Packard enthus.

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About Packard enthus.

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  • Birthday 03/27/1940

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  1. I disagree. Some folks have a need for people to "notice" them. The more annoying the better. So they will remove mufflers, cut down "header" pipes, ANYTHING to make more noise. They have decided in their infinite wisdom that this is "good" for the motor and makes more power. Ask them about it, and they will assure you it is silly to bother reading SAE/ASTM tech. papers. After all, why bother with precise, logical analysis when you "know" what you want !
  2. wow - sounds to me like you have a real money-making opportunity here. Here's an idea - explain to him that if he just changes the suspension arms and does some frame welding - yes, he could have a ball-joint front suspension. Then explain that he will still have an old car's wheels, chassis, brakes, differential, generator, starter, door panels, power windows, air conditioning evaporater, heater blower, dash-board instruments, etc. With a little "public relations', you should be able to talk him into doing what many people who own pre-war cars do. THEY STRIP EM OUT AND JUNK EM, saving only the exterior body panels, which they mount on a nice modern car with all the nice modern improvements. A few years ago, I was tearing along an isolated section of what was U.S. Highway 66 in northern Arizona, doing about 80-85 in my pre-war twelve cylinder Packard. A fellow "blew by me" like I was standing still in what LOOKED like a '39 Mercury. He had the right idea. NO WAY a authentic old Ford product of the pre-war era could do what his car could do. His car, of course, was a "big block" super-charged GMC engine and transmission, modern front and rear suspension, incredibly beautifully done dash and interior. You need to understand your customer better. With a little counselling, you should be able to get him to be honest with himself, and get him to admit he really dosnt like old cars; knows what he wants, and get him into a modern car with the exterior body panels of that '57 Buick.
  3. First and most important, you should EDUCATE yourself on paint technology and its history. You should use what meets YOUR personal needs. BE HONEST with yourself, as to why you own that car. "Clear coats" are modern technology, unknown when your car was new. It makes for a vastly superior covering of your car's sheet metal in several respects. It is MUCH "shinier". It is MUCH more durable, both from abrasion resistance, "cracking", and from weather issues. Your car will attract FAR MORE ATTENTION if you use a modern paint system, with its MUCH shinier "high gloss" than is possible with what your car had when new. Why bother with historical accuracy if you want to be NOTICED ? The correct original finish of your car was nitrocellulose laqueer. It is still available. But an authentic paint job will look unexcitintg - boring alongside a car done with modern paints. People who are involved in the old car movement because they are interested in the history and technology of that car's era, will be able to spot the "modern" style paint job from a great distance. Do not forget it is YOUR car, and should be fixed up to meet YOUR needs, both from a emotional AND practical standpoint.
  4. Recommend that before you go "gutting" the suspension on your car, that you go to a car show and see if you can find someone with the same year and model that is in well-maintained stock serviceable condition. Get a ride or possibly drive one that has been properly maintained in authentic condition. Then you can make a decision as to whether to "gut" it and try and adopt a later era's technology to it. My personal prejudice is that people shouldnt bother trying to maintain an old car, unless they like old cars. There are lots of oh, say, 10 year old and newer low-mileage properly maintained cars that encorporate all kinds of the latest technology. And these can be purchased for far less than the cost of screwing-up /"bastardizing" an earlier era car. If your '57 Buick dosnt drive and steer right, my recommendation is THE FOLLOWING: find a shop that 1) HAD THE MANUALS 2) KNOWS how to get the correct parts & 3) KNOWS how nicely your car drove when properly mantained, and GET IT FIXED RIGHT.
  5. What are the COMBINED ecological issues ? Let's discuss a car that gets, say 20 mpg by burning gasoline. Now we compare it with the so called "hi-breds" and/or full electric cars. Is it correct to assume it takes energy to move mass thru time and space ? If that is correct, dosn't the hi-bred and/or full electric car use the same amount of energy for a comporable vehicle ? If that assumption is correct, where does 1) the energy to move the hi-bred and/or full electric car come from ? How is it generated ? Are there energy loss consequences in supply energy to, and using it in electric motors ? 2) are there ecology consequences in creating the components of these hi-breds and/or full electric cars - for example, what about the batteries and sophisticated control mechanisms ? Dosnt creating them involve some ecology issues ? Is this another "mommie...the emperor dosn't have any clothes on"....situation...?
  6. To give you a proper answer, let's review a little background on the basics of automotive cooling systems. The hotter AND MORE STABLE the MOTOR runs, the more efficient. Problem with that is, until pressurized cooling systems came in, around 1938, anything approaching 212 F (at sea level - could be as low as 180 at altitude) results in substantial water loss. So cooling systems up till that time had to keep the temps around 160. By the early 1920's, the engineering critera for designing cooling systems became so well developed, ( with the exception of the really cheap cars), radiator manufacturers and engine designers produced cars that simply did not overheat except under the most incredibly severe conditions, so long as the cooling systems were properly maintained. By the early 1930's thermostat technology had reached a point that car designers could have REALLY powerful cooling systems, with operating temps. controlled by the thermostat (think of a thermostat as simply a "switch" that closes off water flow to the cooling system until it gets hot enough. However, engineers recognized that the public wasnt smart enough to accept higher temps, so they continued to "spec" thermostats in the 160 range in summer, until well after World War Two. In "specing out" radiators, Packard was no different than any other major manufacturer - they were not about to put production out that would over-heat. EVER. So long as your car's thermostat can control the operating temp. to at or below 180 degrees, sounds to me your cooling system is working just fine. Under the most EXTREME conditions I can imagine ( pulling a heavy trailer up the notorious " Needles Grade" in a mid-August afternoon) I would accept temps approaching 210 - but your pressuirzed cooling system will handle that. If your radiator isnt keeping your car within "spec", my first choice, if you can afford it, is simply have it re-cored. Metal being what it is, and water being what it is, there WILL be corrosion that CAN NOT be completely removed by "rodding". Besides, modern radiators (assuming they get you the correct core) are even MORE efficient than what your car came with.
  7. "aristocracy" ? Not really. Many of my fellow CCCA members are like me - we got interested in the cars we call "classics" simply because we liked the marvelous machinery and quality of fittings. Remember, me, and many of my fellow CCCA members, had NO IDEA our cars would eventually become respected and be valuable. It was simply the love of the car that got us going. But as to our CARS ? The ones we felt were worth saving ? The biggest and the best from a bygone era? You are RIGHT. That's the whole point! In the early years of our Club, we were interested in saving only the BEST of the best. Those were the "super luxury" cars that only the super rich could afford. But in the 1950's they were worthless junk, and those of us who wanted to save them, were considered at best, a bit odd! Yes, the cars we called "classics" were aristocrats. As one writer of our earlier years said - "engineering exaggerations, magnificently over-done". Another writer said "I want so little out of life...only the best, and there is so little of that". C'mon - we in the Classic Car Club Of America ARE NOT OUR CARS ! While the word "classic" is over-used today, it was a little known word in the early years of our Club. We picked the word, because we were trying to figure out what to call those extra special "super luxury" cars that were so...hmmm..AH..THAT'S IT...CLASSY! compared to the ordinary car of that era. You do have a point about us "over-doing" our exclusiveness, since these days, anyone who has anything to sell, be it fried chicken, soft drinks, or used cars, simply cannot control themselves - the obsession to screech the word "classic" at EVERYTHING one wants to "unload" on someone too strong. As I noted elsewhere, maybe we in the CCCA, given the decline in our language, loss of "precision of speech", should change our name to the NON CLASSIC CAR CLUB OF AMERICA ! Remember, in the early days of our Club, our language and culture was quite different. People spoke with more precision than they do now. In those days, the dictionaries defining the word "classic" said "UNIQUE, OF FIRST RANK, REPRESENTING THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE". I noted elsewhere, recently one of our Regions was told it could no longer hold an event at a charming private golf course we had used for years. Why ? Well, it had changed hands. A Japanese firm bought it, and hired a local management firm to run it. The management firm personell had seen a TV show about "classic low riders"...figured they didnt want a bunch of "those types" tearing up their property & scaring their members ! AGAIN, PLEASE DO NOT CONFUSE CCCA members with our cars! Yes, the cars we favor are arrogant in their aristocratic presence. Who could deny how much more "aristocratic" a, well, for example, Cadillac V-16 or Packard V-12 is, compared to the ordinary Cadillac V-8 or Packard "120" of the same era. The original advertisment text for my own FULL CLASSIC ( a Packard V-12) is quite honest, saying SUCH A MAN ( man of position ) MUST MAKE NO MISTAKE, THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR SIZE, WEIGHT, AND POWER WHEN IT COMES TO REFLECTING THE DIGNITY OF HIS POSITION" (Fortune Magazine 1938) ALL car buffs are ALWAYS welcome at CCCA National and Region Events. Since our earliest years, we both at the national and regional level, have encouraged "joint events" with other old car, old boat, old airplane, old train, you name ! Our custom for our DRIVING meets, is that when we are going as a GROUP with our cars, you respect the fact that our CARS are different than the ordinary cars of that era, and either ride with one of us in our "full classics", or follow and park seperately. As for our "display" meets, again, we ENCOURAGE all old car buffs and their cars, to join us in celebration of "car buffery"..!
  8. Yes- I agree - let me add my thanks - the straight factual information in that "link" is good to know, particuarly when you are buying a car - NOW we will KNOW FOR SURE where it was made ! I have all kinds of old Red Books and Blue Books from that and earlier periods, and you are right; some of them do use the term "vehicle identifcation number". But as to the rambling NON factual / editorial info. on that site - utter nonsence ! And I quote "DETROIT AUTOMOBILE MFGS. BEGAN STAMPING AND CASTING IDENTIFING NUMBERS ON CARS AND THEIR PARTS IN THE MID 1950'S..." What posseses people to say or write things when they must know it is just plain silly?
  9. never seen a stock Buick of that era with a "302" motor. The Buicks we owned from that era came with only two choices of power-plants, depending on how much you wanted to spend. Both were straight eights. The cheaper one was physically considerably smaller than the more expensive one. The cheaper motor came in the Special and Super - this was only about 250 cu in. My dad always preferred the "big" Buick straight eight, of about 320 cu. in. Trouble us, Buick didnt start using "insert" type connecting rod bearings until the early 1950's. That may be why someone removed the authentic engine and installed a "302". I would think that if you have a 302 series Chevrolet motor in your pre-war Buick, you would be free to use any cover you like. Modifiying stock cars is not my personal "thing", but hey, it's your car.
  10. I am confused. To my knowledge, the term "VIN", or "Vehicle Identificatoin Number" did not exist prior to the 1960's. During the 1960's, a new federal law dictated that after a certain date during that period, manufacturers could no longer have identification numbers or serial numbers made up any way they wanted, and placed anywhere on the car they wanted. They had to start making cars with the "VIN". This had to be permantely embossed on the dash-board on the left hand side, where it could be seen from outside a locked vehicle. Prior to that time, cars had all kinds of serial numbers. Different locations, different sequences, depending on what pleased any individual manufacturer. For example, Packard used its engine numbers to identify its cars, and had body production numbers stamped on raised numbers on the firewall. Has anyone seen the term ANYWHERE in ANY mfg's publications, referring to their car's serial numbers as a VIN, PRIOR to the introduction of the VIN law in the 1960's ?
  11. yes - the deletion of the anti extreme-friction additive IS going to increase the possibility of rapid cam failure in SOME old cars. Before anyone gets too excited about this, ask yourself what KIND of motor is in that old car. If yours is one of the higher priced cars built during or after the FIRST World War, it probably has roller tappets. At the moment, I cant think of a high-priced super luxury car that did NOT have roller tappetsm up until they started cheapening even the luxury cars in the late 1930's. "Slider" type tappets and cams are a cheap method of building a motor. You can get away with it IF you dont need a "hot" cam profile, and/or you can get additives in or added to the engine oil to reduce the extreme friction that occurs on "slider" tappets, and no-where else in the engine. So - if yours is not a super-luxury car and/or was built after 1939, you need to get some anti friction additive in your oil. It will say right on the label if it has the zinc anti friction stuff SOME of you need. I just bought some the other day for my airplane motor ( Lycoming motors now have roller tappets, but mine was built before the change-over) If your motor does have roller cams, forget about it - it isnt your problem.
  12. RE : Diff. visually between nitro and "acrylic" lacquers? I dont think even I could tell the difference, and I have been involved in car paint technology off and on for a few weeks now...! ( I got my body shop training as a kid in jr. high school in the early 1950' "teacher" used to be paint shop foreman at Murphy Of Pasedena...- yes...THAT Murphy) The problem is, we used to have fits trying to get it to work unless we bought a primer-surfacer from the same company as the acrylic lacquer. It is NOT chemically compatible with ordinary "lacquer based" primer-surfacers, and, to my knowledge, that is all you can get any more, since, to my knowledge, hard to find acrylic, and you can get ordinary nitro cellulose lacquer at many of the shops that cater to us old car nuts. Oh...and its odor - spray is even more toxic than ordinary lacquer.
  13. I get very frustrated when I try to train new judges for Classic Car Club Of America judging events ( or where CCCA rules will be applied) Here's why. The BEST of our most expensive classics were NOT built as custume jewelery. They were built to be USED as functional machinery. That means they were VERY well done to the highest standards, BUT THEY WERE NOT PERFECT ! If you are fortunate enough to see a REALLY low mileage "mint" luxury car from that era (in past years one of our So. Calif members had two "new" early 1930's Cadillacs). THEY should be the "standard" for a 100 point car IF you are concerned with historical accuracy. But again, if you are setting the car up to please the average spectator at a public car show, you wouldnt win a prize in a dog fight for a AUTHENTICALLY restored car. To answer your specific questions, yes, the modern paints are much more flexible, and are LESS likely to cract. The problem with cracking is, lacquer is NOT as flexible, and will start cracking under conditions modern paints will take longer to. I personally have not had a problem with my lacquer jobs cracking. But that is in part because they arent continually subject to very rapid temp. changes - meaning, yes, I do go out in my Twelve on winter nights, and yes it does go into a heated garage, but I sure as HELL do not wash it on a hot day after its been sitting in the sun. Also, cracking is less likely to develop if you dont use lots of body filler. I am lucky - I got my Twelve when it was just an old used car - wasnt all rusted and screwed up. So I used a conventional lacquer - based primer over nice REAL Packard steel - not tons of bondo and/or body putty. As for your under-hood question - you are correct - the stuff was SEMI gloss, NOT HIGH GLOSS when it was new. Again, read my first "post" for suggestions on making a decision WHO you are restoring the car for, and what you need to do to please your target audience. Each year there are fewer and fewer of us "old codgers" around who will smirk at the fancy costume jewelery jobs that bear little resemblence to what rolled out the factory door. So do what is best for YOU !
  14. It all depends on who you are trying to impress. My first choice is to impress....ME ! Way down at the bottom of the list is what others think of MY way of enjoying MY old cars! CAR SHOWS What kind of car show, if that is your primary focus, are you planning on showing your car off at? If it is one where the general public's opinions are a consideration, then by all means use the latest multi-part paints to get that "super shiny" look. But suppose you are thinking of car shows where other Packard enthusiasts will be attending. Especially people like me who like classic era Packards. We like to see some attention paid to the technical history of the era that your Packard is from. That means nitro-lacquer. Why ? Because the DIFFERENCE IS OBVIOUS ! The way light strikes the modern multi-part paints, compared to the way it bounces off the authentic paint material, is obvious. The other consideration is how you will use your car? You are probably not going to use it as a daily "beater". If you were, of course I'd recommend the modern multi-part paints; their durability is vastly superior. But if its primary function is to drive occasionaly, but keep indoors when not in use, no reason not to use nitro-lacquer. I painted my '38 Packard V-12 in 1970. Authentic Packard colors & authentic nitro. (from Turnquist). I drive it at least once a week, and here in northern Arizona, be assured it sees a wide variety of abusive conditions, ranging from bitter cold and ice, to brutal utlra violet from the hot mountain sun. Of COURSE there is no sign of fading - it is leaving cars outdoors for long periods of time that causes fading. Another reason I personally prefer the AUTHENTIC nitro-based paints, is a) how easy it is for an amatuer to get a factory-quality job AND how easy it is to "touch up" when you get the occasional blemish. With the modern multi-part paints, you are lucky if you dont have to re-shoot an entire panel to get undetectable repair.
  15. you are one lucky guy - never seen such luck ! My own experience is (and I used to live in SOuthern California) anything over two years (absent proper "pickleing") and the engine should be taken down. Just dont expect it to perform like that 1940 "356" !