You don’t need to be a pre-war vehicle expert to immediately know a 1942 Packard is an incredibly stately vehicle. Subject of one of the best slogans ever, these were the pinnacle of American automobiles. Now, take that mental image and stretch it out to be an ambulance wagon. Now, lift it eight inches and convert to heavy-duty four-wheel-drive. Now, let all four tons of American Iron rot in the Arizona desert for a few decades. Welcome to today’s eBay find.
We’re looking at a Packard converted to ambulance duty by Henney, but where the 4×4 came from remains a mystery. The chassis and body are commercial duty models and the original paint appears to be olive drab. There’s no official documentation or record relating to how they got there. The axles look like the Marmon-Herrington units contemporary to fire truck and other conversions of the era. The seller does hint that many manufacturers submitted proposals for 4×4 car vehicles for staff car and ambulance duty (the Dodge WC ambulance won the contract), so maybe this is one of those. It comes with a spare straight-eight motor and trans and a body that needs complete restoration. Complete restoration on this beast could easily be measured in decades, to say nothing of the monetary sum.
Alternately, it could just be an early version of the redneck-favorite Trar. This is a tricky vehicle, as it might be incredibly rare and important, but then again might be a butchered, clapped-out shell. If it’s the later…that’s when we might start having discussions about Cummins 6BT swaps and diverging pretty far from pure restoration. What would you do with this thing?