Always built to the highest standards, the 1940 Packard Coupe was unquestionably one of the finest American cars of the pre-war era. In the 1930s, Packard controlled nearly 40 percent of the luxury car market, yet its traditional, labor-intensive, and low-volume production methods would soon contribute to a dire need to revise their approach. Forced to modernize or perish, Packard hired George T. Christopher, a retired GM production executive, to lead the development of an all -new automobile that was suitable for volume-production methods, yet retained Packard’s legendary build quality, engineering, and prestige. 1940 was a pivotal year for Packard, and is considered by many to be the last year of Packard’s Classic Era. A 1940 Packard is smooth, quiet and elegant, with enough modern technology to make them great touring cars on today’s highways.
Christopher devised a 4-year plan to introduce Junior Series cars to the market, and eventually, they dominated Packard’s bottom line. The market was changing, and all manufacturers were forced to respond with more standardized manufacturing techniques. Coachbuilt manufacturing became impractical, and efficiencies such as lighter aluminum pistons and the new Stromberg AAV-26 carburetor allowed the new 160 HP Super 8 engine to become the powerplant of choice for all upcoming Senior Packards. The Super 8 One Sixty Convertible Coupe sold for $1,797 when new.
- Inline 8 cylinder 356 cubic inch engine
- 160 HP
- 3-speed all synchromesh transmission
- independent parallelogram front suspension
- rear semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension
- 127” wheelbase
The unmistakable Packard look was subtly altered for 1940 with small side grilles flanking the iconic “oxbow” radiator shell, a styling touch that was already being used on other marques to make them appear wider when viewed from the front. Also, headlight pods now rested on the front-fender “catwalks,” a step toward the eventual integration of the lamps into the fenders that would take place in 1941. The headlight pods were now filled with brighter sealed-beam lamps, and the parking lights were shifted to slender nacelles atop the fenders. It was also the first year for fully covered dual sidemounts as optional equipment.
With just 401 Super 8 One Sixty Convertible Coupes built in 1940, this car is both rare and desirable, and is a CCCA “Full Classic” that easily runs down the highway at modern speeds. With legendary Packard reliability, smoothness, and classic styling, it will offer the option of open-air motoring always available at the push of a button.