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1937 One Twenty woody - made in USA?


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This 1937 Packard 120 was our family transport in the early 1950s - in the UK therefore right-hand drive. The bodywork looks different from other woodies I have seen in photos. Any idea whether this would have been original or a local job after import of the chassis into the UK?

 

Pictured here in Italy, c. 1954. This was how our parents got away from us for a couple of weeks. The 120 tended to overheat while ascending the Alps, and the brakes were just about adequate coming down again. So I was told.

 

DSCF3868.thumb.jpg.4f5c179ff023af6c56fe580478b31ad0.jpg

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12 hours ago, Timothy Auger said:

The 120 tended to overheat while ascending the Alps, and the brakes were just about adequate coming down again. So I was told.

 

 

The above does not surprise me.    By 1954 your parent's car was nearly twenty years old.   No way can a radiator/cooling system  nearly twenty years old , given the way most people treat their cars,  will  meet the engineering standards of its original designers. 

 

Even before the 1920's, there was sufficient engineering data thru the SAE/ASTM that manufacturers of quality autos knew how to, and did build cars that would not overheat even under the most severe conditions.  You cant hold the manufacturer responsible for what time and/or poor maintainence will do to a mechanical device.

 

Packard became a legend because of its determination to provide a satisfactory product in every price class it chose to compete in.   Of course the brakes of Packard cars of ANY price class were at least "adequate". 

 

As a side-note,    Is it fair or logical to compare a "baby" Packard to the "big" Packards ?   Of course that is nonsense.  "you get what you pay for".     But then as now,  if you are dealing with a legitimate manufacturer with a reputation for quality in any price class,  your car will not over heat if properly maintained.

 

I believe my recommendation to car buffs of today holds true for any quality auto of any era -  if you want to drive it around and enjoy it...FIX IT PROPERLY !    No amount of applying various kinds of "mouse milk",  "old wive's tales",   or other  " back-yard nonsense "   is going to change what time and the laws of chemical reaction are going to do to a radiator.

 

IF you bought your collector car  of ANY era brand new,  and have religiously and properly serviced its cooling system from the day you drove it away from the dealer - yes, your quality American car will not overheat.  Most of us aren't that lucky !  Having a radiator shop "re-core" your collector car's radiator is not cheap !  I have no solution and/or recommendation for avoid the costs of proper maintainence .   Simple fact is a fresh radiator and proper cooling system function  is the solution to overheating.   In traffic...in the Alps....on the Interstate...ANYWHERE !

 

( well..unless you are driving an old Ford........but who said anything about quality in regards to THAT product.....! )

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1 hour ago, SaddleRider said:

The above does not surprise me.    By 1954 your parent's car was nearly twenty years old.   No way can a radiator/cooling system  nearly twenty years old , given the way most people treat their cars,  will  meet the engineering standards of its original designers. 

 

Even before the 1920's, there was sufficient engineering data thru the SAE/ASTM that manufacturers of quality autos knew how to, and did build cars that would not overheat even under the most severe conditions.  You cant hold the manufacturer responsible for what time and/or poor maintainence will do to a mechanical device.

 

Packard became a legend because of its determination to provide a satisfactory product in every price class it chose to compete in.   Of course the brakes of Packard cars of ANY price class were at least "adequate". 

 

As a side-note,    Is it fair or logical to compare a "baby" Packard to the "big" Packards ?   Of course that is nonsense.  "you get what you pay for".     But then as now,  if you are dealing with a legitimate manufacturer with a reputation for quality in any price class,  your car will not over heat if properly maintained.

 

I believe my recommendation to car buffs of today holds true for any quality auto of any era -  if you want to drive it around and enjoy it...FIX IT PROPERLY !    No amount of applying various kinds of "mouse milk",  "old wive's tales",   or other  " back-yard nonsense "   is going to change what time and the laws of chemical reaction are going to do to a radiator.

 

IF you bought your collector car  of ANY era brand new,  and have religiously and properly serviced its cooling system from the day you drove it away from the dealer - yes, your quality American car will not overheat.  Most of us aren't that lucky !  Having a radiator shop "re-core" your collector car's radiator is not cheap !  I have no solution and/or recommendation for avoid the costs of proper maintainence .   Simple fact is a fresh radiator and proper cooling system function  is the solution to overheating.   In traffic...in the Alps....on the Interstate...ANYWHERE !

 

( well..unless you are driving an old Ford........but who said anything about quality in regards to THAT product.....! )

Well, it IS Sunday.  Thank you for the homily, Reverend Hartmann....

  • Haha 1
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Meanwhile, back to the question of whether it was a Packard body or not?

 

Can''t say definitively but believe it is not a Packard body. Looking at the 470+ pictures of 1937 Packards on PackardInfo.com only found 2 '37 Woody's. one of which was a115C(Six cylinder) while the other was a Brooks Stevens body on a 120C(Eight).

 

Also looking at Google images of "Packard Woodys" I know, not a great reference but possibly better than none, Packard Woody's of that era mostly appear to have a a large rear side window or one split in the middle not two distinct "windows" as shown in your photo.

 

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=packard+woody&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBAU753AU753&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiZ45jhuNXVAhUBTrwKHb3GDegQsAQIJw&biw=1517&bih=735#imgrc=_

 

Accordingly I think its probably an aftermarket body, possibly by a UK coachbuilder.

 

My two cents worth, for what that's worth!

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Wasn't Leonard Williams and Company the importing agency that did modifications or conversions for the UK market?   If the car was originally imported into the UK I would think they might have done the work or arranged for the work to be done thru a local coachbuilding firm.  

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4 minutes ago, HH56 said:

Wasn't Leonard Williams and Company the importing agency that did modifications or conversions for the UK market?   If the car was originally imported into the UK I would think they might have done the work or arranged for the work to be done thru a local coachbuilding firm.  

 

Indeed so - and I have been in touch with the son (or maybe grandson) of Leonard Williams, who had no clear recollection of whether this might have been the case, or how it would have worked. I remember my father considering selling the car, and a smart young man in a suit drove down to Farnham from Leonard Williams in a shiny new Packard (don't know which model, it would have been 1956 or so) specially to consider taking it on for sale. As he came round the corner of the house his face fell. A well-used woody was not what he had in mind! God knows what my father had told him on the phone. The car was bought in Cornwall for £200 in about 1953 (a lot of money in those days, when new cars were still in short supply in postwar Britain), and sold locally in about 1958  for £25. Rather sad. The body was not the most elegant, it has to be said. The Leonard Williams premises on the Great West Road coming out of London was a major landmark - I can clearly remember passing it many times as a child.

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12 hours ago, colinvoice said:

Hi Tim, 

 

Both my 36 and 37 Packards were supplied by Leonard Williams, if you wanted to part ways with the brochure I'd really like to see it?

 

Colin 

 

Hi Colin - I don't really want to part with it for sentimental reasons, but when I get a moment I will scan it and send a pdf, if that would be of interest.

 

Tim

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  • 1 year later...

More than likely, an ex-WD car converted post-war into a shooting brake.

There were many large pre-war cars converted after the war in the UK. These could be bought cheaply from WD sales and reconditioned.

For further information try "British Woodies" by Colin Peck.

 

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