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55PackardGuy

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Everything posted by 55PackardGuy

  1. Thought the same thing myself. Put it back to original power (or even marque-correct like a big ol' 374) and it sells itself. Except no shots of interior, which can be hideous hot-rod generic snap-on stuff. or worse.
  2. Yeah, I think that dog is a Weimaraner, and they're supposed to be smart. The car is pretty well proportioned, but certainly the graphics on the visor, top and door should be done away with, and vertical bars on the grille would give it a much more "Packard" look. To each his own. I completely agree that I'll give someone a lot more slack with a custom if they used donor cars that were beyond restoration.
  3. At least the dog's got some taste... he won't look at it!
  4. The shorter wheelbase is more than offset by the quadratrac and stability control. You're as likely to get "into trouble very fast" with an ordinary "towing" pickup--don't care how many blocks long it is. Occasional offroad use? HA. That thing'll go anywhere. The Trail Rated suspension probably helps, but the Cherokee is made to go off road. Crazy wild mudding, maybe not, but over hill, over dale, you bet. Back off for a minute, won't you? That picture was taken of Jack Harlin's rig when he was hauling around his '55 Panama stock car... when it was being raced in NASCAR! You don't suppose that might have been happening, oh, sometime around 1955? And Harlin was more than likely a better driver than all of us put together-- so have some respect and read the details next time. Speaking of details, a '55 Packard doesn't weigh 6000 pounds. Try about a ton less. It's not the pickup getting blown around, it's the trailer. And that rarely happens when heavy trucks pass you. It's when you meet them on a two-lane when you need to worry. The full size Bronco was nowhere near the vehicle that a last-gen Cherokee is. How irresponsible of you! Sounds like a good dose of driver error. Were you trying to pass on the curve when you got "pushed" out of your lane? What speed was the curve rated for? Just wondering. Finally, just because you have every dollar in the world to spend on a towing rig, that doesn't mean everyone else does, including the person who started this thread and isn't looking for "who's got the the most expensive truck?" --even if you've won the mas macho contest so far.
  5. Thanks for the info, Restorer32. The final thing that would hold me back from a diesel tow vehicle is that generally the diesels are only available in full-sized pickups. They won't fit in my puny garage or into most urban parking spots. The Grand Cherokee is shorter, narrower, more maneuverable, and has the bonus of a lot of interior space for those of us who occasionally "camp" in our cars. For someone like me who doesn't have the scratch or room for an extra vehicle, and needs an everyday driver for around town and urban freeways combined with a tow vehicle, the Hemi Cherokee is hard to beat. At around 5000 pounds, it takes quite a crosswind to notice something being towed behind. If you're watching the tach or the MPG gauge, though... then you know! The 4WD is full-time, and it comes in very handy on ice and snow, whether I'm towing or not-- no effect on MPG. Interesting that mileage on your vehicles is fairly similar, and that cold starts as low as 0 degrees are not a problem with the newer diesels. (It would need to be good to well below zero around here, though.)
  6. I think you're pretty much on the track there, Steve. There may be a couple of ways around the problem, though, to go forward from the initial revival of the Packard name on an actual automobile (which has already taken place) and on to something that could be produced. The most essential thing to us regular Packard people, I think, would be to bring back the Packard name on a car that is esthetically and mechanically worthy of it, and actually get those cars in the hands of motorists, and on the road--whether those lucky enough to have them appreciate the heritage or not. To make the Packard name come to mean something to more people, and to ignite enthusiasm in the company's history and automobiles, would be satisfaction enough for me. That might only take several hundred cars or a few thousand built over several years. To get to that point, one would need a very cool car with lots of panache, along with a good dose of PR hype and snob appeal. Also helpful would be noteworthy buyers to associate with the name. For starters, general automobile enthusiasts and collectors like Jay Leno, and then on to some actual Packard enthusiasts among the glitterati-- one I've heard mentioned is Clint Eastwood-- and finally to those "conspicuous consumption" types attracted to the exclusivity of a high-priced "hand made" car, whether they appreciate the name or not. I'm not saying this approach would be easy or even have any great likelihood of success, but it just might have some viability, unlike trying to go straight to a mass produced line, which I don't think would ever work, economies of scale or not. The exclusive cars from the full Classic era were more or less hand-built one at a time, and their cost reflected that. The Packard name has history aplenty in the area of hand-built classics, and a legitimate claim to that niche in the present.
  7. Just curious, how do you do on mpg when you're not towing? How much inconvenience is it to burn diesel (finding it handling it, etc.)? How much more does it usually cost per gallon? Do the trucks start in cold weather? Have you ever had to rebuild a turbo? What's the difference in your experience, if any, between maintenance costs of these vehicles and gasoline powered trucks?
  8. Just an opinion, but if you're towing a Packard, what better tow vehicle than a Packard?? Below is a shot of the late, great Jack Harlin's '55 Packard Panama race car (#50) which he towed behind... a '55 Packard 400! (click on the thumbnail to enlarge) The Packard V8s and Straight 8's certainly had enough torque to pull heavy loads, with up to 355 ft lbs on the '56 10:1 compression 374's. The question was, how long an Ultramatic transmission could hold up? For towing purposes and all-around usefulness, I find my 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD with 348 ci Hemi V8 a wonderful vehicle. Commuting on urban freeways it gets about 18 mpg (over 20 straight freeway). In towing mode (which adjusts shifting points and, I believe, keeps it out of torque converter lockup and also probably uses only the 8 cylinder firing mode--instead of going into 4-banger cruising mode) it gets about 15 mpg. In general, diesel is not only more of a hassle to find and stinkier, it's often MORE expensive than gasoline. Anybody have a diesel out there that can make 15 mpg while towing 2000 lbs?
  9. ]Not to belabor the OT subject here, but that argument just doesn't wash... the Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, etc. were automotive icons within living memory of many mainstream car buyers of today-- many of whom "always wanted one" when they were being manufactured. Which is the reason these cars "caught on." Which Packard model could you suggest for the "retro" treatment that would have such wide market appeal? Packard enthusiasts could argue about that all day long, but few if any of us are in the target demographic for an extremely high dollar specialty car. Creating a modern "retro" '55 400 or '42 Clipper would be very satisfying for Packard fans to see, but it wouldn't have anywhere near the popular appeal of today's flashes from the past, nor would it be any more likely to be a viable entry into the exclusive car market.
  10. RE: The "Packard Motor Car Co." prototype, A limited edition run would be nice, but it would need serious investment up-front. The project lacks direction, other than the obvious direction of actually producing a prototype, which in itself is an achievement--but not always the first order of business for a serious company. I agree that it's nice to see an update of the website after all these years. I've been keeping an eye on the project since the early '00s, and it's been easy to track, since it's pretty much a stationary target! I wish someone involved with the project would take the time to post on some of the Packard message boards and websites. It's almost insulting that they don't.
  11. And the FENDER ornament!! My God, that's an unknown make from at least the late '80s!
  12. Bleach, No accounting for tastes. I'll give the OT subject one more shot. I think there are always questionable aspects of a car's styling, and although I credit this as a serious effort that succeeds in many ways, the shot you posted really accentuates the side "bulges" that in different lights and different angles look a bit better (though still "overdone" imo). I think it's an homage to the other brave upstart car model that actually resulted in a vehicle: interesting how "Tucker"-like they are. Rather than eat up a lot of bandwidth with photos here, I'll just post a link to the web site so folks can look at some other angles and also get some of the technical features of this (so far) Quixotic effort to make a viable new Packard car. Packard Motor Car Company :: Home I don't think I can bring myself to disparage the effort, as it obviously took a lot of dedication, money, and knowhow to actually do this thing (that so many have talked about for so long)-- bring back, if not the Packard company itself, at least "a" Packard car with some legitimate ties to the marque's heritage, rather than a badge on a warmed-over late model sedan. As of now the effort still seems to be playing itself out, so it's fun to keep watching its slow progression to... oblivion? They might have a chance if they took a tip from Tucker and started to really market it. Perhaps advertise it in swanky "connoisseur" and high-end automotive magazines, to be built only for purchasers who have made a substantial down payment. ("First 50 buyers get 1000 shares of Packard Preferred Stock"--gratis!) Getting 15 or 20 of them out there could gain some legitimacy for the effort. But first, a facelift is due.
  13. Bleach, The "Packard 12" car is really not a "Hot Rod." It is a one-off prototype/concept car, and an original design. The design has been debated ad-infinitum, but it isn't built from a chopped-up factory Packard, like this one was: (the rest of the photos are too horrible to print)
  14. Who said anything about the plant? Your comments show woeful ignorance of the pre-'57 Packards. If you think there are ANY connections in design, manufacture or production of these cars with Packard's designs for '57 and beyond, you need to study up a bit. There is no disagreement in any automotive history that the '57-'58 "Packards" were re-badged Studebakers. A comparison for today's cars would be the many "badge-engineered" models that GM, Chrysler Corp, and Ford have produced. Your comments about manufacturing plants are entirely erroneous, including the part about "a more efficient newer plant". The Studebaker plant in South Bend was entirely devoted to producing Studebaker cars, and no effort was made to alter production to accommodate the cars designed by Packard. Your comments reflect an obviously very thin knowledge base. Condescending remarks about "snootiness" and being "miffed," or having a "logical disconnect," lend no meaningful support to your "irrefutable facts." If you are truly interested in the events of the last several years of Packard production, why not post back after you've learned a little about it?
  15. packards42, Thanks for your comment on the list. That entry was debated back and forth for a long time, and as it came out the torsion bar suspension and the self-leveling feature were split into two entries. 19. Fully interconnected 4-wheel torsion bar suspension (1955) 20. Electric load leveler (1955). The list I refer to is in post #263, which reflects, as closely as I have been able to determine, what evolved on this thread with input from those on this website, as the "Packard Firsts" list. Many will debate the suspension was not a "first" because many European cars had torsion bars, but as is noted, Packard's was unique in that it connected front and rear wheels instead of using a separate bar for each "spring" point, as others did. Also, the load leveling feature is noted as "electric" to distinguish it from the many hydraulic and pneumatic systems, (and their unfortunate shortcomings in comparison with Packard's leveler--even to the present day). The contributors to this list and I have often engaged in trying to argue how many Angels (or Packards) could dance on the head of a pin in order to build a list of "firsts," but by and large I think those debates made the list more realistic and the thread more true to its purpose.
  16. Whoops, came up again. Thank you, Bill Gates, for listening.
  17. Brian, I was just on P-Info a few minutes ago (7:20 CDT, approx) and signed off momentarily. Now, I ain't getting it to open again. This isn't Kev's deal at all, of course, it's the frikin' frakin' system out there. IMHO, Windows 98 was the last decent Microsoft System. It was the most solid post-DOS-based version, and then they had to mess with it. (Earlier Windows editions were still based on DOS, just a graphic interface running on top of good ol' DOS. DOS was the shortened acronym for the original system Microsoft created for IBM, which was called QDOS, and stood for "Quick and Dirty Operating System." This is no joke. The name was shortened to DOS for obvious reasons, but it was not much different from the original QDOS. Who knows how many glitches from this original mayhem are still crashing all those "sophisticated" Internet servers? What a world, what a world.
  18. Been checking in occasionally to see this if thing would turn over 40,000 views. It's nice to see it's been a fairly steady interest to readers.
  19. :eek: How many more ways can you miss the facts? The premise that "Packard bought Studebaker" is even only technically true. The idea that Packard "had every right" to drop the Studebaker name is something only those privy to the articles of incorporation can know for sure, but the rest of us should know anyway that this was in no way an option, legally or corporately. The '57 and '58 "Packards" are quite interesting oddities, but the collectors of Packards and everyone else know darn well that they have absolutely no connection to the line of Packards that was in production through 1956. Other than some parts scavenged from the Packard bins, NOTHING was even close, unless you want to rule out body, chassis, engine, drivetrain... they didn't even put a Packard engine in the "Packard" Hawk. Big mistake IMO. All Studebakers sold under the Packard nameplate would've stood a much better chance of attracting Packard buyers if they had a real Packard engine in them. But this response is both too little and too much to reply to a statement that really doesn't warrant a response. Again, :eek:
  20. Since about 190 visitors have viewed this thread in a little over a month, and the title is not ambiguous as to the topic, I have to think that a few people who have a reasonably complete, running, driving 2-door '55 or '56 Packard or Clipper with Torsion Level suspension for sale, have for some reason not contacted me. If you have such an animal, and are thinking of selling it, please e-mail (address is on my Profile page) Private Message me, or reply on the thread here. Thanks
  21. I dunno about the Ford GAA, but the Chevy "Stovebolt" had some very long, thin head bolts (as opposed to the ubiquitous flatheads around when Chevy was OHV) and that's the reason I always heard. They even had one head bolt that went right through one of the exhaust ports! An interesting design feature. Now Dave, are you going to make us both wrong about what a sorry excuse for a "sports car engine" this thing really was? Can you really find something worse?
  22. Dave, I presume this refers to my comment on the Chevy stovebolt 6 being a lame attempt at a "sports car" engine in the first Corvettes. So, in your opinion, what was a worse attempt at a souped up "performance" engine in an early 50's American car. I understand that if you find one, then you'd be wrong to agree with me. But if you don't, you can agree, and be right, too.
  23. Dave M, I guess you could as easily ask why Ford didn't put a DOHC engine in a postwar car. First, the government was paying for at least a portion of the development and manufacturing expenses incurred designing and building these high-tech engines, and second, I'd say that the general motoring public did not care much about how many cams or where they were on the cars they were buying-- especially in the first few postwar years--and to expect them to pay the extra cost (not to mention the critical time-to-market lag) would have been folly for any of the manufacturers. BTW, I don't think Packard could ever be accused of lacking the "imagination" to build a sports car in the early 50's, they just didn't seem to have the will or the funds to put the various incarnations of the Panther into production. Also, I think you'd agree that, engine-wise, practically ANY car of the early 50's had an engine that was "in the league with" the Corvette's gussied up stovebolt 6!
  24. Oh my, Dave. Where to start. Ford's pre-war automotive V-12s were a joke alongside Packard V12s produced years earlier. In addition, Packard never got compensated for the real value of the awesome engines they designed and built for the war effort, as noted in this thread. Their post-war military contracts dried up as soon as a former head of GM, Charles Wilson, became Secretary of Defense under Eisenhower, and instituted a "narrow-based procurement policy" (ie GM and few other favored suppliers) for military manufacturing contracts with the automotive industry. The estimated loss of defense work amounted to about $426 million (back when a million was a lot of money) for Studebaker-Packard.* As far as Packard "always doing it that way" I can't help but wonder whether the largest, most powerful V8, and a completely new full torsion bar suspension was the way Packard (or anybody else) "always did it." These cars were built under great economic duress, brought on largely by the loss of deserved military contracts that were terminated, or outright broken. So these cars were "dull?" Interesting perspective, considering they were more advanced than any of the "big three" cars of the time, and produced by an independent manufacturer that bested the others when they were fat with cash. Your comment is uninformed, or if you are informed, purposely misleading. *To read more, see pg 579 of "Packard, A History of the Motor Car and the Company," Beverly Rae Kimes, ed., copyright 1978, Automobile Quarterly, Inc.
  25. Bump. What I'm hoping for is just a car that is driveable at 40 mph without scaring the passengers, not much rust or major body problems, with an interior that can be inhabited by humans, and hasn't hosted too many rodent parties. Candidates are '55 or '56 Super Panama, Constellation, 400 or '56 Executive. Torsion Level suspension would be practically standard except for most '55 Super Panamas, or some '55 Constellations, which could have standard spring suspension and would not interest me if they did. PM or e-mail
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