Packard Don

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About Packard Don

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 09/15/1951

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  • Gender:
  • Location:
    San Jose, CA
  • Interests:
    Packards, Imperials and Cadillacs; Vintage Polaroid cameras and vintage video including Cartrivision and reel-to-reel. I love folk and most any kind of world music and have produced professionally released several CDs and LPs for Peruvian singer Yma Sumac. Formerly a journeyman toolmaker, I am a Web and database programmer now and also licensed by the California DMV for Vehicle VIN Verification. I've owned theremins (the oldest electric musical instrument, invented in 1919) since I was ten years old and built my first one and currently have a replica of the type built by RCA in the '30s.


  • Biography
    I have owned Packards since the mid '60s when, at 16 years old, I bought a 1939 Six in Northern Washington State and it came with a 1940 110 parts car. A year later I bought 1941 Henney-Packard end loader with extension table and owned it until about ten years ago. Also in the '60s I bought another 1940 Packard 110 sedan in Seattle that must have been there its entire life and was low mileage but with the wrong engine. I replaced the engine with the proper one and owned it until just recently when it was sold and went back east. Starting in the '70s I bought newer Packard, the first being a '51 Henney-Packard combination and later a '54 Patrician. I still have the latter. I also bought a nice museum-quality '52 Henney-Packard Nu-3-Way that I sold and which ended up in Australia! After being up to 22 cars at one point, including several 1965 Cadillacs and several '64-'65 Imperials including a Ghia! Currently I have a '51 Henney-Packard military ambulance, two 1954 Patricians, a '56 Clipper Custom sedan, a 1965 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special and a 1965 Imperial LeBaron. I have two newers cars that are also of limited production: 1992 Nissan 240SX convertible which is one of Bly 327 built and a 1985 Plymouth Voyager with the rare Magic Camper option (I've never seen another).

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  1. Packard Don

    No back penalties for old cars in California

    If the vehicle is in the CA DMV database, then no verification needed but if not, then it will be required using form reg31 without question. It’s typical of the DMV to not tell you everything needed, though, so it would not hurt to have it verified by a mobile verifier who will come to you to do it and they will supply the form with their license information prefilled. Obviously I’m too far away to do it (and I’m in Zürich, Switzerland at the moment) so cannot assist but you should be able to find a licensed mobile VIN verifier in your area. Since it doesn’t run, I presume you’re trying for a non-op but once the time comes to register it, it will also need an emissions test which they probably also didn’t tell you.
  2. Packard Don

    No back penalties for old cars in California

    Sometimes giving the DMV too much information simply confuses them, which is why I generally just fill the appropriate applications, write the check and mail it all in. Sometimes in special cases like this, I also fill the Statement of Facts’ last section where you can write free-style to explain, in the most basic of terms, why there is no title. Again, not too much detail. Since the vehicle wasn’t towed, parked or driven on any public road since you purchased it, you absolutely are not responsible for any back-fees although you will need to get the VIN verified if you haven't already done so.
  3. Packard Don

    No back penalties for old cars in California

    I’ve been collecting cars for over 50 years and have never had to pay back-fees even when the vehicles were not historic. In one case when I bought a collectable car on the East Coast through a dealer that supplied only a bill of sale, it took two years to finally get the plates and then only after I resorted to mail rather than going into a local office.
  4. Packard Don

    No back penalties for old cars in California

    I would fill the application for title and the application for non-op, along with a check for $40 ($20 each, I believe but you should double-check) then mail it to Sacramento along with all the highlighted printouts you mentioned and a filled statement of facts (last section only). In about 60 days, you should get your title. Going to the DMV in person for this sort of thing is a waste of time!
  5. Packard Don

    No back penalties for old cars in California

    That’s the first I’ve ever heard that and not sure if the information is valid. As long as the car hasn’t been driven or parked on any public streets, or towed on one, it should have no back-fees.
  6. Packard Don

    No back penalties for old cars in California

    It needs to have historic plates if you are registering it as a historic vehicle because the plates are part of the historic designation. You didn’t need to get historic plates to insure a vintage vehicle as such, though, and you don’t need to get them if you want only to register it. In other words, you can get a regular registration or you can get a historic registration but the latter requires historic plates. They are required only if registering it as historic. Any particular reason to register it historic?
  7. Packard Don

    55/56 suspension

    There’s a 1956 Clipper Custom sedan in the Classified Ads of the Packard / IMPERIAL page linked below.
  8. Packard Don

    ID needed on prewar car

    First glance it appeared to be an early postwar Ford but they all seem to have trim or scallop on the rear fender while this car’s are smooth. Also note chrome or stainless stone guard while these others are black rubber.
  9. I am going to my Terrebonne, OR shop tomorrow and this time decided to list some of my many parts on eBay. Most of these items will not be listed again soon as I will be there for only two weeks so if you need something, now would be the time! Many more parts are listed on my Packard / IMPERIAL page linked below and if there is somthing not listed that you need, be sure to let me know! I had planned on a nice warm trip this time but Mother Nature had other ideas and starting today it has become bitterly cold so good timing!
  10. Packard Don


    Also briefly in the clip was my favorite character actor, Ian Wolfe. Odd, I thought I saw all the Wonder Woman shows but don't recall this one!
  11. Packard Don


    Perhaps already mentioned here: The Hearse featured a mixed-year but as I recall mostly 1951 or 1952 Henney- Packard as the main “star” so it was in the posters Move Over Darling had a then-new 1954 Packard limousine Who Framed Roger Rabbit had a yellow circa 1937 convertible and a 22nd or 23rd series even though it was supposed to take place before the latter. The convertible is shown in some publicity material. The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original, not the remake) showed a 22nd or 23rd series driving and with its hood open after the power outage The Fly had a 22nd series Henney-Packard ambulance briefly and from a distance Yes, I do know the difference between 22nd and 23rd series but I’ve not seen most of these films for a long, long time so forgot which they were! There was also a ‘40s era movie that had a 1941 Henney-Packard all the way through it as it was the “get-away” car, as I recall, in a heist. I can’t recall the title so does anyone know?
  12. Packard Don

    No back penalties for old cars in California

    I don’t know about registering it but when I applied for a non-op on a car that had been parked for decades, there were no penalties or back-fees of any sort.
  13. Packard Don

    1955 1956 Packard Relocated Oil Filter Lines

    Still looking for these!
  14. During a recent visit to my Central Oregon shop I located the mold made years ago for the vulcanizing of new rubber for the driveshaft supports of senior Henney-Packard coaches from 23rd series to 54th. Not sure but possibly 22nd series and others were the same. In any event, I brought the mold back home with me so if anyone needs their support brackets re-vulcanized, drop me a note. I won't know the cost until I have a pair to do as none of my own need it. Shown here for reference is an NOS bracket from my stock.
  15. Packard Don

    1985 Plymouth Voyager

    Still trying to resolve this problem but now the power brake booster has gone out with the replacement arriving later today. Won't know until the new one is installed but perhaps the old had a vacuum leak. Had the transmission serviced for now but it really needs a rebuild (lots of metal shavings around the magnetic drain) but will save that for a later date as I already have many times the value into it!