Home Restoration Topics Featured Cars and Trucks About
Left arrow


Right arrow

1936 Packard 120-B Convertible Sedan

Part 2: Beginning the Restoration

By Jeremy Wilson

In 2000, Monte Glud decided to embark on a total restoration of his Packard 120-B Convertible Sedan. He had purchased the car in 1994 and had the engine rebuilt by Jim Classen in 1995. Classen was known for his quality workmanship and familiarity with Packard engines.


“Jim agreed to let me help on the rebuild,” said Monte. “Not only because I like working on things, but I wanted to help tear it down and see all that was wrong, and that was interesting. These cars didn’t come with an oil filter (we have since installed one, of course) and when we pulled the pan we found that it was thick with sludge.”

Until the early 1950s, cars used non-detergent motor oil and had either bypass oil filters or no filter at all. Oil refining techniques were less sophisticated and motor oil contained more wax. As a result, old engines were often full of black, wax-like sludge. The additives in modern detergent oil suspend soot and other impurities until the oil passes through a full-flow filter, or until the oil is drained, so engines stay cleaner, and last longer.

“In addition to a waxy buildup, the engine had picked up a lot of dirt and other particulates,” said Monte. “We had to send the block and the parts out not once, but twice to get them cleaned--that’s how gummed up it was.”

While Jim Classen continued to work on engine, Monte made arrangements with restoration specialist Dave McCready to begin restoring the rest of the car.

Disassembly and Blasting

“On the first of August, I hauled it over to Dave’s house and we tore the whole car down. In two days we had everything off the car--it was stripped down to a body and frame. Then we started sandblasting it. That wasn’t fun. My job was to hold a square house fan and a Maglite, which is hard to do at the same time, and direct it to wherever he was aiming the sandblast. Every once in a while I’d miss my aim and he’d sandblast my hand, which didn’t feel good. And this went on for days.”

It’s important, after the blasting, to prime the bare metal as quickly as possible to prevent rust. Some shops try to seal the metal within hours of paint removal.

“Later on we blasted all the bolts. I ran a die over them and tapped the holes in the body,” said Monte. “I put grease in the flutes of the tap to help pull the sand out. For a long time after the restoration was complete, I’d come to a stop sign or stop light and notice a pile of sand on the road behind me. It took a while to get rid of it.”


Before long Dave suggested that Monte take the Packard’s interior home to store until the upholstery shop was ready to start. When he arrived home with the old upholstery, he noticed movement in the back of his truck.

“There were all these mice jumping around and I’m not much of a killer of things, but I was so darn mad! I killed six of them with a hammer before I got them all. The seats smelled so bad, it was just horrible! So I put them in my wife’s Taurus station wagon and went over to the Chrysler dealer, because I had heard somebody had died in a car and the Chrysler service people were able to get the smell out. It turns out they have a deionizer machine, which they put in the window of the Taurus. It was in there only one night but the Packard seats and my wife’s Taurus ended up smelling fresh as a daisy.

“Eventually, I took the interior parts to Guy’s Interior Restorations and had it all redone in chestnut-brown leather.”

Continue to Part 3...
Prev Part1 Part2 Part3 Part4 Next
Click on any item below for more details at Amazon.com

Beverly Kimes
Packard: A History of the Motor Car and the Company
Automobile Quarterly, Hardcover, 2005-01-01

”The magnificence and coverage of the work is just unimaginable. This book is of major importance.”

-- Keith Marvin, The Society of Automotive Historians Inc.

Dennis Adler
Motorbooks International, Hardcover, 1998-10
This is the complete story of Packard, from its earliest days in 1899 through its final demise in 1958. Archival b/w photos, as well as beautiful new colour photos, accompany a thoroughly researched text.

The Hemmings Motor News Book of Packards
Hemmings Motor News, Paperback, 2001-03
From pre-war models like the 526s, 734 Speedsters, and Sport Phaetons, to the Custom Super Eights, 300s and Caribbeans of the baby-boom era, this book of Packard’s finest thoroughly examines nearly a dozen of the independent manufacturer’s significant models from 1928-1958.

Evan P. Ide
Packard Motor Car Company
Arcadia Publishing, Paperback, 2003-06-03
The images featured in this book represent the early years at the Warren, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan factories. Packard Motor Car Company contains rare images from the Larz Anderson Auto Museum that were saved from the Packard factory and the personal collection of James Ward Packard when the company closed.

National Automotive History Collection (U. S.)
Packard Motor Cars 1935 Through 1942: Photo Archive : Photographs from the Detroit Public Library's National Automotive History Collection (Photo Archive Series)
Iconografix, Paperback, 1996-02
1935 marked Packard’s move from a purely luxury car builder to a builder of luxury & medium price cars, in a effort to broaden its market. Shown are the twelfth to nineteenth series Packards, including the 115, Packard’s first 6-cylinder car in nearly a decade, the 120, 160, 180 and the last of the fabled 12-cylinder Packards.

James A. Ward
The Fall of the Packard Motor Car Company
Stanford University Press, Paperback, 1997-09
Ward summarizes the company’s early days--from the turn of the century to the 1935 release of the 120, Packard’s first middle-market vehicle--in a single chapter; four more follow the firm through the Depression and World War II. But Ward’s focus is Packard’s final days, from Hotpoint executive James Nance’s installation as president in 1952 to the 1956 shutdown of Packard’s Detroit operations and to 1958, when the last automobiles to bear the long-respected Packard name rolled off its merger-partner Studebaker’s Indiana assembly line.

George H. Dammann, James A. Wren
Packard (Crestline Series)
Motorbooks Intl, Hardcover, 1996-06

Provides the definitive reference for the Packard enthusiast. Filled with 1,200 historic photographs from Packard archives. In the popular Crestline series.

Packard: An American Classic Car
Few American cars could match the beauty, styling and engineering of the Packard motor car. From its birthplace in Warren, Ohio in 1899 to its final days in Detroit, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana in the late ‘50s, this program chronicles the history of the Packard automobile through interviews with Packard owners, vintage film, and Packard archive photographs. Hosted by Edward Herrmann.
Featured Cars
Sponsored Links

Copyright 2008 - 2021 - PopularRestorations.com - All Rights Reserved

Contact information