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55PackardGuy

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  1. Packards have been inspiring auto makers since there were automobiles-- and many of their innovations are still in use today... with little change. It's been a few years now, but there still seems to be interest in this thread. It stays at the top of the most-viewed regular Packard AACA threads for many years. It would be fun to get some new ideas and discoveries of Packard "Firsts", or information verifying those that were previously culled from the list for lack of definitive evidence (although many are still often cited as bona fide elsewhere). Merry Christmas and may Santa bring you some "Packard Firsts" of your own this year.
  2. Well Al, I think you're keeping pretty busy during you work lull. The "V" on the trunk without the circle looks nice and clean. You might even want to consider driving it that way for a while. Sorry to hear about the 374, but then this car-- whether Clipper or Exec--would've had a 352, and with the lower weight it has plenty of oomph (not to mention your dual-carb "option." Wondering if the VIN on the engine matches the door pillar? If it does, that's a plus anyway. The engine number is, I believe, next to the dipstick tube. BTW, I read somewhere that you can tell the '55 from the '56 dual carbs by looking at the primary an secondary barrels. '55 has same-size and '56 big 'n' little. This again, is hearsay.
  3. AL, Nice work. A lot to admire about the car and the way you've gone about the restoration of both the car and its history. I'm sending you a PM. Hope you get time to look at it.
  4. Christine is going to come back and haunt you this Halloween. :eek:!
  5. Thanks, Pushbutton. I haven't noticed you mentioning him before? What a great perspective, and interesting information, your friend must have!
  6. Thanks Brian. I'll have a look. Anyone else here has some more of the lore and legend of Black Bess and her progeny?
  7. Anyone have pics like those that were posted on this thead originally? I have seen pictures of Black Bess, but not like those described. To continue Teague's story, he had an old-time Packard worker (even names him) come to cut up Bess with a torch. There was more than one car there, and the man asked "which one?" and Teague replied "the black one." Well, after all the smoking pieces were laying around "like a bomb had gone off" Teague plays a monumentally dirty trick, saying to the worker "What have you done? I didn't mean THAT one! I meant the other black one!" As the poor fellow turned green, Teague let him know it was a "joke." There's a guy who left Packard with a story to tell about the whacky managers that worked there! I hope he found another good job. (I'm just paraphrasing these quotes, but I doubt Teague remembered his exact words either.)
  8. I decided to do some "bottom feeding" through the oldest threads on the Packard board and came up with this on Black Bess. I thought it was well worth a "bump." Unfortunately, the photos don't seem to be coming up any more. I wonder if there is a way to display them... I don't believe by their descriptions that I've ever seen them. Maybe Craig could dig 'em up! One post I think I can reply to. It's pretty well documented that Black Bess was indeed cut up, including a great anecdote about it, straight from the mouth of Dick Teague about how it was done. If anyone has the Kimes book, it's covered on page 621. Quoting parts of the text can't do it justice--it's such a wild tale, but Teague says on-the-record: "The pieces [of Black Bess] were lying all around like a bomb had gone off." Kind of sad, but still, Bess was a very rough mule. "It looked like it had been made with a cold soldering iron and a ball peen hammer." (To quote Teague again from the same source.)
  9. Thanks Birdman, that's just what I needed. I think the carbs are good, it's a boat design thing. The engine sits at a steep angle, even when the boat is level (to give the driveline a straight shot from the fluid coupling to the prop) so the back carb is actually angled DOWN! Any fuel that does not get sucked into the intake just dribbles out. It's had that problem since the carbs were rebuilt (they weren't in working order at all when I got the thing), and there aren't that many hours on them now. The leakage is really only a problem when starting and idling with the chokes still closed. So, the preferred starting procedure is: start the fuel pump and run until you hear it change pitch when the float bowls are full, shut OFF the pump and start the engine. Leave the pump off until the throttle is opened, then turn it on for cruising. (But FIRST remember to turn on the ventilation fan or you're likely to go boom!) Ah, the joys of an old gasoline inboard. The 292 is just a really sweet marine engine though. Starts fast, idles smooth at low RPM (very important for docking with a fixed prop), and has lots of guts for getting up on plane, cruising and towing.
  10. Hi all, First time I've posted on this forum. I have a 292 Y Block of late 50's or early 60's vintage. It's had a marine conversion, a real factory job with dual side-draft Carter carbs, water-cooled exhaust manifolds, reverse rotation, the works. It's an Interceptor conversion. Anyhow, I think I have a garden-variety Y Block question. What fuel pressure should the 292 have? I have an electric fuel pump of unknown output, and I get seepage out of the throat of the rear carb at idle and slow speeds. It stops once it's at cruising speed, about 2500 to 3000 rpm. Thanks for any info, and if this question has been asked before, I apologize for not doing a search. Kind of wanted to get acquainted on this forum, even though I don't presently have a vintage Ford. I like '55 and '56 Fords best, '57 is nice, and 58 Fairlanes are all right by me, too. Then, you'd have to go all the way to '61, which is cool, skip '62 (I had one, 6 cyl., 3 on the tree OD, OK to drive but didn't like the looks.) Same with '63, but '64 was great. I like round taillights, except they missed the boat in '62.
  11. BHR 1. Just look at the wheel covers in the posted photos of Clippers. They're all "full wheel covers." Like I mentioned, you'll hardly ever find a set like yours. Someone smarter than me can tell you if they were offered on '56 Clipper models. 2. I would think that what you're looking for is an outfit that does chrome plating. The rims appear to be plated metal, hence the rust. The center caps, not so sure, they almost look like they could be aluminum and if so, they should stay that way--just polish 'em and paint the centers. Packard Red for the hexagon (probably a standard color number) and it looks like black surrounding the "Packard Clipper" stamped letters. Fairly tricky stuff, but a good DYI job if you have the patience. You can find lots of advice about chrome plating services on the forums. It's not cheap, so make double-sure that the parts were originally chrome plated and not polished stainless or aluminum.
  12. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BHR</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Here's my question. Will these Packard style wire wheels (not originals - replicas) make the car look less authentic? Or will I be able to fool the casual car enthusiast into thinking that they're just really nicely restored wheels? Should I do as much as possible to keep my original wheels and trim rings? I guess I'm worried that someone will see my Packard style wire wheels (if I get them) and say, "It's a nice car but too bad the wheels aren't original." Thoughts? Ben </div></div> IMO definitely don't go with the wire wheels: First, they're Packard wheels with the Packard red hexagon in the middle--not the ship's wheel center of the Clipper wheel covers (or the stamped in "Clipper" designation on yours. Second, NO '55 or '56 Clippers (or Packards for that matter) were available with wire wheels. You may have seen the "wire" wheel covers that were standard on Caribbeans. What you'll basically have with real wire wheels is an "oddball" combination that most anyone with a passing interest in V8 Packards will know is not original. This may not bother you if you're not into originality, but another problem is that full wire wheels are notoriously prone to flex and affect handling. These may be somewhat better with new fabricating techniques, but they'll still be a b*tch to keep clean. The trim rings and center hub caps are more rare than the full wheel covers. if they are correct for your '56 Clipper model (they might not be--they could've been replacements) then why not keep them? Fixing them up will probably be cheaper by far than the wire wheels. Meanwhile, go on a Packard forum for more input. Ask if the covers you have are correct for your Clipper. Someone probably knows where you can get clips that will work, too. The old ones were probably shot anyway--you haven't lost much, and you've learned a valuable lesson: that chain tire stores are not the place to have work done on vintage tire/wheel/trim setups. I hope you fix the ones you have, especially if they came with the car. Seeing something different, yet correct, is always a pleasant surprise. I have never seen that style wheel cover on any V8 Clipper--and I've looked at a lot of those cars.
  13. AlK, No hyphen. More mysterious that way. You could also "paint it black" for the lettering. Blackout badges have been popular and look cool. Subtle. Just need to make sure there's a good contrast between the badge black and the body paint, texture, shade, etc. Stealth all the way.
  14. AlK, "Paint it Black" "I see a red [car] door and I want it painted black." Clipperod, I love it. Much better than Clipexecar.
  15. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: milnersXcoupe</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Now, .. if anyone has any information about the 1956 PACKARDs that Raced on Daytona Beach just prior to Daytona Raceway being built.. </div></div> I don't know of any '56 Packards racing on Daytona beach, but one of the prototype '54 Packard Panther cars set a speed record there... with a straight eight, no less. Here's a link to a nice writeup on that car, which was the second Panther produced: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1952-1954-packard-panther-and-pan-american4.htm (scroll down to see the car) After that record 131.1 mph run on the beach, it was known as the Packard Panther <span style="font-style: italic">Daytona</span>.
  16. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I guess Americans could no longer appreciate the fine smorgasboard they had of auto choices.</div></div> And that was a shame. But I wonder if things might head back in that direction. Right now, we have way more marques with way more models than ever before in this country. As the businesses downsize and split up, I can imagine a time when automotive engineers will get together to form new companies, possibly to produce "boutique" cars like the new Tesla. I've long (some might say ad infinitum) pushed the idea that in order for a really new automotive propulsion system to catch the motoring public's fancy, it's gotta go FAST! The hell with economy. Henry Ford was having a heckuva time getting investors for the Model T until he personally set a few speed records in one. PS: There is a growing group of electric dragsters that are smokin' the pants off the gas guzzlers. Electric = Torque, most useable in a quarter mile. Since, as you state, the person behind the OP hasn't checked back, I have gone decidedly <span style="font-weight: bold">OFF TOPIC</span> Good luck with the '50, BJM.
  17. Only pointing out the sales figures for the "Bathtub" years of Packard vs other years, to try to set aside the popular notion that these cars somehow eviscerated Packard's sales because a couple of unfortunate nicknames were attached to them. The "fish-mouthed" Reinhart Packards that also got into this discussion thread were not the styling debacles they were portrayed to be, either. Again, the nickname is remembered, but does not necessarily reflect on the popularity or public acceptance of the car. I don't have access to Cadillac sales figures, and really only the top line senior Packards were the only ones that competed directly with Cadillac. Had there been more of these models, such as the Patrician and later the 400, produced, it would have been much more of a horse race. The Packard models selected as competitors of Cadillac for automotive press testing, generally came out doing pretty well.
  18. It was tough for Packard to innovate after WWII, due largely to their being by far the largest contributor to the war effort of any independent car manufacturer. "War profits" were nothing compared to the cost of completely revamping the manufacturing line, much of the equipment actually having been stored outside during the war. It would have probably helped keep dealers excited if they had a V8 by '52 or '53 to sell against those in the premium GM, Chrysler and Ford products, and maybe Packard would have kept more of them on board. However, rather than innovations or styling, I think it's sales that make or break any car company in the long haul, and the sales figures of '48-53 were the best ever for Packard. The new '48 body style outsold the '46 and '47 model year sales COMBINED. As for 1954, it was a big slump for all car sales following the boom years, partly due to a price war between Ford and GM because Ford wanted to regain its #1 sales position. After that? A series of unfortunate events.
  19. The P-15 was available with 3.9:1 rear axle ratio, and the D-24 with 3.73:1. A lower numerical axle ratio and/or overdrive can be helpful in increasing "cruise" speed. But with relatively "high RPM" engines, for their time, putting out maximum horsepower at about 3600 rpm (as did the Packards of those years), once again, they could and are able to cruise at 70 without overdrive. I'm not sure what you mean by "Packard speeds" which ultimately would have been higher. I've only been discussing a steady 70 mph. Also, there is a weight differential of right about 1000 lbs between the "bathtub Packard" and the Plymouth and Dodge products. I notice you mention some nice 1952 and 1953 overdrive Plymouths, a 1940 Chrysler and the prewar Studebaker Champion. Those are interesting cars, but the only comparison I'm talking about is between P-15 and D-24 Plymouth/Dodge cars of 1946, '47 and '48 and Packard cars of 1948, '49 and '50. There are limitations to any vehicle's cruising speed. Overdrive can help, but there is a law of diminishing returns, as you note going up hills can require a downshift. Also speed is diminished when trying to overcome wind resistance with less mechanical advantage. Overdrive is not a "cure-all" for cruising or top speed. As far as "cruising all day" it depends on a lot of things, including how long your day is and how hot, etc., but under normal conditions, including hills, you could cruise for about as long as you'd care to in a P-15 or D-24 with the standard 3-speed or Fluid Drive (Dodge only), and not downshift for the hills. If numbers are your thing, the 230 Dodge/Plymouth 6 puts out about 2/3 the horsepower of the Packard 8 of the late 40's, but it also weighs only about 3/4 as much. They both put out maximum horsepower at 3600 rpm, (about 100 vs 150 hp) . So take a Dodge, for instance, with a 3.73:1.00 axle ratio, 205x75x16 tires (16" wheels were common). At 3200 rpm, your speed would be about 69 mph. Give or take a mph. Sustaining 3200 rpm is very feasible for long distances in a car weighing it at a little over 3000 lb. So the numbers, as well as experiences, bear it out. Overdrive is helpful, but not a necessity. It is a common retrofit on these cars, although not available from the factory in those years. Not until the D-25 of '49--which, come to think of it, would be a more direct comparison with the Packards, being in the middle year of the production of the models in question.
  20. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> [Y]ou can drive your Packard on today's hiways up to 70 MPH without undue strain. This kind of driving would soon beat the brains out of the typical car of that era such as the splash oiled Chev or 6 cylinder Plymouth.</div></div> I'm not putting down the "Bathtub Packards." In fact, I don't like referring to them like that, and I like some of the models very much. Just taking issue with the above example. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Let's put it another way. If you had your choice of a bathtub Packard or the same year Plymouth for the same price which would you choose?</div></div> For the same price? Of course I'd take the Packard. But a nice P15 or D24 in better shape for much less money? I sure wouldn't turn up my nose to it. Especially for a driver, which is pretty much the scenario that led to this discussion. Now if the Plymouth were up against a '55 or '56 two-door with TL suspension in similar condition for the same price, there'd be no question! Heck, I'd even pay a little more for the Packard!
  21. I thought we were talking postwar Packards. I was referring to the postwar (46, 47, 48) Dodge and Plymouth (Models D24 and P15) with the 231 six (not available in '41--in fact, the largest available Plymouth 6 of that year was a 201 cid!) as opposed to the "Bathtub" Packards. More to the point, I was answering the previous post suggesting that no lower priced car from those years is able to cruise at 70 without pounding its guts out. The cars I actually referred to could and did cruise without undue strain at those speeds-- and still do when in regular good operating condition.
  22. Just a note regarding air conditioning and cruising speeds: Packard had AC as a special installation in 1939 and in '41 as a regular option. The contemporary ('46-48) Dodge and Plymouth 231 ci six had full pressurized oil system and a well-maintained example will cruise at 70 just fine. I wouldn't recommend those speeds in traffic for Packards or any other car of the era due to long stopping distances and single master cylinder.
  23. Thank you for your thoughts. If you read through the thread, you will note that there are many active Packard admirers who have contributed to this list as it stands. It is not a personal list of mine but was a joint effort. As for the quote, it was originally posted under another avatar on the AACA forum, but at some point, the avatar was removed and all posts now appear under an "Anonymous" heading. I thought it was a thoughtful comment and put it in the introduction to this list. The source cited is accurate. This thread was started in 2005.
  24. Packard "Firsts" list update 12-25-08 Merry Christmas to All. I just happened to be checking the number of views or "hits" this thread has had, and the number of replies. (Sort of showing off to my brother-in-law about the thread.) I discovered that it is up to 30,000 views, which put it at the top number for the Packard forum. It was second in replies, but hasn't had a reply since October '07. It's still active, but not commented on. Is somebody waiting to see a results? Perhaps then there can be more refutations, or maybe we've just done such a thorough job with the latest Packard "Firsts" list that most on this thread can see are justified. The post was also replicated under the "Packard Firsts? title for review on the General forum. One caveat remains; Some of these firsts may be first in U.S. automobiles, although many foreign makes were considered when compiling it. there might be some obscure ones out there that have some prior claim on thes innovations. Sometimes this has been noted as "First in U.S." to clarify, such as the hydraulic shocks listing. Items that were U.S. patents for Packard are noted when known. ALL THE ITEMS WERE USED ON REGULAR PRODUCTION CARS, not just patented. Many of them are in use in some form on today's cars. As you may know, the seed of this project was started with a list from the PAC forum, which was re-printed with permission in the original post, as a point from which to start discussion (nobody believed all the claims in that list could pass scrutiny of the knowledgeable people at AACA, and particularly the Packard Forum. I made a healthy disclaimer to assure others that I was not advocating or disparaging the list, just presenting it (and I still took a lot of heat for what others considered was my championing of the list as it stood.) I think the following really is a better list. I have more confidence in it than the original version posted. Many items have been culled, but many have been added. There is some attrition that has resulted in a shorter, but I think, tighter list. THANK YOU to all who contributed by either showing evidence of false claims or adding items that were backed up with facts and ultimately accepted by the active contributors who researched possible alternatives. In the words of John Shireman, a frequent contributor and critic: <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It probably is a good thing that people come into this forum to read a true acount of Packard's automotive first. This is certainly better than other lists published, that are out there for people to read. Maybe . . . publishing the original list in here was a good thing, that way it gave Packard lovers like myslef and some others that are VERY GOOD HISTORIANS, who just don't limit their research to just Packards, gave us a chance to weed out the false claims from the list. I might also state to be able to make additions to the list.</div></div> I don't pretend to be a great historian about automobiles or anything else. But I do have a lot of passion for seeking out published facts (or at least things presented as facts) on automobiles--particularly Packards. There were many contributors and watchdogs working through this list, and some of the most knowledgeable Packard people you'd find anywhere. If you want to get all their contributions... READ THE THREAD! Here is the list that stands today. The Packard Automobile Club and Packards International are cordially invited to look it over and compare it with their lists and make suggestions, or even adopt the list for publication or use. Please dedicate it to: "Those Packard Nuts and Geniuses over at AACA." <span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="text-decoration: underline">PACKARD FIRSTS</span></span> 1. Automatic spark advance (1899) Patented February 12, 1901 2. Steering radius link, Patented February 12, 1900 (Packard's First Automotive Patent) 3. "H" pattern selective gear shift (1900) 4. Round copper cylinder cooling jacket (1901) 5. Tilt steering wheel (1901) 6. Aluminum crankcase (1904) 7. Hypoid differential (1925) 8. Hydraulic shock absorbers on U.S. vehicle (1926) 9. Backup lights (1927) 10. Self cleaning full flow oil filter (1934) 11. Pressurized cooling system (1938) 12. Air conditioning (1939) 13. Padded dash (1939) 14. Electric power windows (1940) 15. Direct drive (locking) torque converter (1949) 16. Electric power antenna (1951) 17. Power steering linkage mounted to frame (1953) 18. Standard tubeless tires (1954) 19. Fully interconnected 4-wheel torsion bar suspension (1955) 20. Electric load leveler (1955) 21. Wrap-around front direction signal lenses (1955) 22. Central Side-marker lamps (1955) 23. Limited slip differential (1956) 24. Pushbutton electric selector for automatic transmission (1956) 25. Reversible seat cushions (1956) 26. Aluminum automatic transmission case (1956)
  25. '55 Just another '55 catching up with your thread again here. Glad you're making headway with the Clipper. You've got a good team of experts helping, too, I can see. Kind of wondering though what happened to that "burnt" smell you posted about way back when... was it just the Southern California brush fires wafting on the breeze toward Diego? Or maybe I missed a post somehow? BTW, a lack of valve clatter is a VERY good sign. Some of the V8s were prone to noisy lifters (see NUMEROUS detailed threads) and if yours doesn't have any even when you listen close, you may have one of those great old Packard V8s where it's NOT AN ISSUE! Two out of three of our '55 Packards never made a peep. They were both Clippers with 352 ci. Our 400 with that same size engine always had valve clatter and oil pressure probs. PLEASE DON'T THINK I'M TRYING TO CO-OPT THIS THREAD TO TALK ABOUT LIFTER NOISE! I just wanted to let you know you could probably safely just enjoy your quiet engine, except for using good oil (you'll get lots of opinions on that, too--but we used 1960s through 1970s versions of Trop Artic 10W-30 with great success). Just change it early and often... but you knew that anyway.
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