JOHN ULRICH
My first old car was a 1953 Mercedes 300 sedan. I was driving to a construction job in San Francisco around 1979. I turned a corner and there it was—with a “For Sale” sign. It looked like an interesting car and the price seemed OK, so I bought it. Nice original car. The guy I bought it from gave me a copy of Cars/Parts Magazine along with various spare parts. I subscribed and began getting the magazine monthly. I don’t remember if I ever saw a Packard before, but on the back cover of the magazine there was always an ad for car covers. There was an uncovered and then a covered ’40 or ’41 Packard coupe. I thought it was a real sweet looking car. Every month I would look at that ad—a sharp car.
By 1989 I was tired of the Mercedes. I was ski racing competitively a lot at that time. We had a saturday race at Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe. Saturday night a major snowstorm hit and Sunday’s race was cancelled. So, I had a leisurely breakfast and read the Sunday paper. There it was, under Collector Cars—a 1940 Packard 120 coupe. I made an appointment to “look” at the car. It was love at first sight. The car came from Minnesota originally. Mrs. Furguson purchased the car new in 1940 and drove it until 1982. At that time, she sold it to a local farmer who had the engine and body work done and got the car about 95% complete. He ran out of gas on the project, and sold it to the person I bought it from. The car had 57,000 miles on it when I bought it and you’ve got to love the original upholstery. I only got about 3,000 miles out of the motor because the guy that rebuilt it previously didn’t line bore it, and it ate up all the bearings.
I rebuilt the engine and installed an overdrive while I was at it. Then I sent out the dash to be re-wood grained and had to remake the chrome pieces in the dash when the platers destroyed them. The car was originally a business coupe. It is now a club coupe as I found the rear jump seats in Georgia and installed them sometime back. When you open the trunk you’ll find the original spare tire with the Goodyear sticker still on it.
 If it weren’t for that snowstorm, my first Packard and I may never have gotten
together. I call it my snowstorm Packard. My 1932 900 Packard roadster (pictured above) came along ten years later. These are the two Packards I now own. When
I started buying parts for my cars, I found that sometimes you have to purchase the whole lot to get the part you need. That’s how my parts business got started. I now have one of the largest Packard parts inventories west of the Mississippi. I have a 2,000 square foot garage next to my house here in El Sobrante, California, as well as some additional storage space nearby. I live in a residential neighborhood, and, if you drove by my place,  you wouldn’t know I have a car parts business on the property. There are no parts cars parked here. I process one or two cars each year, so parts are readily available any time. When you phone, I’ll answer, and try to help you solve your car problems.
The parts featured on this website are mostly my reproductions. This is one of my specialties. When I noticed some original Packard parts were rarely available, I began having the parts reproduced. I also stock many original parts not listed on this website. If you need a 1928-47 Packard part just give me a call. Chances are I’ll have it. If not, I can usually point you in the right direction.
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