One day in the spring of 1978,
I went to visit the home of a friend. Parked in front of her
house was THE PACKARD. The right front fender was crunched in.
The interior hung in tatters. The former brightwork was a study
in pits and rust. The grill shell was dented in and the shutters
were gone. The paint was a patchwork of blotches, and the tires
It was beautiful.
I learned that the car belonged
to my friend's son, who had parked it in front of her house because
he had nowhere to keep it. When she said he was thinking of selling
it, I told her to call me immediately if he decided to do so.
A couple of months later, the car
was mine for $1500. I figured that it might cost another $1000
to redo the interior, and perhapes another $1000 for body work
and paint. Little did I know!
The motor had been overhauled before
I bought the car,and now it was time for the groaning transmission
to get the same tratment. I began repairing one problem after
another. For about three years I used the car pretty much as
it was when I bought it.
Then one day in February of 1982,
as I drove into my driveway, I found smoke coming out from under
the dash. The old wiring, after forty-four years, had finally
given out. I decided that if I was going to restore this car,
I had better do it right. In the driveway behind the house I
totally dismantled the car. As each component came off, I laid
out the disassembled pieces in order and took a picture of them
for future refereence.
The body, frame, wheels, nuts,
bolts, and all mechanical parts except the transmission were
Redi-Stripped. The wheels and body were primed and all the mechanical
parts were repainted. The restoration and reassembly went on
sporadically for the next several years, slowed somewhat by a
move from California to Kansas in 1985. By spring of 1989 I could
finally afford a professional restoration of the interior, and
except for a few minor details, that completed the project.