1948 Packard Station Sedan. Photos by Ryan Merrill, courtesy Auctions America.
In September of 1947, Packard debuted it 22nd series of automobiles, introducing its first all-new designs since 1941. In the Packard Eight range, one model was entirely new to the lineup, blending the style of the four-door Touring Sedan with the practicality of a station wagon, trimmed in elegant wood paneling. Built for just three years, the Packard Station Sedan woodie is a something of a rare sight on modern roads, and in early April, the 1948 Packard Station Sedan seen here will cross the auction block in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where it will be sold at no reserve.
Described by Packard in its 1948 literature as “the successor to the station wagon,” and an “all-occasion beauty,” the Station Sedan used a steel floor, roof, and sides, with only the tailgate crafted from northern birch, which was also used to trim the doors and greenhouse. Inside, plywood was used to line the cargo compartment, with stainless steel “no mar” strips affixed to prevent scratches to the wood finish. With the rear seat folded and the lower clamshell rear door open, the Station Sedan gave owners a cargo bed that measured nearly nine feet in length.
Built upon the Packard Eight’s 120-inch wheelbase, the Station Sedan had two-row seating that offered accommodations for the driver and five passengers. Seats were covered in a blend of cloth and vinyl, materials that Packard promised would “out-look and out-last natural leather.” As with other Packard Eight models, the Station Sedan featured a chrome-trimmed dash painted to resemble wood grain, and standard instrumentation included a speedometer, oil pressure gauge, ammeter, temperature gauge and fuel gauge.
Power for Packard Eight models came from the company’s 288-cu.in. L-head inline eight-cylinder, rated at 130 horsepower. While the only transmission offering was a three-speed manual (with an optional overdrive), synchronized gears simplified shifting, and four-wheel servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes ensured safe and consistent performance. Up front, the Station Sedan used an independent suspension with shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar, while in the rear leaf springs and shock absorbers (including a fifth shock absorber to dampen sway) kept the live axle in check, providing both a comfortable ride and reasonable handling.
Despite its functionality and attractive styling, the Station Sedan remained in Packard’s lineup only from 1948 through 1950. Priced at $3,425 in 1948, the model was the most expensive offering in the Packard Eight lineup, and nearly as expensive as the better-equipped $3,500 Packard Super Eight Touring Sedan; for comparison, a wood-trimmed Buick Roadmaster wagon stickered for a comparable $3,433, while more mainstream wagon offerings from domestic manufacturers could be purchased for as little as $1,893 (for an eight-passenger Ford Special Deluxe station wagon) or $2,013 (for a Chevrolet Fleetmaster station wagon).
Details on the car to be sold in Fort Lauderdale are sparse. From the images provided, it appears to be a restoration, possibly an older one, with the car finished in a pale yellow. Purists will object to the painted bumpers and rear hinges, but overall the car appears to be in good condition. While not a concours contender, the car would make an impressive weekend driver, and would likely be a hit on the local show circuit. It is offered at no reserve. Auctions America predicts a selling price between $45,000 and $65,000 when the car crosses the stage in Florida.
The Fort Lauderdale sale will take place from April 1-3 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. For more information, visit AuctionsAmerica.com.