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55PackardGuy

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Everything posted by 55PackardGuy

  1. Alk, I might be kind of cheating here, but I believe you added the very tasteful Packard Crest medallions on the front door panels. BTW, what do you mean "finally?" Considering where it started, this project has made some pretty steady progress IMO. The upholstery looks great. Have fun driving it this summer... I think your biggest challenge will be keeping the dual quads happy.
  2. Thanks for the feedback, packards42. I once posted a link to this car on the forum and it was roundly booed, although I do appreciate it. BTW, is the movie "Cobra" or is that the car and the movie is "Stallion?" Sounds interesting. Here are a couple more pics of the car. I think the interior looks quite nicely done, and the roof treatment in the rear looks quite good to me too. Hard to tell the workmanship, though, without seeing the car up close. It's been on the Carnut.com site forever, and I have wondered about it's current whereabouts. I guess this one doesn't make me cry (as long as they didn't start with a nice retsorable Executive)... others may differ.
  3. Rust is sometimes an issue with "barn stored" cars if it sat on an earthen floor. Lots of moisture comes up out of the ground and can rust 'em out underneath quite quickly. Given the relatively low tolerance of these unibodies for any underbody rust, might be best to try to peek underneath first. Also look at the bottom of the fuel tank. My "Old Cars" price guide says that one of these in "good" drivable condition (that is a #4 by their standards) would bring as much as $5000. If the frame isn't shot, shine it up and get it running. If it hasn't been started regularly in those 10-20 years (doubtful it has) a lot of prep work will be needed before any attempt to start it now... as I'm sure you're well aware. Maybe you can make a deal with your son if he gets it running and it's his... or you'll pay him the extra value it will have as a running (if not yet driving) car. Great learning experience, but of course it'll require a lot of guidance if he hasn't undertaken such a task before.
  4. One very good way to stand out at a rod meet is to paint your car ANYTHING BUT red. I know, there are lots of nice red hotrods out there, the point is, there are enough now, and try something different. But not a shocking pink and blue 3-holer Packard. Please.
  5. I had a little better luck with my first-and-only Opel. A '73 Manta Rally with 1.9L 4 and 4-speed. I had been looking for something smaller than my first car, a '65 Electra, in the days of "gas shortages." It performed quite satisfactorily, but never got the fantastic gas mileage I was hoping for-- I could eke out 25 mpg on the highway. Finally got rid of the POS Solex carb and put in a Weber with mechanical secondary. Big gain in performance and a little in gas mileage. The biggest disadvantage for power and economy was that the '73 engine had been horribly de-tuned with dish pistons yielding a pathetic 7.6:1 compression ratio. Just a band-aid treatment to pass U.S emissions. It also had a primitive egr setup that was disabled before I got the car. Very few routine repairs were needed, though, and it was reliable transportation. Absolutely always started in the coldest weather (tractor-style compression helped). But it had lifter noise and poor oil pressure from when i got it with about 70K on it. Never USED any oil, though. BUT THIS IS WHAT I LEARNED: THE FIRST THING TO CHECK WITH LOW OIL PRESSURE in an Opel 1.9L is THE OIL PUMP FACE PLATE. The stupid aluminum/pot metal plate serves as the surface on which the oil pump gears run, and of course the cover gets scored eventually by the steel gears and the oil pressure goes to pot. After replacing cam, bearings, etc. with minimal improvement, I'm driving along one day and oil starts leaking out of the face plate (bad casting cracked) onto the road. Hm, that's not right. Got a new replacement, 10 minutes later-- like-new oil pressure! A $20 part probably ruined more Opel engines, particularly cams and lifters, than any amount of hard driving ever did. Be warned! Replace that cover! it's literally a 10-minute job, as the pump is mounted externally right on the front of the engine. I had the car for about 4 years and sold it for what I bought it for in 1979. Bronze metallic paint, black stripes and blackout hood, rallye gauges, tan leatherette interior... good selling points--and gas was still "expensive." I bought a new Mercury Capri RS V8-- that got better mileage!
  6. Humbly submitted for your consideration:
  7. West, Here is what one of those 4500 hp setups should look like: http://falfn.com/CrusaderRabbit/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/02-Toledo-8-22-09-djw.jpg
  8. Thanks Birdman, that's all I needed to know.
  9. Can anyone tell me where one would find the id or serial number on the '61 Thunderbird 390 cid V8? I have found a VIN "decoder" but nothing on it shows what number on the VIN is supposed to match the engine number, or where the engine the number is located. Just trying to find out how to tell if a '61 is a "numbers matching" car. Thanks for any info.
  10. Albert, Your post perpetuates an unfortunate misconception regarding the Packard Marine V12 engine, implying that it was related to the Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12 aviation engine. Packard designed and built the V12 marine engines that so capably powered WWII Navy craft, and also set many speed records powering racing boats. Often in groups of 4 in a square configuration, in boats that planed on just two front sponsons, the third point of contact being the propeller/rudder. Read more here... including specs for those who are still wondering. And if you want more about Packard powered racing boats, just google Gar Wood. http://www.outlawpulling.com/PDF/Packard%20Marine%20Engine.pdf
  11. Hee hee, good for Larry. That story should go onto the "Speeding in a Packard" thread. The on-center feel at road speed on the manual steering '55 Clippers I drove was outstanding. One hand on the wheel seemed like much more than you needed-- one finger, never tried it. Wish I had. Those are great memories of some particularly great cars.
  12. Ben, It'd be interesting to figure out what changed between the original setup on the '53-'54 as opposed to '55-56. I do recall the '55 400 with PS that I drove had very little "road feel", when coupled with the slightly "floaty" feeling of the T/L suspension it took a little get used to, but the handling was excellent. Packard may have just gone to more powerful hydraulics in '55 so you could diddle the steering wheel from lock to lock with one finger while stopped--an impression that many car makers seemed to think would really sell PS. Actually, the Clipper custom with manual steering that I drove had fine road manners, just a little slower ratio so you could parallel park without wrenching your arms loose.
  13. "All-steel" pertaining to the station wagon has been in debate before, regarding several other makes, stamp or no stamp. Advertising or no advertising. Some say the Packard was not a "station wagon" at all because it was referred to as a "station sedan." There are always nits to pick. In any case, does anyone care to tackle my post on Power Steering as designed by Packard and adopted by the industry?
  14. Well, maybe not ALL Packards, but I'm not hearing much here about V8 Packards, which will all definitely cruise at 85+ mph for as long as the gas holds out. I have personally ridden in (not driven) a '55 Clipper Custom that was driven at speeds over 90 mph for 100 miles, from my grandparents' house to my family home, between towns spaced about 15 miles apart, at night, on a 2-lane road. I was about 12 years old. This would probably now be considered child endangerment, but we made it. I watched the speedo the whole way, and it got up to 90 shortly after getting through a town and stayed there until the next one. My dad said driving fast made it easier to stay awake late at night. I believed him at the time. At least he was driving a car built for such speeds. This was on bias ply tires, in about 1969. It was not a new car by any means.
  15. Silverghost, Yes, that might be true. All I'm looking for on this thread is to make sure Packard does get credit when it is due. For instance: "Power steering . . . was all Packard's, and it was a good system. GM's Saginaw was early in the field and had capured a degree of public fancy, but it had two serious drawbacks: a preload of some seven pounds which the driver had to overcome to put it into operation, and a linkage exposed to all the force of the power unit. The preload was designed to retain "road feel," but wasn't the most admirable idea GM ever had. Dubbed "you pull first" by the automotive press, the Saginaw had a habit of taking over at inopportune moments, and under road conditions such as glare ice had been known to send vehicles off the road The exposure of the linkage to the power unit was a flaw shared with Chrysler, which was advertising its power steering as "full time"; the slightest nudge could turn the wheel full lock with the car at a standstill. Until Packard's power steering unit came along, systems of the day were mainly bolt-on operations. Saginaw's unit, for example, was affixed to the steering column, as was Studebaker's shortlived mechanical assist. Thus, a 90-pound woman twisting the steering wheel on television commercials was doing as much damage to the linkage as a 300-pound linebacker wrenching the same wheel if the car was not moving. Packard's answer was to put the power linkage down on the frame, and have it act directly on the steering geometry. This arrangement eventually became a standard." From "Packard, a History of the Motor Car and the Company," Copyright 1978 Automobile Quarterly, Inc. (pp 567-568). Emphasis added. Thus, not the FIRST automobile power steering, but the first PRACTICAL power steering, which became the STANDARD OF THE INDUSTRY. But I guess that somehow doesn't carry enough weight to be considered an engineering first. Hm. So let's just call it a triumph, maybe. Or at least a pretty good job?
  16. Silverghost, Some interesting points. Your allegiance to Rolls-Royce is evident in your monicker, but the later comment by bklazmer is accurate, too. As you note, Packard built many more of the "Merlin" type engine during the war, and one reason was because they standardized and reduced the number of parts, which not only made them more reliable, but made it possible for them to be serviced in the far-flung areas where they were used. That alone is a huge contribution. They also added many engineering changes that made the engines better performers. As for your comment that Packard "built fine autos up to the WWII period," I think you're leaving out the many fine postwar autos built under extremely trying conditions. (Conditions due in large part to Packard contributing to the war effort far beyond what could be expected of an independent manufacturer. Virtually all their automotive tooling and manufacturing equipment was stored outside during the war years!) Regarding jet engines, Packard was selected to produce the military's J-46 jet airplane engine. Following Packard's completion of the manufacturing facility, former GM head Charles Wilson (who had become Defense Secretary Charles Wilson) finagled a "narrow-based procurement policy" for the military and canceled Packard's contracts to build marine engines and the J-47 jet engine. Guess which company picked up the "narrowly based" contract. So somebody thought Packard could build a pretty good jet engine BEFORE Rolls did. Admittedly, Packard's demise came from other circumstances as well, but this setback was an early sounding of the death knell. Just thought this was worth noting, although off-topic.
  17. Well, Dave, I finally found your reference to PT-109 in that earlier post.:confused: I'm kind of sorry I did. This statement is kind of over the top, to say the least. Crediting Packard for a presidential victory?? I'll stick with the engineering achievements.
  18. So, maybe somewhere in that single rambling paragraph you mentioned the PT. (109, nice touch). If you'd clicked on the link I posted, you'd have seen a lot more. PACKARD WAS NOT AT THE FOREFRONT OF AUTOMOBILE ENGINEERING. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST, FOLKS! I did what? I'm not begging for anything. You just didn't seem to get the idea that this is an automotive forum. Hang the moon on that. I think I'm only hearing real defensiveness from one quarter here. And what happened to your worshipful reference to Packards International after you saw their list? This is a hobbyist site, and a forum that looks for people with more than a passing interest in a particular marque. I think the posts with accompanying photos and examples are fine. Yours included. The problem with lists such as the many compiled over the years by Packard people, is that they simply become targets, rather than starting points for some serious discussion. THATS why I ask about research into innovations that have some real backing. Generally, we're talking about mass produced automobiles, generally in the U.S., that first featured components that were adopted by the industry as a whole, and proved their worth over many years. For instance, you might look into the Packard power steering setup, and how practical it was compared to its competition in 1954, and how its basic design was emulated throughout the industry in short order. But, I guess that would be claiming that Packard hung the moon. Or that PT-109 was the only PT boat worth mentioing.
  19. Well, Dave, I'm just about ready to delete that PAC list I posted, because, as always seems to be the case, someone thinks I personally came up with that original list. I did not. That list is from the PAC website. Repeat, the PAC website. (and posted here with permission, I might add) This thread was started in order to critique and change that list to be more realistic. I believe you'll notice that the REVISED list posted above says nothing about pleated upholstery Also, in spite of the many records that Packard set in aviation and marine applications (you forgot marine) this list is about Packard AUTOMOBILES. How could you expect to broaden it to include all Packard records, when it's unmanageable enough to just concentrate on automotive innovations. I believe the following link includes most of the aeronautic records you were talking about--if not more--plus marine records: Packard Motor Car Information - Packard PT Boat Engine [Packard Forums - General] Oh, and by the way, here is Packard International's list of "Packard Firsts" (Also posted by permission). This should really get you going: Below are but a few of the Packard Motor Car Firsts that occurred on Mr. Macauely’s “watch”. (The ones I could remember at the writing of this presentation. Later you will see the aviation records.) All quotes from: "Alvan Macauley The Right Man-The Right Place-The Right Time" Presentation For The Nomination of Alvan Macauley To The Automotive Hall Of Fame Contributors to this Presentation: Packards International Motor Car Club’s Archives Literature Collection of Mr. Frederick R. Mauck Literature Collection of Dr. Robert Malstrom Mrs. Estelle Macauley Ritter- Granddaughter of Alvan Macauley A Memorial Biography-Alvan Macauley for the Macauley family Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Vinarcik Packards International Motor Car Club 302 French Street Santa Ana, California 92701 Phone Number: 714 633-3572 Material Prepared by Frederick R. Mauck Submitted for: Packards International Motor Car Club by: Frederick R. Mauck Member Board of Directors Packards International Motor Car Club SOME PACKARD FIRSTS First American twelve cylinder engine (1915) First aluminum pistoned automobile engine (1915) First company to offer bumpers as standard equipment. (1924) First hypoid differential (1925) First hydraulic shock absorbers (1926) First backup lights (1927) First pressurized cooling system (1933) First oil temperature regulator (1933) First full flow oil filter (1933) First self-cleaning full flow oil filter (1934) First to locate hand brake on left of driver (1915) First to use steering wheel instead of tiller handle. First power hydraulic brakes (1936) First aluminum crankcase. First automobile air conditioning (1939) First sealed beam headlights (1939) First padded dash (1939) First pleated upholstery (1939) First automatic windows (1940) First all steel station wagon (1948) First thermostatic control of water circulation in a motorcar. First to hook up the accelerator pedal and hand throttle. First to patent automobile wheels interchangeable at hub. First to offer ribbed jacket water-cooled cylinders. First to obtain patent on radiator with top and bottom reservoirs with tubes. First central automatic chassis lubricator system. First in America to use “trunnion block” which added to driving safety. First “ride control” - a mechanism for controlling shock absorber activity. First package compartment in instrument panel. First sun visors. First constant action vacuum (pump aided) windshield wipers. First to use lateral stabilizer. First to use built-in under-fender cooling tunnels. First electrically controlled overdrive. First automatic radiator shutters as standard equipment. First to include front and rear bumpers as standard. First to use balloon tires as standard. Phillips screw.
  20. That is not so far-fetched for a Stanley Steamer. Those things were faster than just about anything else at the time and for many years after, as long as the pressure held. I have had exactly one speeding ticket in my life, at age 19 (looong time ago) even though I pretty much drove 10 to 15 mph over the limit most of the time, until I got tired of it a few years ago. It's just no fun, when almost anything will go way faster than the roads and traffic will allow, and people are basically picking fights rather than having fun. I've been PULLED OVER numerous times, for numerous "offenses" including speeding, but they always seemed to catch me at the times when I was only speeding slightly, and have talked my way out of it. You just need to be polite, have your license and hands in plain sight (if it's night turn on the dome light) and be ready to say where you're coming from and where you're going (never say "the bar"). It goes something like: "Yes, sir, officer sir, here's my license... I'm coming from (Church is a good one) and going to gramma's house. Oh let me explain, officer sir, she's a nightowl and is always up at 2 a.m. and I went to church 700 miles away yesterday morning."
  21. Dave, I believe Rickenbacker's application was a race car. These "firsts" generally stick to first successful application in a production model car. There admittedly was a lot of contentiousness around the item, but if you do a thread search, I believe a strong case was made for Packard's introduction of this as a readily available feature. BTW, do you have any examples of those "many" cars with side marker lights? (We're not talking "carriages" here.)
  22. It's always been this way... more people want to take things off than put them on. I think it'd be a good idea to post where this started, and see how many were taken off from the "original" list, which contains pretty much all the traditional things that were attributed as developments of the Packard Motor Car Company. Be careful PAC members, note that this came from your website! 1. "H" pattern selective gear shift (1899) 2. Steering wheel (1901) 3. Automatic spark advance (1899) 4. Rumble seat (1908) 5. Hand brake left of driver (1915) 6. First twelve cylinder engine in U.S. (1915) 7. Aluminum piston automobile engine (1915) 8. Hypoid differential (1925) 9. Hydraulic shock absorbers (1926) 10. Backup lights (1927) 11. Pressurized cooling system (1933) 12. Oil temperature regulator (1833) 13. Full flow oil filter (1933) 14. Central automatic chassis lubricator (1933) 15. Standard automatic radiator shutters (1933) 16. ?Ride control? for shock absorbers (1933) 17. Self cleaning full flow oil filter (1934) 18. Power hydraulic brakes (1936) 19. Aluminum crankcase 20. Air conditioning (1939) 21. Sealed beam headlights (1939) 22. Padded dash (1939) 23. Pleated upholstery (1939) 24. Power windows (1940) 25. All steel station wagon (1948) 26. Reverse rear window (1953) 27. Torsion bar suspension (1955) 28. Electric load leveler (1955) 29. Thermostatically controlled water circulation 30. Accelerator pedal joined with hand throttle 31. First patent on interchangeable wheels 32. Ribbed jacket water-cooled cylinders 33. First patent on radiator with top and bottom reservoirs with tubes 34. First U.S. application of "trunnion block" 35. Glove compartment in instrument panel 36. Folding interior sun visors 37. Pump aided vacuum windshield wipers 38. Lateral stabilizer 39. Under fender cooling tunnels 40. Electric overdrive 41. Standard front and rear bumpers 42. Limited slip differential 43. Fiberglass body 44. Only automobile with complete torsion bar suspension 45. First diesel aircraft From: "A short story about the beginning of the Packard saga with the Warren era written by Roger T. White, descendant of G. L. Weiss, Co-Founder" found at Packard Automobile Classics, Inc. - The Packard Club *Presented here with permsission. Includes minor edits for length of entries. To view the original list and the article in which it appeared, see the PAC web site. The last one isn't exactly automotive, but it's interesting. I would tentatively add wraparound front direction signals and side marker lights (55 and 56 seniors).
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