1958 Packard Towne Sedan

1958 Packard Towne Sedan

Condition: Used
Make: Packard
Model: Towne Sedan
Type: Sedan
Year: 1958
Mileage: 72,000
VIN: 58L-7884
Color: Black
Engine: 289 (4.7 Liter) V-8
Cylinders: 8
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Automatic
Drive type: RWD
Interior color: Gray
Drive side: Left-hand drive
Vehicle Title: Clear
Item location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Extras
Enquire

Description for Packard Towne Sedan 1958

General: It is one of the last Packards to come off of the production line. This is one of a limited run of fewer than 1,300 cars, the last of which was produced on 13 July 1958. For comparison, that is less than the number of cars that Toyota produced in an hour in 2014. In other words, this is an extremely rare, unusual, and interesting motorcar.

It is a restoration candidate – or use and enjoy it as is. It is complete and correct in all regards except the side spear has been painted gray over the original anodized goldtone trim inserts. It runs very well, has plenty of power, and cruises effortlessly at 70 to 80. Fuel mileage is surprisingly not bad. It also handles remarkably well. I drive it periodically between Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA. It is road trip ready but you should not plan to drive it across the country right off.

This is not a highly optioned car. It has the ubiquitous and bullet-proof Borg Warner 3-speed automatic, twin-traction (posi-traction) rear axle, power brakes, tinted windows, windshield washers, RH outside rearview mirror – and that’s about it.

Mileage: Odometer works. It reads approximately 72,000. It is entirely possible that the mileage is correct because the engine is so strong and quiet.

Exterior Body: The exterior is fairly clean. There are no dents and no rust spots – either surface or through the metal. However, there are signs that some repairs to the lower fenders have been made in the past. The rocker panels are solid with no evidence of past repair. Color is black with gray spear. The finish is not very good but it is not chalky or porous. Obviously the underlying surface was not properly prepared before a repaint. The fiberglass front clip is in perfect condition. No signs of cracking or stress tears.

Underbody: Has typical rust in the floor pans and frame – maybe a bit more than typical. There are no gaping holes or parts falling off but it’s clear that the car has seen some salt and, more probably, has been parked on unpaved surfaces. The car was undercoated at the factory but much of that has chipped off. Replacement floor pans are readily available.

Exterior Chrome: It’s all there and in fair condition. Bumpers and trim will need to be replated but there is very little pitting. The stainless trim is in good condition. The pot metal has some pitting but not as bad as one might expect for a car with so much of it. The front bumper is straight and clean. The huge dagmars have been painted gray to match the side spear. The complex rear bumper is in fair condition with some surface rust coming through.

Glass: It’s all there and fairly clear. The windshield has a windshield wiper scratch but it is not in the line of sight. There is a tiny crack in the driver side window at the very bottom where it sits in the regulator. You really cannot see it unless you look hard. It does not impact the visibility or the sliding function. The window regulators need to be lubricated. None of the glass is fogged, or delaminated.

Weather Sealing: All rubber is hard, dried, and cracked. All of it will need to be replaced along with the window channel and felt.

Electrical: Battery is getting a bit long in the tooth but it starts the engine just fine because it fires immediately upon touching the key. Every light on the car works. No lenses are broken. Wiring seems to be okay. Defroster fan works on both speeds. The heater fan does not work but it looks like a fairly easy fix at the dash switch. Wipers work on both speeds and from the floor switch. Dash lamps are dazzlingly bright – almost too much so at night but the dash dimmer works as designed.

Dashboard: All gauges and indicator lamps work as designed. Gauge faces are clear and easily read during the day or at night. The fuel gauge is a bit wonky. It registers over the full range but it goes quickly to empty when you still have a half of a tank left. This is the result of an aftermarket sending unit that I installed. The underseat heater works well as long as the car is moving. The white and black two-tone steering wheel has some minor cracking. Speedometer and odometer both work. The speedometer reads a bit fast. Turn signals work and cancel as designed. Cigarette lighter works. The upper dash padding is gone but available through various suppliers.

Interior: The interior is silver, gray, white, and black. The soft velour headliner is there but it is torn and taped in a couple of places. It will need to be replaced. The door panels are solid but the fabric is stained. The rear package shelf is in good condition. The fabulous, glittery, fifties-style brocade upholstery will need to be cleaned and re sewn at a couple of seams but it is otherwise in excellent condition. The white fabric inserts are toast. The gray vinyl is in good shape. NOS fabric is available through SMS in Oregon. Front kick panels are there but need to be replaced. Carpet is original tuxedo black/gray (also called salt and pepper). It has been replaced in the back and it’s dirty and missing in places in the front. You will want to replace it throughout. The silver/gray windlace is missing in places and will need to be replaced throughout. Interior chrome is in excellent condition.

Brakes: Excellent. No leaking. All new wheel cylinders. Shoes have plenty of lining on them. Booster works as designed. New hoses front and rear. Left rear brake drum is out of round but the car stops quickly and straight. Parking brake works well – even on hills. Wheel bearings (front and rear) have recently been serviced. Brake lights work as designed.

Engine: 289 (4.7 liter) V-8 with four barrel Carter carburetor and dual exhausts. It was tuned in January 2017 (including valve adjustment) although it has run beautifully as long as I have had it. The fuel pump has been rebuilt to tolerate modern fuels. It comes with a carburetor rebuild kit but once I freed up the sticky secondary venturis, it has been running too well to mess with. It starts easily hot or cold and runs very well. I don’t think the engine has been rebuilt but it definitely doesn’t need it. These Studebaker-built V-8s are extremely robust, well built, and parts are available and affordable. It is rated at a strong 225 to 250 HP. Oil pressure light goes out and stays out once it’s running – even after being driven hard in hot weather. It has excellent power and gets reasonably good fuel mileage. The car is not very heavy for such a large unit (check out the limousine-like rear legroom) so the power to weight ratio is favorable. Coolant is new. No leaks. Runs on the cool side of normal.

Transmission: Functions perfectly well. Upshifts and downshifts just fine. It is designed to start in 2nd gear but if you floor it off the line it drops to 1st, the secondaries on the carburetor open, and the posi-traction engages to get the car going RIGHT NOW. Fluid, filter, and gasket are all fresh within 1,000 miles.

Rear axle: Rear bearings repacked and seals replaced. Lubricant is topped up. Doesn’t leak. No grinding or moaning noises. Posi-traction engages as appropriate for smooth, steady power and safe and sure handling.

Exhaust: Left system is brand new. Has a subtle, throaty rumble. Right system needs to be replaced. It is loose, a bit noisy, and it bangs against the body sometimes. Glass pack on the right side is a bit rorty for a dignified Packard.

Steering: Steering feels fine although without power steering and with radial tires it is a handful in tight maneuvering. Has excellent road sense. It feels just fine but the center bell crank looks like it has some play in it. They are readily available either new (reproduction) or easily rebuilt ($65 rebuild kit available from many vendors).

Suspension: Front end is squeaky. Probably needs bushings. Ride height is normal. The rear features leaf and coil springs. Original shocks need to be replaced. The car sits level but it is a bit lower to the ground than most luxury cars of the period because they went from 15” to 14” wheels for 1958.

Tires: Whitewall radial tires have lots of tread left. They are too new to notice any uneven wear patterns. Recently rebalanced and rotated. The car rides very smoothly and quietly. It handles extremely well in curves; it stays level, tires don’t squeal, and it has never broken into a slide – even when driven vigorously on twisty roads.

Work that I have performed:

Replaced heat riser valve and gaskets

Replaced motor and transmission mounts

Oil and filter change (several times)

Tune up including valve adjustment

Valve cover gaskets and grommets replaced

Replaced plug wires

Replaced hood lift springs

Replaced heater, vent, and defroster duct hoses

Battery (Apr 2012)

Replaced neutral safety switch and backup light switch

Replaced parking brake return spring

Changed heater hoses and clamps

Rebuilt master brake cylinder (a new spare comes with the car)

Replaced all four brake cylinders

Replaced all brake hoses

Replaced fuel gauge sending unit (original comes with the car)

Installed left exhaust system from the header back

Replaced wiper blades this past month

Replaced fan belt


Title: I do not have a title. The car is registered, insured, and stored in Alabama which is not a title state. It will be sold with a bill of sale.

Inspection: I will be pleased to make the car available for inspection by appointment only.

Warranty: If you discover that the car is not as represented, I will buy it back for the selling price less a ten percent handling fee within seven days of the closing of the auction; however, any transportation costs will be yours.

Shipping: Buyer is responsible. I will make the car available to a carrier. I am experienced with shipping overseas. I will work with the buyer/broker. It can be driven moderate distances as is.

Payment: $500 deposit within 48 hours of closing of the auction. Balance to be paid within seven days of closing of the auction. PayPal, wire transfer, cash at time of pick up, certified check, or personal check (as long as it has cleared prior to pick up) or any combination of the above are all acceptable methods of payment.

Pricing: Starting price is fair and reasonable -- I have much more in it. Consider my loss your gain – though I have had fun with it over the past several years.

Additional information: I encourage you to ask question but I respectfully request that you do so through e-bay. Reason: For both of our protection we need to have the exchange of information documented. I am selling it because I would like more space in my building and this is one of my biggest cars.

There are more photos available at:

http://s1377.photobucket.com/user/jwm2352/library/1958%20Packard

Special Request: Please don’t bid if you’re not serious. I’m an individual of limited means. Please respect the process and the investment of my time and money. Let’s keep it fair, honest, and fun, okay?

Thank you for your interest. Good luck to you.