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1938 12 dashboard

West Peterson

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Guest Trunk Rack

I disagree - in part.

To the best of my knowledge Packard's "Senior Division" did not accept custom paint orders on standard production bodies up thru the end of "big" Packard production in mid '39 (when the old "Senior Division" facilities were "gutted' so Packard could concentrate on its smaller cars).

Only body-paint changes I am aware of, I am TOLD, (but have not seen paper-work to document this), that it was POSSIBLE to have chrome head-light shells. ? ? ?

To the best of my knowledge, ALL factory production "Seniors" in '38 had the metallic silver/aluminum dash. (mine is orig. and in top shape, if anyone wants a photo) UNLESS they went thru a custom-body revision, in which case they were painted BLACK.

I have seen a few '38 Packard Twelves in my day ( o.k...maybe more than a few - never seen any variation. )

The front windshield "revel" mouldings were PAINTED a simulated wood-grain. The '39 Twelves had a painted wood-grain in place of the '38 silver/aluminum.

Edited by Trunk Rack (see edit history)
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Trunk rack, time to learn something new, do some research on the introductory color schemes for 1938. Remember Charles Blackman's 38 12 convertible victoria? Chinese red with a chinese red dash, stripe color wheels, striped body color, body color bumper brackets. The car was original, now restored and at the ACD museum. I have factory photos of a Packard ivory coupe roadster with beetle green wheels and ivory dash, taken by the brick wall at the factory. I will grant that most 38s had the grey dash - all 5 of my 12s do and all 6 of my spare dashes are, but that doesn't mean they all were. I have also seen an original limo with a black dash. Also I will disagree with you that Packard wouldn't accept custom paint orders, all of the 38 literature like data books and price lists I have lists custom options for paint and interior either with a cost or no extra cost for both 38 and 39 seniors. Packard was in business to sell cars and that wasn't easy in 38/39; they would do what it took to move them. There is a reason that they sold so few seniors in 38/39 and it wasn't that they couldn't build them.

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Guest Trunk Rack

To West & dave

First, to Dave - you are right..i forgot about the open cars. Because of the way West framed his question - what little brain I have got locked up in discussing CLOSED Twelves.

And again, our discussion only holds true to LATE 1930's "Order Acceptance" practices - I am well aware the factory was more lenient on customer requests in previous years.

Yes, I have seen more than one clearly "orig" Twelve OPEN car with body colors on the dash. And again, as you note, several Twelve closed cars ( that went to a custom body shop ) many had black rather than metallic silver dashes.

You say you have seen a PRODUCTION '38 Twelve with a black dash ?

Well, that's a new one on me.

By an odd chance of events, I happened many years ago across the Earl C Anthony salesman who had sold my very car brand new. This was at the Los Angeles ECA dealership, where I was given some literature, including a DATA BOOK FOR 1938.

We had several conversations about Packard factory and dealer sales practices over the years that I knew this guy ( I am sure he is long gone).

No question - if a customer was serious about placing an order, I agree completely with you it would have been painted purple and yellow with stripes like a zebra if that is what it took to get the money out of the customer.

But I am not so sure you are right that the factory would have done that - we both know the dealers did all kinds of "mods" to move the cars.

So again, if ANY stock "production" Twelve CLOSED car came out of the SHIPPING side of 1580 E. Grand Blvd, with OTHER than a metallic silver dash, that is a new one on me, and is not supported by any Packard literature I have seen.

With this MINOR exception - on Pp. 51, in the chapter on "BODY FEATURES", they apparently would permit some variation in what they would accept as a "Production Order" as to upholstery, leather options, and upholstery and fabric/leather top color and "piping".

The literature I have infers that if you bought a stock "production" Twelve, you got it shipped out the door as Packard built it. Again, what happened at the DEALER level - of course "anything goes".

Now...as for WEST...that guy pays attention. I sent him a photo of my original DASH. He caught me. I had earlier explained to him about the dash color being the silver metallic, and the windshield moulding being painted wood-grain. I should have mentioned, as you probably know, that the front windshield painted wood was a simple dark pattern - did NOT match the pretty veneer lacqured rose-wood door revels.

In any event, ole WESTY sees my CHROME front windshield mouldings. HE CAUGHT ME.

Let me explain. My grandparents bought a brand new Buick Roadmaster in '48. CHROME windshield mouldings. My folks, a few years later, bought a used '47 Clipper Custom. CHROME windshield mouldings. Few years after that, I got tired of the sand pits on my front windshield glass, and changed em out. Managed to scratch the painted simulated wood on the windshield mouldings. Liked the way CHROME set off the dash in the other cars that had it..so..off to the chrome shop went my windshield mouldings.

Cant put anything over on you guys !

Edited by Trunk Rack (see edit history)
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