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Restoration Example



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Restoration Example

1946 Packard Custom Super Clipper Eight
Extended Wheelbase Line
Four Door Sedan Seven Passenger

This Packard was purchased and owned by Cecil Ketron in Sacramento, California until his death in 2003. His grandson, John Nichols, inherited it and drove it 800 miles and then sold it on June 30, 2007. The original mileage at that time was 50123.

John Nichols advertisement for the Packard read as follows:


YEAR 1946 LOCATION Sacramento, CA
MAKE Packard BODY 4D Sedan
MODEL Clipper Super 8 MILEAGE 50123
INT.COLOR Tan ENGINE 356 Straight 8
VIN# 16512169 DOORS 4


1946 PACKARD CLIPPER SUPER 8 This was Grandpa's car that he bought new right after the war. It still has the original California black license plate (1945) with the yellow metal 46 tab. The model number is a 1651 and it is a 148" wheel base. This is an original car in original condition. It has been garaged most if not all of its life. The original lacquer paint still presents well after all these years. There are spots where the primer is showing and others where the lacquers is gone, mainly on the hood and roof. There is also some minor cracking on the inside bends at the rear quarter panels. The side fenders and doors still look almost showroom. The interior is the original mohair which is in decent shape considering it's 60 years plus age. The back cushion of the front seat needs reupholstering or a nice seat cover. The bottom cushion is ok but worn some. There is some minor fraying here and there elsewhere, but very minor. I've put on almost 800 miles since owning it. There are a few minor holes in the headliner and the rear arm straps are slightly frayed. This has the extra fold out "jump" seats which look extraordinarily new. Due to my health concerns I haven’t driven it in the past year and a half but have kept it in the same enclosed stall it's always been in. I charged the battery and she fired right up. Gramps had the engine rebuilt in the 70s or 80s. It purrs like a kitten and has factory overdrive. This has the 356 cid, 9 main bearing, 4 5/8 inch piston stroke, 165 horsepower straight 8 engine with a carter WDO 2 barrel carburetor. The body is in nice shape with the only "dings" being on the top of the right front fender. Very slight, about 4 or 5 very minor indentations about 1/4 inch around, but still visible at the correct angle. The clock mounted in the glove compartment doesn't keep time but it has the original paper tag attached to it. The spare tire is either the original spare or an original era tire as it is a U.S. Royal master air ride 7.50-16. The left rear bumper has a spot that has rusted through. There is some surface rust on the underside but nothing major. The arms that hold the side view mirrors in place have some rust. I guess this was a special car to him as it was the first car he owned after being discharged from the military after the war. And he never really drove it after Grandma died in 1987. It just sat most of the time. One of the wheel covers has a faded cloisonné insert. The head and tail lights work properly, the turn signals work properly, the brakes work properly as well. This is an overall solid car in original condition. Also this car did not come with a factory radio though they were available. I have a newly refurbished radio that will go with this car as well as some other extras that I have to find and put together. But it's all yours for the taking. I have a clear California title.

 Front view Back seat #1
 Driver's side Back seat #2
 Dash #1 Back seat #3
 Dash #2 Left jump seat
 Steering wheel Engine from left
 Front seat #1 Engine from right
 Front seat #2 Back
 Right rear door panel Bumper guard
Restoration Log
Date Activity Hours
August 4, 2007 Removed the hood, radiator, and undid all fasteners and wires to remove the front fenders, grill, fender wells. The studs that hold the front fenders to the passenger compartment were rusted and would just spin when trying to remove the nuts.
August 8, 2007 Air chiseled the studs (inside the kick panel area) to release the fenders from the body.
August 11, 2007 Disassembled the fenders from the grill and removed them from the body. Prepared engine for removal by removing the motor mount bolts, the starter, generator, water pump, manifolds, wiring, and transmission bolts.
August 18, 2007 Removed the engine from the car, stripped off the manifold bolts, etc.

After engine removal Distributor close up
Left side of front cross member Left side of engine close up
Right side of front cross member Left side of engine after removal
Left front frame Left front frame
Left side of engine compartment Front of engine after removal
Right side of engine compartment Right side of engine after removal
Right side of firewall Front body mounts have a spacer to keep the mount centered in the cowling hole
Left side of firewall
August 27, 2007 Removed the flywheel, bell housing, distributor, and oil lines from the engine and secured the engine to a pallet. Tried removing one body-to-frame bolt and it snapped off.
Back of engine on pallet Left side of engine on pallet
Right side of engine on pallet
August 30, 2007 Portland Engine Rebuiilders picked up engine for rebuilding
September 1, 2007 Removed the seats and 19 more body to frame bolts. Two bolts to go.
September 8, 2007 Removed two more body bolts, one with an air chisel, the back bumper and its brackets. Attempted to jack the body up a little and realized there were two more body bolts left. Removed those and the body is still secured somewhere. Purchased three steel tubes 1.5 X 2" X 7' 8" (1/8 wall thickness) to place under the body when it is ready to lift off.
September 15, 2007 Undid the emergency brake cable and heater hoses. There are four heater elements in the car, one under the dash, under the driver seat, and two under the rear seat. Had six 26" lengths of 4" pipe welded to six rims to be supports of steel tubes (see above). Lifted the body about 4" from the frame.
September 22, 2007 Jacked up the body and frame and placed jack stands under the rocker panels with 2X4s in between. Lowered the frame enough to put the steel tubes between the body and the frame. Then jacked up the frame and body using a floor jack underneath the differential. Placed blocks under the rear tires and lowered the jack. Placed the floor jack on two cinder blocks with a 2X6 board on it and raised the differential high enough to get the rim/pipe supports under the rear steel tube. Then lowered the frame and jacked up the front progressively with blocks to get the rim/pipe supports under the middle and front tubes. And then lowered the jack. Removed the rear wheels and supported the brake drums on low wheeled trays. Pushed the frame out from under the body and put the rear wheels back on.
Body off frame on supports Body off frame on supports (driver side) (Matthew and Andrew in the background)
Body off frame on supports (passenger side) A few of the body mounts have shims
The frame rolled out from the body The frame with the body in the background
September 29, 2007 Stripped the suspension, transmission, gas tank, gas lines, and brake lines off of the chassis to prepare for sandblasting.
Stripped frame Heater host going through X in frame
Stripped frame Right front suspension
Stripped frame Tie rod
Stripped frame Tie rod on right
Brake line detail left-front Exhaust and heater host clamp
Clutch linkage Brake line from master cylinder
Front of gas tank Spring for brake or clutch
Brake line detail right rear Gas line along frame
Electric fuel pump Gas line at front of frame
Gas line detail left rear Brake line near steering box
Brake line detail rear center Gas or brake line clamp at frame
Brake line detail left rear Gas line at front crossmember
Brake line detail left rear Gas line at front crossmember
Brake line detail left Left front suspension
Brake line detail left Left front suspension
Brake line detail left Clutch pedal shaft
Brake line in clutch pedal area Master cylinder
Emergency brake cable Transmission mounts and wiring
Emergency brake springs Transmission top view
Master cylinder and clutch pedal shaft Transmission top view
Heater host cross through X in frame Transmission from front
Transmission and wiring
October 6, 2007 Removed leaf springs from rear end. Started to disassemble front suspension from wheels, brake drums, etc. 7
October 13, 2007 Began prepping the rear end for powder coating 4
October 23, 2007
Left Front Brake Left front brake
October 30, 2007 Completed disassembly of rear suspension.
Brake Left rear brake shoe (back) Backing plate Left rear backing plate
October 31, 2007 Rented trailer and took frame and four rims to the powder coater 6
November 1, 2007 Completed disassembly of front suspension.
Right lower outer control arm bushing Right lower outer control arm bushing
November 2, 2007 Removed window moldings and collected parts for powder coating. Sent exhaust manifold off for machining and ceramic coating. Took window moldings and pictures of dash to woodgraining expert for evaluation.
Left dash Left center dash
Center dash Right center dash
Right dash Powder coating items: backing plates, coil springs, lower control arms, crossmembers, and shock mount plates
Battery holders, radiator cradle and support, rims, sheet metal parts, motor mount, air tube, and fan Rear end housing
November 10, 2007 Removed dashboard and took bumpers, grill, headlight rims, hood ornament and hubcaps to chrome shop
Under dash right Under dash center
Under dash left Note window trim has rubber spacer
Window trim has rubber spacers Glove box mounting left
Glove box mounting right Harness retainer at steering column
Wiring at center of dash Fan
Hood release hardware Wiring at center left
Wiring at center left #2 Instrument wiring
Took vertical front wheel supports with spindles to machine shop for disassembly. 1.5
Took front brake drums and shoes to Ott's Friction for turning and relining. Took new bushings to machine shop for installation and reaming 2
Picked up front wheel supports and spindles 1.5
Total so far 100.5
Vehicle Identification Notes

The bodies for the Custom Super Clipper Extended Wheelbase Line were built by Briggs Manufacturing Company (as were the other lines) and then extended and modified by Henney* and delivered back to Packard as finished “custom” cars. According to the Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975 3rd Edition, 30,793 Twenty-First Series 1946 Packards were sold and of those 1,291 were 2126 series automobiles.





Body Type

& Seating







4-dr Sed-7P





4-dr Limo-7P



For years Packard bodies were in a different number sequence than the chassis numbers, which represented model years. Thus the 1946 Packard was a 21st Series car while the bodies were numbered in the 1600s. In 1947 the series numbers remained the same while body numbers were moved up to the 21st series and thus had numbers that started with 21.

The VIN of this car is 16512169 (first four digits represent the body style.)

* The Henney Packard Motor Company was a large factory located in Freeport, Illinois, employing over 300 workers in 1939. In the early days it was a buggy factory, but it became a hearse and ambulance factory associated with Packard. The company closed in 1954.

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