- An elegant and unusual “woody” wagon design
- One of only 3,885 produced, of which few survive
- Powered by a smooth-running inline-eight engine presently fitted with a 327 cu. in.-specification cylinder head
- Sports a high-quality older restoration in Aztec Brown with birch-framed ash panels; brown vinyl and fabric interior
- Fitted with cormorant hood ornament and equipped with radio, clock, and cigar lighter; rides on wide whitewall tires
- Ideal for a Packard enthusiast’s summer home or country estate
The “woody” station wagon traced its roots to the hardworking depot hacks of the automobile’s earliest days, but as time passed, the body style took on an air of elegance and exclusivity. A wagon was, after all, the ideal vehicle for transporting family and friends to weekends at one’s country estate—especially if it was built by a leading luxury automaker.
This 1948 Packard Eight Station Sedan represents a rare offering from the twilight years of wood-trimmed wagon production. Launched as part of Packard’s redesigned 22nd Series, the Station Sedan wore a semi-fastback design that earned it the title of “Fashion Car of the Year” from the New York Fashion Academy. Its ash panels, framed with birch, were largely decorative; indeed, the only structural woodwork on the otherwise steel-bodied vehicle was the tailgate, which pioneered the two-piece gate design that would become a feature of most American wagons by the mid-1950s.
Though it was technically a part of the Eight line, the Station Sedans were equipped with nearly all Deluxe Eight features, including a clock and trip odometer, cigar lighter, chrome horn ring, front courtesy lights, and more. Power came from Packard’s smooth-running L-head inline-eight engine, which was paired with a three-speed manual transmission with overdrive.
In total, just 3,885 examples of the Eight Station Sedan were built from 1948 through 1950, with the majority produced in 1948; few have survived to the present. This example enjoyed many years of ownership on the East Coast prior to being purchased by Stephanie Smith, wife of respected collector Orin Smith. According to Tom Rossiter, who sold Mrs. Smith the car, it had been the subject of a nut-and-bolt, body-off-chassis restoration by Grey Hills Auto Restoration. It was subsequently acquired by the consignor in 2017.
Today, the Aztec Brown finish remains in very good condition, as does the fine birch woodwork, which exhibits only minor crazing. The interior is properly and correctly upholstered in brown vinyl with fabric inserts, older carpeting, and rubber mats, while the dashboard wood-graining and Bakelite knobs are all crisp and very attractive. Underneath and under the hood, the car shows only light wear and soiling from gentle driving and remains extremely presentable. The wheels have chrome covers and are shod in wide whitewall tires, for a period-correct touch.
A wonderful automobile for the Packard enthusiast to enjoy at either the home or the summer house, this Station Sedan is still fashionable—true to its glamorous heritage!