Construction began with a solid, low mileage, 1941 Packard 120 four door sedan. The roof, quarters, front and rear doors, deck lid and rear body panel were discarded. The frame was shortened 12″ and completely boxed from front to back. Front suspension revolves around the original design and components, with modern upgrades like Wilwood 13.5″ 6 piston disc brakes, power steering, and a substantial sway bar. The 9″ Ford rear axle is suspended on a set of 2.5″ leaf springs, and has a posi-traction differential, 12″ 4 piston Wilwood disc brakes and an anti-sway bar. Motivation is also brought up to todays standards with a GM Performance 502/502hp crate engine and Edelbrock Pro-Flo fuel injection.
A 700R4 automatic overdrive transmission handles the shifting.Once a solid platform was developed, the construction of the aero-coupe body could begin. First, the cowl and front floor section were trimmed from the original body shell and fastened to the frame. The original front sheet metal was also temporarily attached to the frame. Next, a silhouette of the aero-coupe body was created using thin tubing and paper sheeting. After many design changes, alterations, photos, renderings, decisions, and a few disagreements, Norman and his crew finalized the design. Measurements were taken, patterns made, and a steel aero-coupe body was hand fabricated. Suicide doors were a must, and custom hinges were fabricated to accommodate the hard angle on the trailing edge of the door. Bearclaw latches are attached to the original inside and outside handles. Power window lifts finished out the doors. The original rear quarter window openings and garnish mouldings were repurposed for the back windows, separated by the long, gradually increasing dorsal fin. The original rear fenders were rolled under at the leading edge, and the running boards eliminated. The rear of the rear fenders were extended to match the line of the deck lid, and custom bumpers were created from chromoly tubing, typically used for wing struts on small aircraft. Front body panels are all original pieces, though none have gone untouched. To start, the grill was lowered into the lower grill panel 1.5″, and the hood tops and sides were reworked to accomodate the new angle. Front fenders were narrowed front to back 2″, narrowing the overall track of the car. The rear of the front fenders were also lengthened and continued back into the door. The front bumper too was narrowed, and the accessory bumper guard was chopped 2″ and a bar removed. PPG base coat/clear coat paint was applied, and hand rubbed to a deep, smooth finish. Tying it all together is hand fabricated brass side trim, triple chrome plated to perfection.
Once the platform and body design were established, there was nothing left to do but fill it with creature comforts. Like the rest of the project, no expense was spared. Hand stitched red leather covers the 7 way power seats and the rest of the interior. Hand painted woodgrain was applied to the dashboard and garnish mouldings. Other comforts include Vintage Air climate control, tilt steering, an AM/FM conversion of the stock radio, power door locks, power trunk release, SPW wiper system with delay and washers, back up camera and sensors, and 3 point seat belts.
This Aero-coupe is one of Norman’s largest automotive projects to date, and it shows. Style, elegance, comfort, performance, there is nothing this car doesn’t have a lot of. For more information on this car feel free to contact Jake Queen, Queen’s Automotive Inc at 610-966-4310 and he will be happy to discuss it with you.
Below is a list of specifications:
- 1941 Packard 120 Sedan chassis, shortened 12″ and completely boxed
- Original Packard front suspension, updated with Delphi 800 power steering box, 13.5″ 6 piston Wilwood disc brakes, gas tube shocks and a 1″ sway bar
- 9″ Ford Posi rear axle with 2.5″ parallel leaf springs, gas shocks, 12″ 4 piston Wilwood disc brakes and a 7/8″ sway bar
- Wheel Vintiques 16″ steel wheels with Coker Classic Radial wide white wall tires and original Packard hubcaps
- GM 502/502HP crate engine, with Edelbrock Pro-Flo fuel injection and a Vintage Air Front Runner accessory drive
- 700R4 Transmission w/lock up converter and mild reprogramming kit
- Polished stainless steel exhaust system
- Original Packard cowl and floor, heavily modified to fit the aero coupe coachwork
- Completely hand fabricated Aero-Coupe body, doors, deck lid and roof
- Original quarter window openings and garnishes repurposed for rear windows
- Rear fenders rolled under at front and running boards eliminated
- Rear of front fenders stretched to flow into doors
- Front fenders narrowed 2″ down the center to narrow the track
- Grill lowered 1.5″ into front pan to bring hood line down
- Front bumper narrowed and original center guard chopped 2″ and one bar removed
- Rear bumpers fabricated from aero tubing
- Hand made chrome plated brass side trim
- Hand stitched leather interior on 7 way power front seats
- 3 Point seat belts
- Hand painted woodgrain on dashboard and garnish mouldings
- Lecarra steering wheel with original Packard horn ring
- American Autowire complete vehicle wiring system
- Vintage Air Heat/AC/Defrost system
- Power door locks
- SPW wiper system, w/ intermittent and washers