In 1971, I saw my first 1937 Packard Super 8 Sidemounted Touring Sedan.  It was in Lexington, Kentucky, on a horse farm, sitting in a field of "bluegrass", a little weathered, but still the most beautiful car I had ever seen!  I decided then I had to have one!

I talked to the owner and was told the car was not for sale.  I kept trying to buy it until it was eventually moved into a garage where it may still be sitting today.

Over the next 25 years, I got to know the car by ordering all the manuals, technical data, color chips, etc.  I even found several 37's for sale.  One was in Hemmings Motor News in the fall of 1978, supposedly a solid car with a rebuilt engine for only $2500, so needless to say, I called and bought the car.  Upon notifying the owner that I was sending a deposit, he told me that he had just sold the car!

Three years later, the same car came up for sale.  It had been bought by a minister who told me the engine had not been rebuilt and the wood in the doors had rotted to the point that the door was falling off!  (Sometimes things work out for the best!)   I did not buy that car this time, either.

Finally, in 1983 I found a nice car in Atlanta, and my wife Karen and I went to see and drive it.  It was a restored '37 Super 8 sidemounted, trunk rack, banjo steering wheel limo and was as smooth as I had imagined.  (The only problem was the price.)  I was just starting Southern Wheels Magazine, and I simply couldn't afford the Packard and the business both.  How could this be?  I had all the manuals, original paint chips, technical data, spare parts, but couldn't get the car.

As we worked to build the magazine, I acquired other cars of the 40s and 50s, and decided to wait until I could find an original, low mileage '37 in excellent condition.  This year, finally, I heard about one for sale in Connecticut.  When I called, I was told it was a 1937 Packard Super 8 dual sidemounted, trunk rack (with the original Packard trunk!), banjo steering wheel, radio & heater, Touring Sedan.  A 64,000 mile car originally ordered by the Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.  It had been chauffeur-maintained, with nitrocellulose lacquer in "Indian Maroon", with original tan broadcloth interior and excellent woodgrain dash and garnish moldings.   I asked the seller to send pictures.  When they arrived, I sent a deposit and scheduled a trip up north.  From Georgia, round trip it was 2000 miles.  We could only be away for three days, so we loaded up the truck and trailer and headed for Connecticut.

The trip was fast-paced, but enjoyable, as we traveled through eight states, then, at last, on Sunday, May 18, 1996, I was in Connecticut walking toward the garage where I could see the trunk of the '37!

Oh, man!  I can't believe this is really happening!  The car was actually better than the pictures!  I thought, "Even if it doesn't run, it's okay!"

As I got in the car and pushed the starter button, the 320 cubic inch, 9 main bearing engine came to life with a whisper, but with a strong, powerful feel.  We eased out onto the highway and the gears seemed to float into place.  It was absolutely the smoothest and quietest car I have ever driven!

So if you see a maroon 1937 Super 8 Packard touring around North Georgia and hear "big band" music coming from the radio, wave me down and I will continue the story.  I hope it doesn't end for a long, long time!

About the Car...

1937 Packard Technical Data...

1937 was Packard's best year for sales with 122,592 total cars sold.  Most of these were the smaller series cars, the 110 6 cylinders and 120 small 8 cylinders, with 5793 Super 8s and 1300 12s built.  Major changes for the 1937 Packard Super 8 included a 320 cu in 9 main bearing Straight 8 engine, which, when equipped with the iron head, produced 135 hp.  The frame was the Safe-T-fleX type that had been introduced in 1935 on the 120 Packard.  This was one of the strongest and best designs ever built, but proved too costly and was dropped after 1942.  New too were hydraulic brakes and independent front suspension.  The front doors were now front-hinrear-hinged doors used on the 1936 Super 8.  The wire wheels were dropped in favor of a new all-steel disc with a tire size of 7:50x16.

Super 8 1500,1501, 1502
ENGINE:  320 cu in, 130-135 hp
COMPRESSION RATIO: 6.5 standard, 7.0 optional
WHEEL BASES:  127", 134", 139"
PRICE RANGES:  $2335 - $4990
COLORS AVAILABLE:  Packard Blue, Packard Maroon,
Gunmetal Light Metallic, Almond Green Metallic, Packard Green,
Rich Loam Metallic, Regatta Blue Metallic, Iridium Gray Metallic,
Centennial Blue, Buckingham Gray, Coachman Green, Dawn Gray,
Indian Maroon

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