Forty-one-year-old Alex Lopez is a lifelong mechanic. One of his most lucrative jobs was repairing and restoring a ’47 Packard Clipper for a customer. At the end of the job, the customer opened up a barn door to Alex, and pointed out a stock ’37 Packard Super 8 Limo sitting underneath some blankets in need of some TLC. In exchange for the excellent work Alex had just performed on the Clipper, the owner offered him the limo. Naturally, Alex jumped at the opportunity to own a piece of true American history.
The limo was in dire shape, as it was completely rusted and bare. With no interior, fenders, or glass on the chassis, it was evident that this rare auto had been sitting in the barn for close to twenty-five years. The Packard was shipped to Alex’s home in Santa Rosa, California, but shortly thereafter, he decided to make the move to Greeley, Colorado in order to begin the work. Alex built the straight eight single-barrel motor with a three-speed transmission. Once the Limo was in running condition, Alex began the painstaking search for the parts he needed to put the limo back together again. The Packard was driven to Greeley Collision and Restoration, where it received flawless body work. The bumpers were brought to Denver Bumper for chrome plating. Once completed, he brought it to paint expert Julio Lopez of Greeley, who he laid down a stunning combination of PPG Burgundy and Black.
Having plenty of room in the cabin, Alex enlisted friend Tony Maldonado in Cloverdale, California to build the interior. The dashboard was restored to factory finish with elegant Red wood-grain. A Burgundy and Black cloth combination was draped in and around all the seats, roof, and door panels of the interior. The floor was wrapped with Burgundy carpeting, which blended the car’s cabin together nicely. Alex found a set of stock steel white- wall wheels, and added them to his new prized possession.
When it came time to showcase this amazing classic, we chose one of the most notable landmarks in Colorado, Briarhurst Manor in Manitou Springs. The famous manor which was built in 1888, combined with the Packard from 1937, created a sense of nostalgia that instantly brought Alex back to his childhood storybooks depicting the successful business man arriving at a castle in a limousine. “I want to thank my wife Maria, Leroy and Tonya Salgado, Henry and Teresa Moncivais, David Lopez, Rafael Lopez, and Lee Trevino for their help and encouragement. I’d also especially like to thank Alex Estrella for entrusting me with this beautiful Packard Limo, which I call “El Capone ’37.”
El Capone ’37
Owner: Alex & Maria Lopez
Vehicle: ’37 Packard Super 8 Limousine
Club: Classic 4 Life C.C.
City/State: Greeley, Colorado
Engine/Drivetrain: Alex handled the motor by hand, building the straight-eight, single-barrel engine with a three-speed transmission.
Body/Paint: The Packard was brought to Greeley Collision and Restoration for the body work. Julio Lopez of Greeley, Colorado then took care of the classic, by coating it with PPG Burgundy and Black paint. All of the chrome pieces were plated by Denver Bumper.
Interior: Tony Maldonado of Cloverdale, California provided the custom interior for the limo, adding burgundy carpeting and Burgundy and Black cloth throughout the entire cabin. The dashboard was brought back to an original factory finish using a Red wood-grain.
Wheels: 16-inch Steel White Walls
Tires: 16-inch Goodyear rubber