1941 Packard 120 Convertible Coupe
Packard was one of the “Three Ps” – alongside Peerless Motor Company, and Pierce-Arrow – the company was known for building high-quality luxury automobiles. Owning a Packard was considered prestigious, and surviving examples are cherished by collectors.
Introduced for the 1935 season, the “One-Twenty”, also known as the “Junior Packard,” represented the company’s first foray into the medium-priced market sector. These models feature the 282ci inline-eight with a L-head configuration with angle-set valves and Thermo-Strut aluminum pistons producing 120 horsepower when new. The chassis utilized Packard’s Safe-T-fleX suspension all around, with unequal-length control arms, coil springs, torque arms, shock absorbers, and a roll-control bar up front. Out back, leaf springs are combined with hydraulic shock absorbers and a lateral stabilizer bar with a fifth shock absorber. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a Unimesh three-speed manual transmission with synchromesh on the highest two gears.
The 1941 models received mild styling changes for the new year. Headlights completely settled in the fenders and a one-piece rear window were among the most noticeable updates. The two-door convertible was one of eight body styles offered in the final year of production for the One-Twenty model line, which featured a 127” wheelbase with an X-member frame.
The car presented here features a 50-year continuous ownership by Packard specialist Fred Kanter of Kanter Auto Products. It sports older but presentable paint with some cracking and crazing from the 70’s in black. The interior and working vacuum top are newer while the chrome appears to be original. Accessories include a factory radio, clock and spotlights.
With a recent tuneup by the owner, the car starts easily, all gauges work with the exception of the fuel gauge which is sporadic. The three-speed manual transmission shifts easily thanks to synchromesh on 2nd and 3rd gears and it’s pretty happy at 55 MPH. The 120 is a great handling car with a lot of confidence on the road. The brakes were similarly powerful and reliable for the period. Handsome steel wheels with more red pinstripes, trim rings, and Packard hubcaps are wrapped in 7.00-15 older whitewall tires for the perfect period look.
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