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Formal sedan ?


jvsb
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Guest bkazmer

club sedans are "close coupled", the passenger compartment is basically within the wheelbase - the shorter greenhouse is noticeable. A formal sedan has blind rear quarters for thr privacy of the rear seat passenger, and usually a padded roof

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Neither club sedans nor formal sedans have rear quarter windows. Formal sedans normally have a fully padded top and a division window (usually only one side-facing jump seat), while club sedans don't. Both have shorter wheelbases than touring sedans and limousines. With the exception of the 1940 club sedan, I think that most clubs and formals share the same body.

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Guest bkazmer

West, would you agree with this distinction?

A club sedan has a shorter roof than a formal sedan. Both have blind rear quarters, but on the formal sedan they extend past the rear axle. The body looks like a toruting sedan with the rear quarter filled in while a club sedan has a 4 dr victoria look.

Or I could be out to lunch!

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Both have blind rear quarters. The distinction I've always used is that a formal sedan has a division window and is long wheelbase. I guess usually with a padded top. I'm not sure I've ever seen what I would call a club sedan on a long wheelbase.

No. A club sedan and formal sedan are basically the same body, on the same chassis (in the Packard world, anyway). A formal sedan has the padded top, division window and a single side-facing jump seat (side-facing because it's on the shorter wheelbase than a touring or limo).

The 1940 Club Sedan is a different car altogether from the Formal Sedan.

Edited by West Peterson (see edit history)
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West, would you agree with this distinction?

A club sedan has a shorter roof than a formal sedan. Both have blind rear quarters, but on the formal sedan they extend past the rear axle. The body looks like a toruting sedan with the rear quarter filled in while a club sedan has a 4 dr victoria look.

No. The bodies are identical. Of course, it all depends on what year of Packard we're discussing. Once you get into the 1940s, there are differences.

Edited by West Peterson (see edit history)
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Here are a few points to add:

In 1937 Packard made a model 1507 which had a 139" wheelbase for both Club and Formal Sedans. The model number, 1507, indicates the car has a Twelve cylinder engine, a 139" wheelbase and could be purchased with many different body styles, including a Formal Body or a Club Sedan body. Limiting this discussion to the two body styles in question, the Formal Sedan was designated as body style no. 1032, and the Club Sedan was no. 1036. Both of these model sedans have the same engine and wheelbase. However, be aware both of these sedans were available as either a Twelve or a Super Eight. The pictures shown in this thread appear to be Super Eights which had a 134" wheelbase.

Enough of the specs and to make it simple, in 1937 the interior of a Formal has a single jump seat and divider window as Wes points out, and the Club Sedan has neither. The rear seat in a Club Sedan is close coupled, or just forward of the rear axle with the thought that it was therefore "sportier." The Formal Sedan's rear seat is farther to the rear, making the interior passenger compartment "roomier."

The exterior of a Club Sedan had a larger built-in trunk, whereas the Formal had a shallower trunk, and a leather top. The rear section of the body is longer in the case of the Formal Sedan as it is not close coupled. There are a few other differances, but these are the main ones.

Hope this helps.

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A.J. and BKaz.

I owe you an apology. Too many things on my mind.

As Kaz has illustrated, the bodies of the two are different. However, they do share the same wheelbase (not for 1940, though).

The formal sedan shares the body with the 5-passenger sedan, not the club sedan.

Edited by West Peterson (see edit history)
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Guest bkazmer

your explanation makes sense. That looks like a regular 120 seat. factory division windows have a more massive front seat frame with room for the window to drop down.

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Images of the anomaly. I was told that the original owner didn't want to appear too wealthy so she bought the 120 but had the divider placed and still let the chauffeur drive. There is no glass. but tracks suggest a slider.

Interesting. What does the division window look like? Is it three pieces? Do all three go up at the same time? The frame at the top makes it look as though the two side pieces may not go all the way up.

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While I do not have any glass, there are tracks that suggest there were two "fixed" side lights and the two tracks would have allowed a sliding pane in the center. All speculation on my part.

This anomaly is not necessarily good, since the front seat is fixed and I'm long enough to be a bit cramped in the driver seat. The rear seat and door panels of the car are upholstered and the front seat and door side panels were leather (seat now an embossed synthetic)

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Those of you who say the 5pass sedan and formal share the same body structure, you're right on the money. Several years back I restored 34 1107 Formal Sedan. During the interior and roof restoration it was very apparent how they shared the overall structure. The rear window in a Formal, ususally about 1/3 the size of the standard sedan window, had it's own frame work and sheet metal that tied in to same wood substructure. Packard didn't bother to weld or fill the edges since the whole affair was covered in a padded leather. The same was apparent in the 1/4 window area. Not all of the wood was used from the 5pass versions, but the basics were there. This one had 2 jump seats and one of them indeed faced sideways. The roof covering was a challenge. The sides of the padded leather top were 1pc but the deck was in 2 so overall, a 4pc top pattern. The split in the leather on the center deck was even with the rearmost door jamb. We ordered extra large hydes dyed Packard Blue from our ol buddy Bill Hirsch, and if I recall correctly the hydes were in excess of 65sqft to accomodate the side panels. 1/2 rounds brass mouldings were then screwed around the perimeter of the leather, the screw heads filled, and then painted to match the car. On the original, the fill was a very hard version of the old school spot putty that lacquer painters used to use back in the day. Why formal and closed cars seem so much less in price has always been a head-scratcher to me. The shear elegance and craftsmanship that Packard employed in these cars is exponentially higher than most any open car. Nice topic...

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  • 1 year later...

The photo that fordmerc posted was neither a formal sedan nor a club sedan as neither had the rear quarter windows that are clearly visible in the photo. Of course, a formal limousine (as opposed to formal sedan) is different yet, having the longer limousine wheelbase of around 148" but without rear quarter windows. Even on later model Cadillacs and other makes, the term applies but many people seem to think that formal limousine means it has a partition which is not the case.

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club sedans are "close coupled", the passenger compartment is basically within the wheelbase - the shorter greenhouse is noticeable. A formal sedan has blind rear quarters for passenger privacy of the rear seat passenger, and usually a padded roof

Formal sedans have divider windows usually, in Packards they almost always have them, the reverse is not true, a divider window was option in 1941 for the 160-180 138 inch wheel base sedans.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest impulsivelystupid.lol

Just to add my two cents... There were plenty touring sedans that went through conversions back in the day to make them a Club sedan....and they may be exceptions to the rules you mention.

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Back to the originating post, jvsb asks "Are formal sedans more rare?"

Using production estimates based on surviving vehicle numbers, for the 1934 Eight series there were 464 club sedans (body type 716) manufactured and only 38 formal sedans (body type 712). The ratio may have been somewhat different as you moved upscale to the Super Eight and Twelve but club sedans were far more popular than formal sedans during the years when both were offered on the same chassis.

Edited by Owen_Dyneto (see edit history)
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