AJFord54

Hilton Head - Classic Packard Rolls into Pond

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What a shame.  That appears to have been a world class car.

 

It's just a guess on my part, but it appears that the car rolled into a water hazard from a golf course fairway; however, that's really not the magnitude of the potential problem here.  Hilton Head is a barrier island, and most, it not all, surface bodies of water on such an island are either salt or brackish water.  Once a car is immersed in salt or brackish water, the conservation efforts become both time consuming and very expensive and generally require work the equivalent of a full body-off restoration.  Unless a car that has suffered salt water immersion is stripped down to its basic components, problems, be they cosmetic or electrical, continue to crop up over the passage of time.  A fresh water immersion is not quite as bad, but still requires extensive repair efforts.

 

I hope the owner of the car had some good insurance coverage and will have the dedication to have the car repaired properly.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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That's a 1938 Packard Super Eight convertible sedan with special custom built hardtop.  Car was at Hershey.   I never understood Concours shows where they park the cars around a body of water and the land around the water slopes down towards it.   Pretty dumb set up on the part of the show organizers if you ask me.       

Edited by K8096 (see edit history)
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The car was at Pebble this year, its first time out. Thus it was just out of the restoration shop, a one off one hundred point car. The owner of the car is one of the best known collectors of Packards in the world. A very nice guy and very active in the hobby along with his entire family. Fortunately no one was hurt. The car will require another total restoration. I have seen another Packard that suffered a similar fate about ten years ago. That  car had much more damage than one would expect, and my guess is this car will be the same. Water pushing against the body as it slides in deforms the panels and can distort the entire body tub from front to rear. Add in the engine and all the accessories, transmission, the entire chassis filled with mud, dash, etc..."....it's a total restoration to fix. The chrome will probably be ok if the car is disassembled right away, but all the dirt and mud turn to rock and sticks to everything as soon as it dries out. I am sure the owner will have it re restored and back on the show field in short order.

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That's just heartbreaking. I can't imagine the sense of helplessness and rage at watching the car slide away out of your control. I admired the car and enjoyed speaking to the owners at Hershey. I hope they're able to get it back into shape quickly, although, as Ed says, it will need a complete restoration. Water inside a car is incredibly destructive.

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Wheel chocks are mandatory at the ATHS annual vintage truck show.  Perhaps any vintage car event held around large bodies of water such as this should adopt a similar policy.

 

Craig

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Craig, you beat me to it with your observation about the use of wheel chocks.  The parking ("emergency") brakes on most vintage cars that I've encountered are of dubious effectiveness at best, and a set of wheel chocks could save the day.  I'm from the flatlands of Florida, but I'll bet that most of out members (AACA) from the "Hills" already recognize the value of wheel chocks.

 

Chock 'em,

Grog

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That is very sad, Packards are one of the best cars ever made. But I do have a question, if you have a new car and some thing like that happens. You will have a branded\salvage title. I find it strange that if a new car gets banged up it is a salvage vehicle. To me all old cars are rebuilt\reconstructed\salvage. How come you just can't restore your Honda that was in a flood. Is there a cut off in the law, where they say this car is old enough that any thing done to it is a restoration?

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It all has to do with the insurance company declaring the vehicle a total loss. If your Honda is flooded and you decide to fix it, on your own, you're fine. Once the insurance company gets involved, all bets are off. The Packard won't be totaled, since it's repair cost won't exceed it's value. The owner and the repair shop will see to that.

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Agree about chocks. People today are just used to "Park" & a drum brake is least efficient when turning backwards.

 

ps in a pinch a jack handle through a wheel spoke works well also.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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what's the big deal...it was only an 8 cyl.  Packard - wasn't a Packard V-12....

 

Seriously, guys,   I agree it is unfair to judge this particular situation - I personally don't dare buy pencils unless they have erasers (if you "get my drift"...!).

 

Fact remains that this sad incident MAY fit into my personal prejudice of how the old car "hobby" has changed down thru the years.  Of COURSE those of us who love, drive, fix, and exhibit our cars on a personal basis love em enough to be sure they are left IN GEAR with the hand-brake on.  Sure, at some of these prestigious car shows,  the grounds are uneven - my own circle of friends...well...EVERY one of us carries wheel "chocks" for just that reason.

 

Again, I have no idea if my personal prejudice about these "costume-jewelery" restorations is correct IN THIS PARTICULAR sad situation.   Humor me by letting me tell a story.

 

My favorite story about how things have changed....at a VERY prestigious car show I once attended, I was exhibiting my own Rolls Royce Phantom 1.  It was pretty nice, but parked alongside it was another P-1 that put mine to shame.  The judges came around, looking for the owner to ask him to start it.  They found him eventually, at the bar, where he was telling the other exhibitors of costume jewelry about HIS Rolls Royce.  When asked to start it, he looked around, asking where his "helpers" were.  Asked to start it himself...?  He had a puzzled look on his face..." WHY"....he asked.  Of course he had NO clue how to start that georgeous car!

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17 minutes ago, shinyhubcap said:

what's the big deal...it was only an 8 cyl.  Packard - wasn't a Packard V-12....

 

Seriously, guys,   I agree it is unfair to judge this particular situation - I personally don't dare buy pencils unless they have erasers (if you "get my drift"...!).

 

Fact remains that this sad incident MAY fit into my personal prejudice of how the old car "hobby" has changed down thru the years.  Of COURSE those of us who love, drive, fix, and exhibit our cars on a personal basis love em enough to be sure they are left IN GEAR with the hand-brake on.  Sure, at some of these prestigious car shows,  the grounds are uneven - my own circle of friends...well...EVERY one of us carries wheel "chocks" for just that reason.

 

Again, I have no idea if my personal prejudice about these "costume-jewelery" restorations is correct IN THIS PARTICULAR sad situation.   Humor me by letting me tell a story.

 

My favorite story about how things have changed....at a VERY prestigious car show I once attended, I was exhibiting my own Rolls Royce Phantom 1.  It was pretty nice, but parked alongside it was another P-1 that put mine to shame.  The judges came around, looking for the owner to ask him to start it.  They found him eventually, at the bar, where he was telling the other exhibitors of costume jewelry about HIS Rolls Royce.  When asked to start it, he looked around, asking where his "helpers" were.  Asked to start it himself...?  He had a puzzled look on his face..." WHY"....he asked.  Of course he had NO clue how to start that georgeous car!

 

Well, the important thing is that at least you've found a way to feel superior to everyone involved.

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At the St Johns concours a few years back the best of show car stalled and died on the way to it's award. The exquisitely attired owner and wife never exited the vehicle. In about two minutes a golf cart screeched to a halt and three guys in identical sparkling white coveralls jumped out and swarmed over the car like a trio of monkeys. Soon enough they had it started and the owner drove off to his richly deserved award with the merest of nods to his crew...............Bob

 

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Guest BillP
34 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Well, the important thing is that at least you've found a way to feel superior to everyone involved.

I think that's the often-banned Peter Hartmann. Or at least the ghost of, a few days late for Halloween.

Do a search, he's a major proponent of babbitt bearings, in a manner of speaking.

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Well, the important thing is that at least you've found a way to feel superior to everyone involved.

 

wont work - no way can I feel superior when I go to a prestigious fancy auto show at some ultra expensive facility with acres of rolling green lawns.......not when I see so many "costume-jewelry perfect" cars that probably cost more than I have spent on my airplane.

 

Of course it is unfair of me to judge a situation I am thousands of miles away from, and have no clue as to the personalities involved. 

 

But a review of the posts in here confirm I am not the only one who is puzzled at the evolution of the old car hobby. C'mon...man..admit it  - of course you have seen "the type".....folks to whom a car is simply a status symbol - who has little or no interest in its technology.

 

In my circle of friends,  I don't know of ANYONE who fails to INSTINCTIVELY shove their car into "reverse"  when leaving a manual transmission car of ANY type.   ANY big-engine pre-war car of ANY make, even with a heavy body, isn't going ANYWHERE if you leave it in "reverse".

 

And again... I strongly recommend if there is the slightest HINT of a slope...get out that wooden chock-block and CHOCK at least one wheel.  C'mon, guys, you do all carry wood chock-blocks in your cars ?

 

 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, BillP said:

 

Do a search, he's a major proponent of babbitt bearings, in a manner of speaking.

 

YES -- I UNDERSTAND...you are unhappy with those of us who do not like poured babbit connecting rod bearings. 

 

Some of us think it is unforgiveable to re-do ANY motor  that orginally came with poured babbit connecting rod bearings, without converting the rods to "insert" type.  ( or having new connecting rods made that will accept a modern off-the-shelf" 'insert").

 

But you do have a point.   A restoration shop who knows the customer has no intention of ever actually driving his "costume jewelry" level restoration,  couldn't care less about the motor, so long as it can drag the carcass from the trailer to the show field.  So it would be an inappropriate waste of the customer's money to do a sound mechanical restoration along with the pretty stuff.  Makes sense.... ( well...to some....! )

 

 

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... If only it were an Amphicar... ;-)

 

No matter, I feel for the guy who obviously made a grave error by not blocking the wheels. It should be mandatory as the fire extinguisher.

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The owner of the Packard knows cars and knows them well. I suspect he has had more grease under his fingernails than a lot of people on this forum.  I am not sure I have seen many cars past the brass era being chocked at a car show!  I have been too one or two in my life!  What happened here?  Don't know but I am anxious to find out. 

 

Hilton had not had a problem in that area in the past nor have other shows that I know of had a similar problem.  The Elegance has some cars on a slope and certainly in AACA we have had many shows with less than flat terrain. Something unusual happened here is my guess or it may have just been human error which can happen!

 

As to the need to "fault" someone who loves cars but has no mechanical knowledge...just can't understand it nor can I understand why wealthy car owners or for that matter any car owner who has a perfectly restored car will be castigated as less the hobbyist as others are.  This is a big hobby and there is room for everyone in it.  Not all of us (me included) have the wherewithal or the expertise to restore some of these amazing creations.  Thankfully there are some that can and have saved a great part of the story of the automobile.

 

I made a little bet with myself that this thread would head in this direction and I am sad I was right.  Simple issue here, it was a sad day for the owner who I am understood to say "I''ll fix the car, just glad no one was hurt".

 

 

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1 hour ago, shinyhubcap said:

In my circle of friends,  I don't know of ANYONE who fails to INSTINCTIVELY shove their car into "reverse"  when leaving a manual transmission car of ANY type.   ANY big-engine pre-war car of ANY make, even with a heavy body, isn't going ANYWHERE if you leave it in "reverse".

Shiny/Peter, clearly your circle of friends does not include owners of Pierce-Arrows from mid-1924 through 1938.  Pierce reversing lights are hot all the time, ignition on or off. We look for that in judging.

 

On the other hand, in sparse support of your comments about certain show cars, I participated in the 2011 Amelia Island Concours where cars are judged strictly on elegance and with no technical judging. First and Seconds drove up to receive their hardware.  I personally counted SEVEN of those winners which had to be tow-started by the Ritz-Carlton's garden tractors in order to pick up their hardware.  I haven't been back. 

Edited by Grimy (see edit history)

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4 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

That is very sad, Packards are one of the best cars ever made. But I do have a question, if you have a new car and some thing like that happens. You will have a branded\salvage title. I find it strange that if a new car gets banged up it is a salvage vehicle. To me all old cars are rebuilt\reconstructed\salvage. How come you just can't restore your Honda that was in a flood. Is there a cut off in the law, where they say this car is old enough that any thing done to it is a restoration?

There is far more to a new car, than a vintage car, and is like comparing apples and oranges.  In a newer car, there are sophisticated electronics under the seats, (amongst other locations within the vehicle) which are easily damaged by flooding.  Air bags, engine management, and other safety devices are compromised once the ECM and the CPU and the individual components themselves get inundated with floodwaters.  In a worst case scenario, an air bag could unexpectedly deploy at random from a water-induced short circuit.

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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I was looking at the video in 60FlatTop's Post #13 and thought I saw a familiar face/profile.  Is that Jay Leno looking into the passenger side front seat area at 0.16 - 0.28 sec. of the video?

 

As a comment on Steve Moskowitz' Post #21, I also don't  understand the disdain some folks in our hobby have for others who enjoy the hobby from a different aspect.  At one end of the spectrum, is the guy who attends car shows, but doesn't have a collector car and knows little to nothing about them.  At the other end is the high end collector who may have a million dollar collection and extensive knowledge about his cars.  Then there are the guys who "build" or "restore" their cars from a pile of rust with their own hands and have total disdain for the enthusiast who buys a restored car or pays to have one restored.  Without someone willing to cough up the buck$ for a restored car, that car is just an old, used car and not worth much on the open market.  As to the collector who doesn't even know how to start his rare collector vehicle, I think that he is missing much of the fun of the hobby; however, that guy, albeit short on knowledge, is a genuine enthusiast and usually has sunk a lot of money into his car (thereby propping up the collector car market).  Sheesh, we're all car guys, so let's lighten up on each other a little bit.

 

Of course, I've heard that there are guys who buy cars as an investment and never physically take possession of the car but leave it in the care of a broker or some such person.  These guys don't even park their collector cars in their garage to be admired on an evening when T.V. or other diversions pale.  I don't know what to say about those guys except that they are missing out on a whole lot of fun.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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Just a question. Could some one have reached in and popped it out of gear? No joke, I have had cars damaged and lug nuts loosened up on show cars before. Some people will go out of their way to win. Or to make some one else look bad. ( and yes matt it does happen) just ask a figure skater.

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