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Classic tour car.


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What I want to know is, how do the 5 cars listed below compare to one another for smoothness and quietness of the engine, smoothness and quietness of the ride, and ease of driving? While these Packards are 8 cylinders (and not technically a multi-cylinder) it is my understanding that this 356ci, 9 main bearing engine was extremely smooth and quite; I do know it was one of the most powerful of its day. I also understand that the Pierce was probably the best built car and very easy to drive. And even the Pierce 8-cyl was probably about the best 8-cyl engine of its day; ditto their V12. I believe I've heard that the Lincoln KV12 engine was not as smooth as its competitors, nor was the '37-'39 as smooth riding and driving as its competitors. Ditto these same thoughts for the Continental. If at all possible I would love to hear from people who have owned and driven two or more of these. However, if you simply have a good knowledge about these cars that is fine too.<BR> 1936-38 Pierce Arrow sedan<BR> 1937-39 Lincoln K sedan<BR> 1940-42 Packard 160 or 180 sedan. <BR> 1946-47 Packard Custom Super Clipper<BR> sedan <BR> 1940-48 Continental Coupe<P>

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I can't say so much about the Lincolns or Pierces, except to say that of course each have their own following, who think that they are the best for one reason or another. The Pierces enjoy a great reputation for quality of construction, especially in their early days. They don't enjoy the popularity of the Packards probably because there just aren't as many around and also some people like the syling of the Packards and Cads better. It might not be fair to compare the Pierce 8 with the Packard 356, as it is a much newer design. I can comment on the two Packards as I own and drive examples of each - a 41 and a 46. The engine/trans is basically the same on both units, but the 46 is lighter, has a shorter wheelbase, standard highspeed gears and is overall the easiest old car to drive that I have ever been in. (mine is a swb club sedan vs a lwb 41) In the 46 you sit lower and feel like you are in a more modern car, it also has electric wipers and turnsignals and other modern conviences. The 41 is a totally different experience, you sit up high and things are a little more mechanical/positive. The power is about the same but the 46 accelerates faster due to it's light weight. I still prefer the 41 by far due to it's styling and interior. For the same reasons I really prefer the 35 - 39 V12s. I love the dash on the 41. Both are great road cars that you could take on long trips, but I would have to admit that the 46 is little more relaxed and easier to drive. The engines are great; quiet, powerful and very, very smooth with lots of torque and easy to work on and excellent parts availability. The optional overdrive is very nice if you are going to take long trips. I would recommend them highly as some of the best cars of their time, particularly from an engineering standpoint. <P>------------------<BR>

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I have been fortunate enough to have had some experience with the cars you mention. All of these are really great cars to drive, but they are all quite different. <BR>I have driven Pierce Twelves and they are very smooth and quiet and probably the most powerful of your list, rated at 185 hp. The steering is very good, using a Ross 'box which was considered one of the best of the time. Brakes are mechanical, with a booster, and will stop the car well when adjusted properly. Weak points are cracked heads in the 8 and 12. I owned a '31 (8 cylinder) for several years and still believe it to be one of the best cars of the period.<BR>The Lincoln K usually has prettier coackwork than the comparable Pierce, but that is largely subjective. The Lincoln 12 engine is not as quiet as the others on your list, but the engines are very strong and powerful. It will steer better than a comparable Cadillac but not as easily as the Pierce. The Lincoln build quality is very nice, and thanks to Edsel's support of the Coachbuilding industry, there are a relatively high percentage of Custom bodied Lincolns around. The earlier V-8 engines have a habit of developing noisy pistons, but I'm not aware of any nasty habits with the 12. I have had both twelves and eights and have found the eights to be the more agile car.<BR>To the Continental before getting to the Packards: The H-V12 engine is better than its reputation indicates. A good Continental is loads of fun to drive with its hydraulic brakes, synchronised transmission usually with overdrive and a very low driving position. The trick to getting good performace from this little engine (most are 292 cid) is keeping the revs up. Where the big engined cars will lug around in high gear, one must shift the Continental down to get the performance and, more importantly, keep air flow to the crankcase ventilation system so it won't sludge-up the oil. The transverse spring suspension works remarkably well and these cars can be thrown around twisty roads very well. All this and they look good too! The weak points are still centered around the engine, although I learned that low oil pressure readings are not neccesarily a sign of a worn out engine. The cars are generally "Ford Tough". A '41 Continental was our first CARavan car, two tours, and it would drive all day at turnpike speeds (or more) without complaint.<BR>My business Partner has owned a '41 Packard 180 since 1969 so I have had some experience with it. This is a very modern driving car with lots of power and comfort. I would also vote for the overdrive version as it slows the engine speed down by something like 27%, giving a much more relaxed cruising speed. Brakes are excellent, steering is very good providing the bellcrank is not worn. Replacing the Bellcrank bushing is an unpleasant job as the engine must be lifted up to get the bolt out. The 356 engine is very strong, but does have a tendency toward sticky valves if it sits around alot. The postwar cars have found great favor as high speed long distance tour cars. The big weak point in the post war cars is rust.<BR>Any one of these cars would be an excellent addition to any garage. I feel privileged to have known some intimately

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  • 2 weeks later...

My experience with Packards is more with the mid 30's era which are a great tour car; strong engine, good gas mileage and plenty of room for passengers and luggage. We also own a 48 Lincoln Continental Coupe and have thoroughly enjoyed touring with this car also. It has a tendency to run warm as most Lincolns do and it is more prone to vapor locks. Installing an auxillary fuel pump solved this problem and is allowed by the CCCA. As far as styling, the '40 through '48 cannot be beat and it is my understanding they were basically hand built. Our Lincoln was nicknamed "Katie Scarlett O'Hara"; beautiful, hardworking but can be difficult! Hope to see you on the road.<P>JCLAEM@aol.com

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