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WHY NO REAR VIEW MIRROR


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Its seems as I look at pictures of old Packards and many other makes there seems to be a lack of a rear view mirror. This even seems to be the case even into the middle 50's. Jack seems like you have been around on this earth for a while, could you maybe give us your views on this. Any and all comments welcomed

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Packard53: I presume you are talking about the **center** rear view mirror? As I understand it (and I admit up front to not being an authority in this matter), the **side** rear view mirrors on 1955-56 (and probably earlier) were optional. Also, when so equipped, they were mounted all kinds of different places. On my 55 Pat and 56 Clipper (now Panther), they were mounted on top of the front fenders about 6 inches forward of the windshield. Not a very good location, to be sure, mostly because you can't see too much!

I also understand that the **center** rear view mirror with day-night flip switch was optional. My Pat is so equipped.

I agree, any and all comments are welcome on this arcane subject...except perhaps for anyone who would claim that pre-WWII V-12 rear view mirrors mounted on the side-mount tires are superior to post-WWII arrangements. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif" alt="" />

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Packard53, Haven't studied pictures all that much, but every Packard I ever owned had a rear-view mirror. I stayed with 51-56 production and even bought some cars for parts but never remember seeing one without a rear-view mirror. The 56 400 I had as a daily driver had "Yankee" mirrors installed on the fenders, much like Craigs description, but still had the normal center rear-view. I'll have to start looking closer.

YFAM, Randy Berger

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some prewar cars in formal body styles (chauffeur-driven intent) had no inside rear view mirrors as it would be "unseemly" for the help to peer in on the boss

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No rear view mirror in Packards...? Huh..? I do not recall a Packard without an interior rear view mirror...( well...now.......... I dont know about those big straight twelves...you know...the air conditioned SUV / van version...that used the same chassis as the Super Eights.....)

Pete Hartmann

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Expanding/expounding on my post above about outside, fender mounted rear view mirrors: When I bought my 55 Pat, it had NO outside rear view mirrors on the fenders or otherwise. This made my drive my 1,100 mi drive from OR to NV a swivel-headed exercise.

When I got home, I discovered that there were mounting holes in the front fenders for outside mirrors and there was a single cruddy, broken outside mirror in the trunk that was unusable, but a reference piece. So I shopped around for some Packard ones from the usual sources. Whoa! Very $$$.

So, I went to the local auto parts store and bought two outside mirrors for $15/per that looked similar to my ref and mounted same using the stock holes. NO ONE has ever detected that these mirrors are not OEM/DI, so to paraphrase Jack Harlin: "Ha!" <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif" alt="" />

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My 34 sedan has a PA clamp-on mirror on each side mount and an inside mirror above the windshield. The side mirrors are an exercise to adjust as there is no ball socket; they mount securely to the stem. For up and down, you loosen the clamp and slide it fore or aft along the side mount cover. Side to side is accomplished by removing the mirror, flipping it over and loosening the screw holding the stem to the clamp, minutely moving the mirror and then retightening the screw. After every adjustment, you crawl back behind the wheel and check rearward vision. The kicker is that even when adjusted perfectly, they are more or less useless so you generally swivel your head like a WWI fighter pilot with a Fokker on his tail. Bill

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The side mirrors on my 55 Clipper areo n the fenders. I have confirmed that they were installed by the dealer - he was the original owner whose familly kept the car until the 1980s - and they are generic. He also sold Studebakers and used them on those, too. I've never seen others exactly like them so assume they are all kind of different.

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PA469482 side-view mirror was $1.65 on special in a Sept. 1956 revised master price list. I have one in my junk parts somewhere. It was mounted on the drivers door just below the beltline when I bought the car. Its design allows it to be mounted on either drivers or passenger side. I think Fisher makes a repro of it.

YFAM, Randy Berger

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Brian,

I bought a pair of the "clamp-on" type side view mirrors for my '56 Executive, and they work fine. I just found a pair of fender mounted Packard Mirrors so will eventually be changing them. I know that the fender mounts don't give the best vision, but they are so "fifties" in design that I can't resist using them. Maybe I'll resort to one of those huge clamp on mirrors like U-haul uses for touring next summer. LOL.

Craig, is that the usual position for the mirrors (like on your Pat?) or are they sometimes placed further out on the fender?

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Thanks Craig for the pic of your Clipper/Panther. Those are the same style mirrors I bought. Sometime when you have a minute, could you measure the distance from the door edge to the back of the mirror base? No rush on that. And yes, they do have Yankee stamped on them.

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tfred: On my 1956 Clipper fender (which I won't be using for the Panther, BTW), the side mirror face is 18-3/4 inch forward of the door. By comparison, the side mirrors on my 1955 Pat measure 6 inch to the face. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif" alt="" />

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