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Rarest of the Rare - Hunting down one of the Elusive 159

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  • Rarest of the Rare - Hunting down one of the Elusive 159



    For years I had heard about this car, and only today did the opportunity present itself to finally lay eyes on it. The South GA Chapter had its bimonthly meeting today in middle Georgia, and one of the North GA guys drove down and attended as well. I had called him a few days ago to make arrangements to see this car, so after the meeting I followed him the hour's drive north to his home. What I found was the rarest of the rare of '58 South Bend products; a Packard Wagon.



    Yes, it's in rough shape, sadly only a donor car at this point. The low quality camera on my phone does a nice job of hiding the rust. However, there is a rather interesting story that surrounds this car. The current owner purchased it in 1981, just 30 years ago. Due to many life changes and moves and whatnot, this Longroof has sat outside for the majority of that time, waiting for someone to come along and breathe new life into it. The guy he purchased it from bought it in 1976 or so, and had collected a few NOS parts and pieces to restore the car, which at the time was a regular driver. The engine and trans was removed for a trans rebuild, then before being put back together, was sold to the now current owner. The engine was never reinstalled.

    The cool (to me at least) part of this, is that the last person to drive this car; the guy that sold it in 1981, is none other than Bob Kabchef. (Mr. Biggs) Bob was living in the Atlanta area at the time and sold it when he headed west.

    If a person had a solid body to start from, there's enough Packard-only pieces intact to bring this car back. More if/when that happens.

    Last edited by mbstude; 01-22-2011, 03:57 PM.

  • #2
    Having lived in the rust belt for all my life that looks like a builder to me.Cool as heck to boot.
    Mono mind in a stereo world

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    • #3
      nice find

      You need to grab a western or southwestern car to build a nice one out of the two.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Very cool Matthew, great find, thanks for posting.
        Bill Pressler
        Kent, OH
        (formerly Greenville, PA)
        Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
        Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
        1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
        1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
        All are in Australia now

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        • #5
          Originally posted by (S) View Post
          You need to grab a western or southwestern car to build a nice one out of the two.
          Well that is the plan I have brewing in my mind.. If I can pull it off, it'll be one cool story between this Packard and the other station wagon I would use as a base.

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          • #6
            Matt, now you know what to do with your '58 Studebaker....weld the Packard's rear section on thus converting it into a Packard wagon! I suppose you already thought of this though? If so, I encourage you to do it!
            sigpic
            In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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            • #7
              Sweet find, and AWESOME story Matt.
              And dig that super low body number!!!!
              It's close enough to '30' to count.
              Now to find 57B-P4 #30, and 57G-D4 #30...
              Last edited by StudeDave57; 01-23-2011, 05:33 PM. Reason: 20, 30, whatever!!!!
              StudeDave '57
              US Navy (retired)

              3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
              SDC Member since 1985

              past President
              Whatcom County Chapter SDC
              San Diego Chapter SDC

              past Vice President
              San Diego Chapter SDC
              North Florida Chapter SDC

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              • #8
                Sweet find, Matt!
                I only know of one other Packard in my area. Needs a little body work, should buff out....
                Chris Dresbach

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Milaca View Post
                  Matt, now you know what to do with your '58 Studebaker....weld the Packard's rear section on thus converting it into a Packard wagon! I suppose you already thought of this though? If so, I encourage you to do it!
                  I don't think so Brent.. That'd mess up the original paint on my 4 door sedan. <grin>

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                  • #10
                    A little bodywork and some paint, and it should come out to look like this ......

                    1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                    1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
                    1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
                    1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

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                    • #11
                      The hood looks to be rust free I will add it to the registry. I has been a long time since one has surfaced that I did not know about. Excellent find !!!!!!!! Parade red with a parchment white roof, nice !! My guess is that the interior is done in red vinyl trim along with the 58 Packard cloth. Did the beauty come with any options, maybe a third seat? Also, as for ideas on what to do with the car...drag it to Springfield and sell it to me.

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                      • #12
                        Is the hood metal on the 58 Packard sedans and wagons ?
                        Klif
                        55 Speedster/Street Machine
                        63 Avanti R2
                        64 Convertible R1

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                        • #13
                          Cool Beans, Matthew!

                          'Great story; I'll bet Bob Kabchef is wincing as he reads this!

                          So sad a fella' can't keep 'em all, but whaddya' gonna' do?

                          I hope you'll keep an eye on this. (As you know, there were several lower-production passenger cars during 1958, but they were fleet, export, or police units not offered to the general public, so your "rarest of the rare" citation stands as far as cars marketed to J.Q. Public.) BP
                          We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                          Ayn Rand:
                          "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                          G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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                          • #14
                            They are fiberglass. Matthew did it come with an emblem? Maybe there is an nos one in the glove box.

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                            • #15
                              I've already been on the phone with Kabchef, and sent him photos. He was a bit saddened to see its current condition, but is glad that it still exists.

                              The current owner of the car has most of the NOS parts that Kabchef collected up for it 30+ years ago. He did mention having an NOS tailgate emblem for it, so that's one less hens tooth to track down.

                              Originally posted by 58PackardWagon View Post
                              The hood looks to be rust free I will add it to the registry. I has been a long time since one has surfaced that I did not know about. Excellent find !!!!!!!! Parade red with a parchment white roof, nice !! My guess is that the interior is done in red vinyl trim along with the 58 Packard cloth. Did the beauty come with any options, maybe a third seat? Also, as for ideas on what to do with the car...drag it to Springfield and sell it to me.
                              Red and White would be correct, though if I do manage to go through with this it'll likely be Park Green. I don't think it has the 3rd seat. It wasn't mentioned to me, but there was too much "stuff" in the car to actually see the floors. What is left of the interior is a dark colored vinyl (I'll assume red) with the cloth. It's been sitting out for 30 years with half the windows gone, so not much of the interior is left. Only option that I noticed was twin rear antennas and a Twin Trac emblem. I'm sure there's more.

                              As soon as I find the time to finish and sell my '58 Commander sedan, a rust free California '58 Provincial will be coming my way. The latest wacky idea is to use the Provincial as a solid base to rebuild the Packard. I've talked to both Wagon owners about this and both are in full support. The cool part? Both '58 Wagons have been owned by the same person; just 30 years apart.

                              I should be able to secure both easily enough, and if I'm going to build a station wagon, why not build the rarest, most ridiculous one to ever leave South Bend.

                              Last edited by mbstude; 01-22-2011, 07:56 PM.

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