Why is there a hole in my Packard?

October 1, 2010 | By Richard Prince


My question concerns 21st to 23rd Series (1946-50) Packard automobiles and, specifically, the inner (engine compartment) part of the left (driver’s side) front fender. This inner part was designed with a large rectangular cut-out area adjacent to the 2-E type car battery when installed in its cradle. The open cut-out area approximates the overall dimensions of the battery and its borders are fitted with a flat rubber seal bearing against the battery side wall when installed. I would be grateful to know the intended purpose of the rectangular hole in the splash panel.


The straightforward answer to your question is that I don’t know the function of the opening that you describe. It sounds, however, like an access door for removing and installing the battery. It’s entirely possible that some but not all 1946-50 Packards needed this access door and in the interest of simplifying assembly all cars were built with it. Was there an option or accessory that made the battery access opening necessary for some Packards of the era? I believe that Packard first offered air conditioning as an option in 1939--did the addition of air conditioning system components make the door necessary for battery access? If any readers know the answer to Mr. Braida’s question, please let us know.