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Surviving Packards


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An acquaintance of mine wanted to know the numbers of surviving Packards, Pierce-Arrows, and Peerlesses...and I hazarded these guesses:

a) Packard 5,000

B) Pierce-Arrow 1,400

c) Peerless 200 to 600

There is, obviously, no way to know any of these numbers for certain.

About 107,000 Peerlesses were built, including some truck production during the 1910's.

Thank you for any response in regard to this matter!

----Jeff

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In the 2007 PI membership guide there are ~3000 cars listed. So this doesn't count those who don't belong to PI or those who do not list al of their cars but 3K is a bottom line number you can start with.

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I would think many more than than this, off the top of my head, as Packard had really high volume starting in 1935 and the later cars are more likely to be around. The Packard Club membership roster would be a possible start to get an answer -- figure 1 out of 3 or so Packards are probably in the roster. But I don't have the membership roster with me, unfortunately, so I'm not very helpful.

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Some years back a PAC director estimated about 5500 cars extant among PAC members and about perhaps another 2-3000 owned by nonmembers. Seems reasonable to me. I haven't checked the Pierce-Arrow Society directory, but again perhaps 1.5 times the number would be a reasonable number. Haven't a clue on Peerless, though CCCA directory would be a place to start though this only shows bona-fide Classic Peerlesses.

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I've asked this question many times myself about various marquies such as Indian, Cord , Packard etc.

The answer lies with the dealers. THEY should know. BUT, they aren't talking. Where else would anyone go for parts at least once every 5 years or so???

I've been very closely associated with Indain for over 35 years and knew many of the old time dealers such as Peirce, Price, The Sutters etc. I was never able to get a candid guess out of any of them.

NOW, with the reproduction parts market so hot ( I can build a NEW 46 thru 53 Chief from a cataloug) just like many of the stuffed shirt hot rodderes can build a new 55-57 Chevy. THAT dictates that the dealers KNOW how many are extant. After all, they have to come up a number for how many parts to have made. Not to mention the orders they fill.

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I'm also skeptical that dealers could know. They might have an estimate of demand for parts, but it's hard to go from demand for parts to the number of cars out there. Let's say I offer water pumps for a particular model car and sell 50 a year. To know how many cars are out there, I not only need to know what segment of the market I have, but I also need to know what percentage of the cars out there are need water pump every year. I don't know how dealers would know the latter figure, given that many cars aren't driven much.

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I agree completely with "1935Packard" about the dealers; I discussed this some years ago with Dan Kanter and folks from his establishement; they have no special knowledge of #s outside of the club marque directories, and parts availability is demand-driven.

Out of curiousity I checked the CCCA directory for Peerless and Pierce Arrow. Of course this would just list those models that are bona-fide Classics, for Pierce Arrow this is all 1925 thru 1938 and the 1921 and up Series 32 and 33 for a total Pierce Arrow production of true Classics of 50,600. For Peerless it is 1925 Series 67, 1926-28 Series 69, 1930-31 Custom 8, and 1932 Deluxe Custom 8 for a total true Classic production of about 6445. The directory results show 6 Peerless and 365 Pierce-Arrows. I see the occasional non-Classic Pierce Arrow Series 80, and the earlier Pierces are rare indeed, perhaps (pure guess) numbering less than 100.

The 2007-2008 Packard Club directory lists about 5400 Packard from all years.

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I think what you see in the club directories represents about 1/2 the cars in existence. There are a lot of post war Packards that turn up on e bay needing complete restorations that I'm sure aren't listed anywhere. A lot of CCCA Packard guys don't belong to either Packard Club, and I believe many of the brass era cars aren't listed anywhere either. Many people don't list their desirable pre war cars because they don't want to be bothered by dealers/brokers/speculators calling them up trying to buy them or asking when they might be for sale in the future.

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Thanks for your opinion on remaining cars in the triumvirate of Packard, Pierce-Arrow, and Peerless.

The person who was curious about this, a fellow Peerless Club member, actually asked me why you hear so much more about Packard and Pierce-Arrow than Peerless -- in addition to wanting to know the relative numbers.

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I think more like 3 times as many Packards exist as are accounted for in the various clubs. We sometimes assume that virtually all collectors are members of one club or the other. This is not always the case. I list 2 Packards under my name, but in fact can account for at least 6. We are finishing restoration of a car for a collector with 10+ 1920's and 1930's cars who had only a vague knowledge of AACA and was not a member until we signed him up. Met a fellow in the Auburn flea market maybe 10 years ago from the Midwest selling Packard parts who was unaware of Hershey. Hard to believe but there are collectors out there who go merrily along outside the purview of any organized club.

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<span style="font-style: italic">The person who was curious about this, a fellow Peerless Club member, actually asked me why you hear so much more about Packard and Pierce-Arrow than Peerless -- in addition to wanting to know the relative numbers.

</span>

I suspect the reason is that Peerless went out of production in 1931, a few years before Pierce Arrow and many years before Packard.

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Interesting idea... to get numbers of surviving cars of different brands of old cars off of parts suppliers. If these guys got together and compared notes every year at a conference somewhere it might work to some degree. Don't know if you'd just wind up with general trends; or if paint, water-pump and wire wheel suppliers, etc. could pool their info and say:

"36 Packard 120's are having their engines rebuilt this year, along with 9 V-12's { 6 Packards, 2 Pierce-Arrows and 1 Peerless }."

"Based on paint retailers reports, 2 Packard town cars and 3 '29 P-A limousines are being restored this year."

I didn't think these dealers were that organized.

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Thanks for listing some of the CCCA data about Pierce and Peerless. Regarding discussion on this thread about finding a way to determine how many cars are out there based on parts dealers...it might be <span style="text-decoration: underline">part</span> of a working system, but I don't think it would work by itself.

If you were Bill Gates, the NSA, and Sherlock Holmes all rolled into one...you could probably assemble a pretty-good way to find antique cars & their numbers. You'd need a vertical search engine with all vehicle registration info from insurance companies and law enforcement, PLUS the 4,000+ counties in the U.S., PLUS all 50 state DMV's. You still wouldn't find all of the cars that characters have squirrelled away in barns, backyards and body shops all over the country...and then there's a couple of thousand museums that may or may not have registered vehicles and the other countries & their antique cars.

I have read the list of CCCA Full Classics several times before. I didn't know that the Series 80 Pierces weren't approved Classics. I thought that ALL 1925-1938 autos from that carmaker were Classics. I realize that people are always trying to get their favorite car accepted by the CCCA ( someone wrote them not too long ago asking if their Sixties Pontiac could get approved ). Still, I think one gap in the list of Peerless models is the 1929 Model 8-125. They are really rare. Probably no living member of the Classic Car Club has ever seen one at a car show, concours or museum, or they would be listed. Sorry to get up on my soapbox!

Thanks for the info from the Packard Club directory suggesting 5,400 Packards! ----Jeff

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Jeff, I may have been incorrect about the CCCA status of the Series 80 Pierces, all 25 thru 38 are CCCA approved, yet I thought the Series 80 debuted in 1924 (perhaps it was as a 1925 model?). Sorry for the confusion.

I had a friend a while back who had a 1929 8 cylinder Peerless, perhaps it was a 8-125; as I remember it had a Continental engine which I believe found it's way into other Classics, perhaps DuPont for one.

But then again, I've seen a lot in this hobby, my first Hershey was 1959.

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The dealers know WHAT they are selling and to WHO they are selling parts to for at least a decade if not over the last 40 years. HOW does anyone think the dealers ever came up with a mailing list for the catalougs they send out????

Will someone please correct me if i am wrong but it is my understanding that Kanter is closely tied with PAC????

So there is a PAC roster, a Kanter customer list, a PARTS INVENTORY to manage among other paper trails. THEY ARE IN BUSSINESS!!!! That means they know the customer and the sales.

When i called one rather famous dealer 4 or 5 years ago they wanted to know the entire serial number for my car. I gave it to them.

Packard has not yet experienced the diluge of repops like other makes have such as model A, 55-57 chevy, Indian, HD MF among others. When such repops are produced they are often produced in co-operation among SEVERAL dealers.

Let me put it another way: NOONE is going to manufacture, purchase old stock or in anyway inventory parts or offer service without knowing about what the demand is.

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Someone wrote: " I believe I read that Packards have the highest percentage of cars produced by a manufacture still in existence. Anyone know if that is true?"

That is irrational. Witness the 55-57 Chevies that nearly dominate every cruise-in and local show across the country. Not to mention the prewar Fords.

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That doesn't mean that the percentage is not the highest. Chevy and Ford made a crap load of cars, and a lot remain, but the percentage remaining could still be lower than Packard, which originally made far fewer cars.

Still, I would be surprised if that were true. I would think Duesenberg might hold that title.

Tom

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According to this article, there were less than 9,000 DeLoreans made, and about 6,500 remain -- somewhere around 70%. Packard can't top that!

Whether there may be some other way of drawing the line -- the most cars from the 1930s, or the most from major manufacturers, etc. -- I don't know.

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Someone wrote: '... Packards have the highest percentage of cars produced by a manufacture still in existence'

ok. ok. In order to have made that claim the person would have to know how many Packards were EVER built AND how many survive at the time of the claim. THERE"S THE ANSWER!!! No guess work about it.

I'd like to know who made the claim. Let me guess. Gee, this is a tough one. Probably a dealer.

I rest my case.

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I think there was an English sports car called the Squire made in the 30s of which 3 were made and all 3 survive.

At about the same time Triumph made a copy of the Alfa Romeo straight eight sports car. I think they made 3 or 4 of those and 4 or 5 survive. The extra one was assembled from parts after the war.

Sort of like the old art dealer's gag. Corot painted 400 pictures in his lifetime of which 2000 are in the US ha ha.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: PackardV8</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Someone wrote: '... Packards have the highest percentage of cars produced by a manufacture still in existence'

ok. ok. In order to have made that claim the person would have to know how many Packards were EVER built AND how many survive at the time of the claim. THERE"S THE ANSWER!!! No guess work about it.

I'd like to know who made the claim. Let me guess. Gee, this is a tough one. Probably a dealer.

I rest my case.

</div></div>

Hey, Chip, get that PackardV8 off your shoulder, would ya!

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I didn't know about that other web site. Now I have to check it too. Randy, the reason I wanted to contact you is I have a good rust free bottom rear quarter of passanger side door from a 1955 400. I cut it out of the severly dented door that was hit on my car several years ago. It would make a great patch panel for someone trying to repair a rusty door. I didn't know the condition of your new acquisition & thought you might be able to use it. After seeing the pictures of your car it's obvious you don't need it.

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You're right about the 8 cylinder Peerlesses in 1929 being Model 8-125's. They were really large, nice-looking cars with 114 h.p., 320 cu. in. Continental straight eights. I have been trying to assess how many Peerless cars are still around, and have only been able to find 3 to 5 ( known ) survivors of this model ( out of 1,153 built ). What state or province did your friend live in?

Regarding "specialist-built" motors in cars of that era, I read that there were 92 models of cars at the 1929 NY Auto Show and that 31 of them had either Lycoming or Continental motors.

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Jeff, my friend that had the 1929 (I think) Peerless with the Continental 8 cylinder engine lived in New York State, just above the New Jersey state line. His name is Hank Jodry - I suspect the car has been out of his hands for quite a few years. The Peerless' listed in the current CCCA directory, in case you don't have access, are:

1927 8-69, in New York

1931 8-69, in Michigan

1931 8 Custom 8 sedan, in Missouri

1831 8 7 pass limo, in New Jersey

1931 8 Custom Brougham, in Wisconsin

1932 8 Deluxe 8 sedan, in Missouri

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Thank you for the data about your friend and the 8-cylinder Peerless he used to own. In case anyone's interested in seeing what a 1929 Peerless Mod. 8-125 looks like, there are some stunning photos of one at this address: www.trocadero.com/ . Type in "peerless" on the search feature and you can see 5 shots of a car that was for sale on that site a year or two ago (I don't think I can post the pics here because they're copyrighted).

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