Curbside Classic: 1946 Packard Clipper Super – Farewell My Beastly Black Beauty

My former employer has received a tip that the CC 1946 Packard Clipper Super is for sale. At the time I wrote that CC, my pained angle was colored (literally) by the paint that someone had just tossed over it the night before. But I went back a few weeks later, to re-shoot it with most of the latex paint scrubbed away. Since it’s finally going to stop tormenting me with its achingly long hood and fluid fastback, I will say a quick farewell.

Whatever the odd circumstance that brought you here and embroiled you in some ridiculous human drama that ended with paint on your head, you deserve better. And that includes at the very least a piece of glass for your drivers door; even a piece of plexiglass, rather than the tarp that fluttered in the wind all winter and barely kept out the rain dripping down your wool door upholstery..

You’ll find yourself in better hands, I have no doubt. Anyone who would come running out to try to scare me away from his car, especially sitting at the curb, didn’t deserve to have you gracing the view from his driveway. It appears he never knew the joy of taking you out for a spin either, straining to even hear a semblance of noise coming from your magnificent 359 CID straight eight, whose distant internal combustions are so thoroughly muffled by one thousand pounds of cast iron.

Of course the claim your owner made “300 miles on rebuilt custom 356 cubic inch straight eight 9 main bearings engine” (picture from E-Bay photos) seem a bit questionable, given how deeply rusty the block, head, manifold and all those bolts look. Does that look like 300 miles ago? The resprayed air cleaner and horns don’t quite convince me.

That’s all right; the joys you once afforded someone in 1946 when they first drove you up the McKenzie highway (this is a local car) will once again be given so generously, once you’ve received the full restoration treatment you deserve. They didn’t exactly make lots of  CCCA-designated classics after the war, so you’ll be in fine company soon again.

The tug-boat torque emanating from the end of your nine-bearing crank will spare your next owner much shifting. If you’re really lucky, you’ll end up in the kind of person who’s willing to prove for himself that you’re rock solid and hardly breathing hard at one hundred. I would.