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Incredible 1937 Packard motorhome in mint condition, worth six figures

In 1937 you could buy a new house for $4,100, or you could rent a home for $26. Hamburger was 12 cents per pound, and a loaf of bread was only 9 cents. You could drive a new car home for $760, and gas was only 10 cents per gallon. The downside was that your annual income was only around $1,780. This Packard motorhome was not in every driveway.

1937 Packard Motorhome
1937 Packard Motorhome

The Packard motorhome

Packard was an American luxury automobile marque built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan. The first Packard automobiles were produced in 1899, and the last one in 1956. During the Depression, Packard was producing more affordable cars. In 1935, the company introduced its first car for under $1,000. Sales more than tripled that year and doubled again in 1936.

1937 Packard motorhome
photos by Hal Thoms

One-of-a-Kind

The owners found this one-of-a-kind Packard motorhome in a barn in San Bernardino, CA. Since it had been stored out of the weather, it was preserved in amazing original condition. A good cleaning and a clear coat over the exterior’s subtle patina were all it needed to restore the original beauty of this museum-quality coach.

1937 Packard

The six-cylinder flathead motor only took a little coaxing to get it going. With only 40,000 miles on the odometer, it is barely broken in. At only 10 cents a gallon for gas, you could fill it up for what a gallon costs today!

1937 Packard RV
1937 Packard RV interior.

What is it worth today?

The owner has been offered well over six figures for this black beauty, but for now, it is not enough motivation for him to part with his peek at the past.

Period correct camping gear takes you back in time.

What else was happening in 1937?

  • Amelia Earhart mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during a circumnavigation flight.
  • Walt Disney premieres “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
  • The German airship Hindenburg bursts into flames while attempting to moor at Lakehurst, New Jersey.
  • Actor and future U.S. President Ronald Reagan makes his film debut in “Love Is on the Air.”
  • The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is opened.
  • Aviator Howard Hughes breaks his transcontinental flight speed record when he flies from Los Angeles to Newark.
  • Inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second term.

About the Author: Paul Lacitinola and his wife, Caroline, have published the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine for ten years. The Lacitinolas also host The Trailerfest Vintage Trailer Rallies and the CampNation Expo. They have authored two books on vintage trailering and are advocates for the hobby from coast to coast.Campnation expo

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Pat
1 month ago

My Dad almost bought this, unrestored, in the 1970s. (I have pictures of it). He always wondered what happened to it. If he was alive today, he’d be so happy to see the beautiful restoration. May the owners enjoy this beautiful vehicle for many years.

Gary
1 month ago

Looks like a hearse with a raised roof.

Thomas Champagne
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary

I agree !

STEVE
19 days ago
Reply to  Gary

You could carry the bodies standing up.

travilenman
1 month ago

TOOOO bad todays manufacturers can’t or won’t build RV’s like this ANYMORE…..It’s ALL about the $$$ & nothing MORE……

captain gort
1 month ago

Amazing machine. Affordable only to a VERY wealthy person in those days before endless credit when items actually had to be paid for cash on the barrel head. Like the yachts of that era- custom and exclusive to the very wealthy ONLY. PLU- 1937 was the DEPRESSION- the Real McCoy, not the fake ones we see now. Oh, one note: 40,000 miles on those old engines was not “just barely broken in”…especially dragging that fat Packard barge around.
Most engines from that era only went 40-50k before major work was needed. I’ve worked on a zillion of them, I know.

wanderer
1 month ago

Was this manufactured by Packard, or did someone do a conversion on a Packard car?

Neal Davis
1 month ago

Wow! Amazing! Beautiful!

Sam
1 month ago

I wonder if they turn him away, because it is more than 10 years old? LOL…

Impavid
1 month ago
Reply to  Sam

Excellent question

Rex
1 month ago
Reply to  Sam

In today’s world? Most likely!

Linda
1 month ago

What a wonderful article!

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