Everyone has dreams of unearthing an incredible barn find, but this may have people looking in old factories instead: A 1927 Packard was pulled out of a historic Philadelphia manufacturing plant after being parked for more than 60 years.
The Packard was purchased by Walter Golaski sometime during the 1940s and was only used on short trips between Philadelphia and Connecticut, where his mother lived. His son, John Paul, said he believed his father stopped driving the car in the late 1950s after Walter Golaski’s mother moved to Philadelphia.
Walter Golaski then stored the car at his mother’s until she died in the 1970s. After, it was parked and left in one of Walter Golaski’s factories, which John Paul now owns. His father died in 1996.
“As far as I know, it’s never run in my lifetime,” John Paul Golaski said. “I’ve never heard it turn over.”
When it came time to remove the Packard, John Paul Golaski contacted Matt Murray at Iron Trap Garage, which specializes in vintage vehicles. In a video posted on YouTube, Murray said the car looked to be in pretty good shape, considering it hasn’t been driven since Dwight D. Eisenhower was in office.
Murray said the seats look to be well-preserved — they were protected by aftermarket seat covers — and some interior features survived, including the ashtrays, courtesy blinds and swinging foot rest. The woodgrain dash appeared to have withstood the test of time and the steering wheel, though cracked, did as well.
Murray found the original hand crank in the car, but the engine was locked up.
John Paul Golaski said his father always wanted to work on the car.
“It was that, ‘When we have time, we’re going to fix it up,” he said in the video. “My dad was like, ‘You, your brother and sister are going to work on it’.”
Now, the family has a decision to make: The Packard can be left as-is, under go a mechanical restoration or be given a complete restoration. Murray said he thinks the mechanical restoration is the way to go, as it would preserve the car’s history while letting the family use it.
As for the factory where the Packard was found — really, it’s an amalgamation of buildings that date back to the mid-1800s — the Golaskis are selling. But instead of being demolished, the factory will continue as a mixed-use building, but it needs far more work than the Packard.