1937 Packard 115 Business Coupe Barn Rescue

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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:22 am

1937 Packard 115 Business Coupe Barn Rescue

Post by turbojim » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:13 am

Hi there, a few months ago I acquired a 1937 115 Business Coupe. This car belonged to my stepdad, given to him by his father. The car has been stored in his barn for 50 years. The last registration on the car was 1958, the plate is still on it. My stepdad passed a few months ago and I "rescued" the car so the house could be sold. I was, and still am, excited about owning such a rich piece of history. But, upon much further research, I feel that I do not have the time or the resources to put this car in the condition it deserves to be in. My biggest issue is space as I have dedicated one bay of my two bay garage to storing this car.
Anywho, the car is very solid. Of course it needs completely gone over due to the length of storage. It was repainted years ago, but the original color was maintained.
A few issues to note:
- At some point, the roof panel was replaced with a welded-in sheetmetal insert.
- Prior to 1958, a beam or board fell and dented the driver front fender and hood. Both a very easily repairable.
- oil bath air filter missing

Otherwise, this is a very good candidate for restoration. The wood in the trunk area is perfect, no rotting whatsoever. The undercarriage looks to be extremely solid and in great shape.

I am in south central PA, just outside of Gettysburg. I'm putting feelers out for interest at this point. Please contact me if interested in seeing the car or if you have any advice on where to start should I keep the car and begin restoration.

Thanks for looking!
packard in.jpg
Packard in barn
packard out.jpg
Out of barn
packard interior.jpg
packard trailer.JPG
Loaded on trailer
packard garage.JPG
Packard in my garage

Posts: 230
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:12 am

Re: 1937 Packard 115 Business Coupe Barn Rescue

Post by flackmaster » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:57 am

From all aspects, a great project. Should you endeavor to restore at some point, this is a very easy car to work on, and parts are not a problem, generally speaking. There are plenty of forum members here to provide advice on just about any topic. Start reading, and feel welcome to drop by the PAC tent at Hershey to get some Parts and Shop manual reprints, as well as meet many of the forum members in Person.
Alternatively, should you decide to sell the car, you will not have any trouble finding an eager buyer, whether for an original restoration, or (gulp!) from the streetrod crowd. Many Many of these entry level Packards wind up streetrodded....

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Re: 1937 Packard 115 Business Coupe Barn Rescue

Post by dmdelavan » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:20 am

First of all run down to Hershey for the swap meet and find the air cleaner you need. You can probably get the tires at Hershey as well.Then clean up everything. If someone locally can steam clean the undercarriage and engine compartment that will allow you to work more readily, notice lube leaks, etc. Next get the car running and safe. Flush the cooling system, change the oil, lube the chassis and change the gearbox and rear end lubricants. Do basic tune up and get the engine running as well as possible, get the gas tank cleaned by all means and the fuel lines blown out before you start the engine. You'll find out in short order if you need to service the fuel pump and carburetor.

Then drive the car for a few hundred miles over the next few weeks. This will enable you to see what else it will need or not need. You can then decide if a full blown restoration is in order or not. Order your priorites and get busy. Bear in mind this is not a highest dollar car but is certainly worthy of revival. And if you haven''t done so yet JOIN THIS CLUB IMMEDIATELY AND GET ACTIVE WITH YOUR LOCAL REGION.
Don Gutting

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Re: 1937 Packard 115 Business Coupe Barn Rescue

Post by turbojim » Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:30 am

Thanks for the replies and the input guys.
Just to note, I did join PAC months ago and a shop manual was my first purchase before even picking up the car.
I have one question that hopefully is easy to answer. What is everyone doing for wheels/tires on these cars???? I've looked into Vintiques.com to buy aftermarket lookalikes because I'm wary of running tube/tire combo on the original wheels. In your experience, is it best to use an aftermarket wheel with radial tubeless tire? I'm mostly worried about blowouts & reliability with the tube tires.
This is completely new to me, I've never gotten this involved on a car this old. My previous projects have all been vehicles with the last 20 years.

John Harley
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Location: Dumont, NJ

Re: 1937 Packard 115 Business Coupe Barn Rescue

Post by John Harley » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:48 pm


Tube tires are not going to be an issue at the speeds this car is capable of! Clean up the wheels. There are plenty of places to get tires, like Coker and Lucas. Look in Hemmings or go online. You will get a lot advice to use radials but remember that the wheels and suspension (excellent on this car!) weren,t set up to deal with the sideways flex of a radial tire.


John Harley

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Location: lincolnshire, uk

Re: 1937 Packard 115 Business Coupe Barn Rescue

Post by Adam » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:22 am

I would agree with John, I have used standard tubes and tyres for many years without a single problem. No need to change anything, but some of the whitewalls give poor handling.

The car would make a fab daily driver, with minimal cleaning up for real shabby chic!!!

"Do not underestimate the English cousin.....they are not as stupid as they look!" - Signor Altabani in The Italian Job.

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Re: 1937 Packard 115 Business Coupe Barn Rescue

Post by turbojim » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:54 am

Okay guys, you've pretty well pushed me to the keep, clean & drive side of the fence. I am currently shopping for tires, will go with blackwall since that's whats currently on it, then begin the arduous process of cleaning the cabin. I'm sure many more questions will develop, I'll be sure to post in the proper section of the forum :)
Thanks for the responses!

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Re: 1937 Packard 115 Business Coupe Barn Rescue

Post by cli55er » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:05 am

sure do like that car! one of these days i'll have me a '37.

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