Dave Mitchell

Custom bodied Packards

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Here's a one-off from 1940. Recall seeing this in one of Kimes' books (I think). Has Lincoln Zephyr headlights integrated into the fenders, an extended hood, adjustable seats (and pedals?) and many other features. Saw it at Meadowbrook back around 1994. Dazzling!

More photos here:

1940 Packard 1805 Bohman & Schwartz Convertible Victoria | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I really like this car a lot. I was lucky enough to ride with Bill in it when he drove through to get his award at Meadowbrook that year. I think that the lines and proportions on it are very nice, and work well with the 148" wheelbase. When you look at the photos on Flickr, it makes the Darrin look cramped on the swb. This is a one off built for Williams of Shaving creme fame.

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A great recollection, you were lucky indeed! It really is incredible the extent to which B & S altered this car. Not only was the body scratch built but it seems (and please correct if wrong) that the steering shaft length/rake and pedal assembly were both altered. Gordon Buehrig said that proportions are key to any great design and this long wheelbase car proves it. No need to bring down the height.

Would love to have seen someone order up a 4 door sport sedan version. Did a photo alt of this car many years ago to show such a possibility and liked the result.

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+1

I think it looks great on that wheelbase.

I really like this car a lot. I was lucky enough to ride with Bill in it when he drove through to get his award at Meadowbrook that year. I think that the lines and proportions on it are very nice, and work well with the 148" wheelbase. When you look at the photos on Flickr, it makes the Darrin look cramped on the swb. This is a one off built for Williams of Shaving creme fame.

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Bohman & Schwartz did a sedan in 1940. I will try to find a photo of it and scan it. (I lost a lot of photos in a flood last year, and I hope I have the ones of this car.) The present owner doesn't show the car much, which is a shame; it is on the 148 wheelbase and has more smooth body lines than a standard sedan. What most people remember about it is the running boards - I have never seen anything like them on any other vintage car - they slide out from under the car when you open the door.

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Bohman & Schwartz built quite a few custom coachwork modifications for disabled & elderly owners.

The retractable style running-boards you mention, along with special custom matching wheelchairs, ramps, seats, and other custom access modifications were commonly done by B&S for many years.

They were really the first coachbuilder to work with the disabled .

Derham in Rosemont PA later also made similar disability mods to custom coachwork.

Does anyone have any photos of such custom disability modifications ?

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)

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It is in the Kimes book. At least a couple of the B & S cars for disabled survive. There is a 38 12 sedan with part of the back seat made as a wheel chair with a turntable and tracks to get it in and out of the car. I have a 38 7 pass sedan body with a removable B pillar.

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This may be more of a CCCA type question but since I am not a member there I will ask here (same group is active on these forums anyway, Packard or CCCA! :) )

The well known work of B&S makes me wonder what the cut off is in terms of Classic status or "coachbuilt" vs. "Professional cars". These are essentially coach built vehicles, yet I do not think in general terms they are considered Classics - could it be utilitarian or professional use vs. transportation? What about an airport limo - say a stretched Packard from the Classic Era?

West or others, feel free to move off this thread if it is too far afield, just thought I would start discussion as I really do not know too much about where the boundaries (if any) are. (BTW call me silly but I think the WWW are still on the '40 Packard, West is merely hiding them for that picture..)

Is there enough interest in a thread for Packard professional cars? I saw a very rough '40 ambulance not too long ago, and remember thinking it really is a coachbuilt car, someone (not me though, too much of a "rewarding project") should save it.

Thanks

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT
spelling as usual. (see edit history)

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Steve, I have been wondering the same thing. How do pro cars fit into CCCA or don't they?

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My off the cuff response is that if the body is on a classic chassis (regardless of the intention of the body) then it's a Classic. If the body is intended for commercial use and is on a non-classic chassis then not a Classic.

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Seems logical to me, Al. I wonder if most of the professional type cars are on Jr. or in non Packard-specific terms non Classic chassis.

I do not think I have ever read about a Classic professional car in The Classic Car, but only get my copies here and there as I need to finally pony up the $35 to join yet another club...

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I would think that there are many Professional Cars that are on a Full Classic chassis. A 1932 Packard 900 Hearse/Ambulance carried Fred Duesenberg to Somerset hospital after his untimely and fatal incident on old US 30. Sadly it was parted out in the 1980's.

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Steve, I'm a member of a dozen or so clubs and I can say the CCCA is a tremendous value for 35 bucks. Well worth joining.

Seems logical to me, Al. I wonder if most of the professional type cars are on Jr. or in non Packard-specific terms non Classic chassis.

I do not think I have ever read about a Classic professional car in The Classic Car, but only get my copies here and there as I need to finally pony up the $35 to join yet another club...

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1930 745 convertible victoria by Norrmalm of Stockholm, photos courtesy of my friend author and first class historian Jan Stroman from his book "Swedish Coachbuilders". It is a great book and I highly recommend it if you like coachbuilt cars, not just Packards, but Buicks, Cads, MBs, Ford, Hudson, Minerva, Rolls Royce, Chevrolet, Horch, and of course Volvo among others. The photo from above was taken when the original owner took the car to London. It seems to be attracting some attention. The car was black with a red leather top.

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Sorry to say that CCCA membership is now $60. I haven't been on the board for years, but I assume that the cost of printing and mailing the magazine and running the club has required a couple of dues increases.

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The 900 hearse was parted out by a shop in Irwin, PA to further the restoration of a Conv Coupe. The frame was still there in the early '90s. To be fair I do not know if the body had maybe been scrapped years before and of course at that time there was very little interest in such vehicles. I am looking for a picture of the hearse, it was very fancy indeed and it's the only custom bodied 900 I am aware of. The late Ed Blend told me the story of Fred's last ride. I have seen a picture but darned if I can recollect where.

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How do you join the CCCA for $35.00? What am I missing? Am I a rube, or missing the joke. If Duesey was carted off in a Packard hearse, he wasn't the only one. Henry Ford went to his grave in a 1942 Packard. I never heard the story about the Packard hearse from Freds ride lasting until the 70's only to be destroyed. Were short sided political policies of AACA and CCCA responsible doe the distruction of this hearse?

Sorry, I just sent another club's check in and it was 35 and confused them. Given the level of the publications, 60 is still a bargain in my mind.

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I've lost some of the details on several of these. All photos but the big maroon Rollston were taken at the 1999 Centennial at Warren OH. One of the two early town cars was bodied by Kimball for Gen. Jack Pershing, though I don't recall which one. The maroon Rollston was photographed about a decade ago at the Burn Foundation Concours at Lehigh Univ. And though not a custom in the usual sense, the 1932 front-wheel drive V12 prototype is truly unique, owned then and still now (as far as I know) by Bob Bahre.

Hopefully some of you will be able to fill in the details I've forgotten.

This one has a Kimball body. It was aiso at Warren. It was said to have cost $4550 in 1916. I wonder what that is today?

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