1937 Packard Super Eight

Packard Motor Company, a leading luxury automobile manufacturer, produced vehicles from 1899 to 1956. The company was founded by James Ward Packard, his brother William Doud Packard and their partner George Lewis Weiss. Originally located in Warren, Ohio, they spent a few years engineering and improving their design. In September of 1900, The Ohio Automobile Company was founded as the manufacturer, but the cars were always sold as Packards. In 1902 the company was bought by a group of investors led by Henry Bourne Joy who moved the company to Detroit where it was re-named the Packard Motor Car Company.

The pictured 1937 Super Eight belongs to a Clavey Auto Service customer and has been serviced by us. In 1937, Packard had a “Junior” line of autos that included the less costly Model 120 eight cylinder cars and the Model 110 six cylinder cars. They also had a “Senior” line and the Super Eight was one of them. Half of the workers spent their time building the 7,093 Super Eights and Twelves for 1937. The other employees were given the task of assembling more than ten times as many of the “Junior” vehicles.

Major changes for the 1937 Packard Super Eight included a 320 cubic inch 9 main bearing straight eight engine, which when equipped with the iron head, produced 135 horsepower. The car came with a new independent front suspension utilizing coil springs and wishbones. The frame was the Safe-T-fleX type that had been introduced in 1935 on the 120 Packard. Another major improvement was the use of hydraulic brakes. Wire wheels were dropped in favor of a new all-steel wheel. Most of the bodies were now made in house. Prior to the depression the coachwork would have been built by a custom coach builder.

The Super Eight came in 3 different trim levels, the 1500, 1501 and 1502. The 320 c.i.d. engine developed 130 hp with the standard 6.5:1 compression ratio cylinder head and 135 hp with the optional iron head that raised the compression ratio to 7.0:1. The wheel base was 127” for the 1500, 134”for the 1501and 139” for the 1502. Prices ranged from $2,335.00 to $4,990.00 which was very expensive in 1937.

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