The story of later thirties Packard wagons blends two wagon body builders into the time span of 1937-1940, From 1937-1939 basically all Packard wagons were built by Cantrell, but in 1940, Hercules were assigned the contract, replacing Cantrell about mid-season in 1940, so you will find both Cantrell and Hercules-bodied 1940 Packard production station wagons. With Hercules now the official body builder they would continue in this status until the Second World War intervened in 1942. Both Cantrell and Hercules bodies are noted for their ash framing and birch paneling (blonde-bodywork) however, the more stylish mahogany paneling (two-tone) could be optioned and is more common. At times, Hercules also used dark-stained framing with the lighter panels to give more colors to the wagons woodwork on some models. This worked well with the birch panels and darker body colors which were typical of the times, defining the window openings, doors and roofline. The wagon’s roofs were covered with flexible Everflex material that was padded and when cared for correctly, could easily last 50 years. At the rear was a two-section tailgate with a lift-up window and fold-down gate. Packard wagons were all set up as eight-passengers models but the more-powerful One-Twenty (eight-cylinder) featured five more inches of rear legroom. Packard also offered a One-Sixty wagon that used the same body as the One-Twenty.
Blonde-on-Blonde Ash and Brich Bodywork- Cantrell 1937
Birch Panel Stained Framing – Cantrell 1939
Stained Ash Framing with Birch Panels-Hercules 1940
Ash Framing with Mahogany Panels-Hercules 1940