Valuation impact of an engine swap

General topics, not covered elsewhere, of all things Packard.
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Re: Valuation impact of an engine swap

Post by Howard56 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:37 am

On your third question re the engine and firewall numbers. In those days the engine number was often used to register a vehicle. The other was the vehicle number which is on the patent plate screwed to the cowl in front of the driver. Which number was used depended on the state motor vehicle dept. The fact that somehow the number was able to be changed on registration papers to match the new engine speaks volumes for either a lax motor vehicle dept or someone's connections or perseverance. There are people today who would almost give a firstborn to be able to do that and get thru their hassles with motor vehicle registration when an engine has been changed or patent plate removed and the original documents or numbers no longer match.

For a 160 super eight club sedan the vehicle number on the patent plate will start 1376-xxxx. First 4 digits is the body catalog number and last 4 or 5 is the sequence in production of that particular model when the car was built. For the sequence number, rather than starting at 0001 there was a starting point of a few hundred up to one or two thousand. Number varied by year and I am too lazy to dig out the info for the starting number of 40 models. Others will have it at the tip of their tongue if you want it.

The embossed number on the firewall between the triangles is called the body or dash number -- today more commonly the theft proof number and was a number only used internally by Packard and not for registration purposes. Ironically it is the only permanent number on the car yet one of which very few records of the numbers exist today. Except for a few scattered documents and a partial database Dave has managed to compile there is no record to know what number went with a particular car. Having said that, being the only permanent number on the car if there are issues with paperwork and a car needs to be inspected before registration, today the inspector will often use that number since it cannot be removed.
Last edited by Howard56 on Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dave Czirr
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Re: Valuation impact of an engine swap

Post by Dave Czirr » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:36 pm

For 1940, the sequential production numbering began at 2001.

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Re: Valuation impact of an engine swap

Post by 58survivor » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:17 pm

Thanks guys. I appreciate the "as built" and total originality points. Personally, I'm in the "they are only original once" category so once restored I'm looking to stay in the period correct space. In the case of this car, I'm not looking for concours or investment grade. It has its fit and finish problems but my biggest concern was the replacement engine. The feedback here has given me enough comfort to believe what I'm looking at is close enough to period correct to satisfy most people but not enough to satisfy judging purists. It looks to be an older restoration that was well cared for but showing some signs of age. I can live with that - my body feels the same way so I'm sympathetic. It will be driven sparingly but enjoyed. I'm just trying to avoid overpaying on the initial purchase price if many of the major components were not the same as a period correct car.

Back story - I've had an old picture of this vintage Packard with me for over 50 years and have eyeballed many at car shows too numerous to mention. I'm far enough along to finally be able to find and afford one. Pictures of both are attached.

Thanks for all your help, insights and opinions. My first round of price negotiations starts tomorrow.
Walter Godeski's Packard 08221943 edited and reduced (2).jpg
Walter Godeski's Packard 08221943 edited and reduced (2).jpg (50.93 KiB) Viewed 389 times

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Re: Valuation impact of an engine swap

Post by Howard56 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:13 am

Coincidentally a poster at packardinfo just placed a link to a 41 160 currently on Hemmings which has an untouched 356 without the factory filter plumbing mod. It does have the correct final version oil fill pipe and cap which were some of the changes made for sticking valve issues on prewar 356s but the horizontal air tube directing air flow to the filler cap is not installed and while I can't see it well, the cap may be on backwards. Interestingly, the oil sender on the 41 engine is in the wrong port for whatever reason. Could just be an error on the restorers part but at least you can see the original engine and head and how it would compare to the later 356. The postwar engine is shown in the photo I posted earlier in this thread. ... refer=news

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Re: Valuation impact of an engine swap

Post by DrMorbius » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:40 am

58survivor, that looks like a very nice Packard and that color is wonderful for that body style! Good luck with your negotiations!!!


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