A while back, the wife said that I needed to focus and build one car. Build the one car I really wanted. The problem is that Duesenbergs are out of my league. The second problem is that ever since I was a teenager, I wanted to own all the cool cars. Seeing as how I'm not Jay Leno, I can't own them all at once, so I tend to go through them. That said, a 37 Packard would be a favorite. Couldn't get one of those either, so I got a 41 Packard. Initially, I got a 2 door touring sedan, but it was pretty rusty and not in very good shape, so I wound up calling a guy who had a coupe listed. The coupe had been a fully restored show car at one time, but someone had taken exception to the owner and tossed a molotov cocktail through the window or so the story goes. This is not good for the car. Nonetheless, he made me an offer I couldn't refuse, and I wound up with what you see in the pictures. Plus the 2 door touring for parts. Oddly, all the non-rusty parts on the touring sedan were the rusty parts on the coupe. When I'm done, I'll have a great body.
The objective with this car was to build a driver. One capable and reliable enough to get back and forth to work every day with comfort and style, and more than 20 miles per gallon. Living in the mojave desert, this means I want heat and air conditioning. I'm 45 years old, and for most of my life, I've had neither. It'd be really really nice to have those.
I knew I wanted to have an inline motor, preferably a 6, but 20+ mpg in a heavy car seemed a tall order. I also wanted twice the original horsepower. What's a hot rod without more power? With that in mind, I set out to find that elusive engine that could make 200 horse, get 20+ mpg in a 3500 pound car, inexpensive to obtain and with cheap, readily available parts.. and maybe performance upgrades. The candidates came down to the Mitsubish 4G33, the nissan SR20DET, the Toyota 7MGE or 7MGTE, and the Pontiac OHC-6. I love the look of the Poncho, but wasn't sure I could get it to anywhere near the mid-20s in MPG. The 4G33 had the best mpg of all of them, and made enough power, and wasn't difficult to find, but I'd need two parts vehicles because it came in front wheel drive cars, and I'd need rear wheel drive. And I wound up getting the 7MGE because I got a running 86.5 Supra for a price I couldn't pass up. Head gasket required, but it drove onto the trailer.
Then it occurred to me: The track width on the Supra and the Packard were the same. I couldn't afford Mustang 2 front end kit and all that, but here I had a suspension I'd essentially gotten for free that had disk brakes all the way around and independent suspension all the way around. So now my cheap donor car had provided engine, trans, suspension, tilt column, 6 way power seats, air conditioning parts. Well worth the money.
And then I ran out of money for the project. So as it stands right now, the frame from the rusty touring sedan now has the Supra suspension on it, sans the coilovers, because I ran out of money before getting them, and it has the engine in and mounted and the brake lines and fuel lines run. The body on the coupe is mostly disassembled in preparation to remove it from the frame and install it onto the Packota frame. I think the next thing I'd like to get is the coilovers. I'm just not sure how to calculate the correct weight.