getting it operational could be a more valuable learning experience that you would then carry onto later acquisitions.....something to think about. Because the 1937-1947 Sixes were the highest production models for most of those years, finding a better one isn't very hard should you decide that is what you ultimately want.

Steve

genehouse
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Re: donor car/restoration

Post by genehouse » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:44 pm

I agree that Dave gave you excellent advice so let me confuse you a little and ask a couple of questions. What makes you think it needs a frame up restoration? The car appears to be mostly there and the engine, unless it is completely fried, wants to run. I've seen engines that set for 30+ years in a automobile graveyard start with some TLC (cleaned out with kerosene and had all ignition parts repaired or replaced) and a complete change of fluids. The big question is one of the first that Dave asked you; what is your ultimate goal? I would add another important question; how much time do you have every week to work on it? If you are looking for a show car then I again agree with Dave, but something that is reasonably good condition that requires little work. Buying a big project can really ruin you day if you get in over you head and you skill set. Believe me, there are a lot of classic cars setting out there for sale or just setting taking up space that some guy or girl bought and got in over their head so far they got discouraged and quit before they got started good. You do not want that to happen to you.
BUT, looking at the pictures, that car does not look terrible. I've started with a lot worse. Do you really know how bad the Bondo is? Just maybe it is possible to patch it. Of course, you can always do both and that is what I'm doing now. I've bought two almost identical cars. One is in very good shape and is show worthy in local shows as it sets now. The other one is the most deluxe model for this year and had oval windows in back and all of the luxury items available in 1926. As it sets now, the back of the car is gone (from the waist up) and all of the old wood in a bundle laying in the car. This will be a 4-5 year project to rebuilt and will cost me more than it will be worth probably (especially if I count my time) but, there are fewer than 5 of these surviving that we know of today. That makes it extremely special to me and worth all of the time it is going to take to put it back on the road.
So, have I given you enough options and choices and gotten you confused enough? Again, just like Dave said, it is all going to boil down to your ultimate plans for the car. I'm hoping you plan to drive it every day that the weather allows you to.
Be blessed,
Gene
1949 Super 8 Limousine
1939 Buick Special
1926 Star 6
1926 Star Landau (still in AZ waiting for me to pick it up!)

If you are going to skate on thin ice, you might as well dance!

dak955
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Re: donor car/restoration

Post by dak955 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:44 pm

Clipper56. I took a look at the listing for the car you are looking at and in my opinion, you need to walk away from this car. This car is advertised as a parts car and i feel it is a true description. Along with the fact that it has no title. That in itself can sometimes be a challenge to get depending on where you live......any donor car you would find that would have better parts than this one would be a better candidate to restore. The best advice any one ever gave me in this hobby was my dad who told me years ago to always buy the best car you can. You pay a little more up front but you pay a lot less in the long haul.....just my 2 cents....

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