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Right-Hand Drive Packards


AlK
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While watching a Humphrey Bogart movie(Passage to Marseilles) the other morning, there was a scene in which he was driving what appeared to be a late 30's early 40's Packard convertible. I only caught a quick scene shift that showed the front end and it looked like the top corner of a Packard grille. The movie location for the story was around just about WWII France(1938-1944). The thing that I noticed most was that the car was right hand drive. I wanted to include the car in my roster but I was not 100% sure it was a Packard and I was unsure of the right hand drive thing. Of course they could have shot the scene with a normal car and then reversed the negative to show it opposite. How many Packards of that era might have been right hand drive and could Hollywood have gotten one????????

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Here's a pic of a '29 Roadster, with Right hand drive.

Don't remember where I got these pics but in another of it the licence-plate appears to be U.K. or European.

If you can see the licence-plate, then it is easy to tell if the picture is reversed, if the numbers are backwards then it's reversed.

I've read that during the '30s Packard had dealerships in England and Europe.

See Attachment:

post-33516-143137893621_thumb.jpg

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When restoring my '37s I noticed that both frame rails were drilled for the steering box, so they could mount it on either side without much trouble. I guess moving the brakes and clutch to the other side of the transmission were the biggest problems.

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Packards were exported all over the world. One of the largest dealerships in the world was in London (before the the Germans bombed it in the Blitz). Packards wound up, in particular, all over the British Empire in the hands of discerning customers. In many ways the Brits maintained a healthier respect for Packards than U.S. customers. Their automotive publications were still comparing them favourably to Rolls and Bentley when the Detroit factory closed. A few of these exports must certainly have found their way back to the U.S.

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In Packard's Thirtieth Annual Report, covering 1933 and published in March of 1934, company president and general manager Alvan Macauley says, in his letter to shareholders:

"In the export market Packard cars continue to be the most favored of American fine cars. The number of our cars shipped abroad exceeded by more than 60 percent the combined foreign shipments of all other domestic makes of fine cars."

Macauley doesn't provide any specific export figures in the annual report. However, it is important to note that in 1933 Packard produced only 4,836 cars; all of which were certainly considered fine cars (the Model 120 was not introduced until January, 1935). Later in the annual report there is a "family tree" showing Packard's various subsidiaries. The only overseas subsidiary shown is Packard Limited of London, England, so it is reasonable to assume that a fair percentage of the export market was in Britain.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">However, it is important to note that in 1933 Packard produced only 4,836 cars; all of which were certainly considered fine cars (the Model 120 was not introduced until January, 1935). </div></div>

Yes, it's amazing to think that 4 years later they built 116,000 fine cars!

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I have a 1935, 1200 Touring Sedan that is right hand drive. It was sold in London by Leonard Williams Sons. It came back to the U.S.A. in 1969 and currently has 34,300 miles. The main differences that I know of besides steering, pedals, handbrake, are the main wire harness for lighting control off the bottom of steering column and the exhaust manifold outlet sweeps forward to give clearance for the lighting control switch at the bottom of the steering column. It is 6 volt positive earth. Also it was built in Detriot not Windsor Canada.

John

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John,

Does your '35 have a completely different transmission housing, with pedals assembly on right side? It's Not a modification of the left hand type is it?

And I suppose the pedals assembly parts are made in a mirror image? Is that correct?

Thanks,

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Okay, But how does the Clutch pedal activate the clutch if it's Not mounted on tranny? I can see how the brake pedal could be modified to mount on right frame rail (if the '35 is made the same as my '37) but I'm having a hard time pictureing a clutch pedal that is mounted on right frame rail and still goes to Left side of transmission to connect to clutch ??? Unless the transmission is different also?

For the older cars, like the '29 pictured above, that had complete brake and clutch pedal assemblies mounted directly on transmission, everything would have to be made in a mirror image, including the transmission housing, correct?

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Kev,

While in the U.K., if you happen to see any Righthand drive Packards, be sure to crawl under them and get pictures of the clutch linkage. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I still have questions about how that was done? <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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If I see any you will be the first to know! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

There Taxi cabs over here are a marvelous in design. The actually designed a car as a taxi from the ground up, rather than just putting a sign on the roof and a meter in a normal car. But the taxi's have an old car look. So it very hard to pick out the real old car's in a sea of London Taxi's.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 years later...

Hello all,

After finishing Packard 1948 To 1950 I couldn't resist continuing with Packard 1951 To 1954, so here we go again. This time I am going to try to finish a little faster so I don't run out of time. All help appreciated.

I will have a chapter on Packard Exports again, and thus cover RHD cars. I need some pictures of the dash of 1951 through 1954 RHD cars showing the center section where the heater controls usually are, but are not on RHD cars. Thus they need to be from the passenger side or the steering wheel always seems to cover up that area.

Any help out there?

Robert Neal

RJNeal0000@aol.com.

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Leonard Williams was the UK importer, with premises on 'The Golden Mile' in Brentford, Middlesex, which was the main route from west London to the west..the A4 Great West Road. Firestones were almost opposite, and in front was Lincoln Cars Ltd, a Ford subsidiary that sold....Lincoln cars! From around 1940 the Packard facility went over to war work and then when the Packard-Merlin engines were being shipped over to the UK, they became an unboxing and repair facility. They also serviced and maintained existing pre-war Packards and any 'Generals'' and diplomats' cars.

My late godfather worked at Lincoln Cars during the war when they were rebuilding Flathead Ford engines for marine craft, tracked carriers, etc., and against the rules used to sneak in an use their canteen. At the time there were numerous women workers. A V-1 flying bomb made a direct hit on the Packard factory and hit a gas main. Several women were killed as they could not escape a wall of fire from the gas. My godfather was injured...by a piece of asbestos roofing tile that went into his leg. The foreman at Lincoln Cars who was also the nightly roof watcher on the roof, organised rescues of the injured and was awarded the MBE medal.

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Thanks all for the pictures, and Mal for those to arrive.

Interesting stories from the war years.

As to the dash, the center chrome section is different on RHD cars, and if they did the same as on the 22nd -23rd Series cars, there were no fresh air heater options on the RHD cars so the control area would be blank. You UK guys could comment on that. Did these cars use under-dash heaters like the 1948-1950?

Robert

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Hi Robert,

For what it is worth, I have restored a '52 200 Deluxe and dashboard is an authentic restoration. The car was imported to Australia in the '50s as RHD. I have attempted to attach 2 pics, but only one has appeared. If you need more I can email them to you.

The top chrome blank is an insert where the controls for the radio would be as an option. The grill below has a cloth backing to cover the radio speaker. As you can see there are no climate controls as the RHD does not allow the space for the heater gear in the engine bay.

Cheers, Jeff Clarkson

post-54904-143138912392_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Jeff, You are right, the second picture evidemtly didn.t make it. Good picture. I would appreciate the additional pictures you offered. Email them to me. The high resolution you used in the one here in this thread was great. A lot of my information on just how Packard handled the differences found in the RHD cars is going to have to come from you guys who currently own them. Packard left few trails in this regard. One can tell in many cases that there are differences because of the different part numbers listed for RHD cars in the parts catalogues, but there are never an illustrations. Also Packard never released pictures of RHD specific features. If there were any special brochures printed, other than language changes for non-English speaking countries, I have never seen any nor heard of any. The only things illustration wise which would change would be for RHD cars. Also for RHD countries the junior cars could have no heater option for the reason stated by Jeff. The senior cars were also exported to any country wanting them. However, senior cars were not built (during these years) in RHD. Thus these types could have any accessory available. Any one have any information on specially illustrated RHD literature?

Also, since there was no heater on these junior cars there was no provision for heater controls on the center panel. Thus there was also not center panel fresh air vent control, since these controls were combined. The fresh air vents were there, however, so where are their controls? Pictures of them appreciated as well.

Robert RJNeal0000@aol.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

The only RHD Packard I recall seeing in New Zealand was a neighbor's '39' straight 8 4 door sedan. It had a distinctive chuff chuff engine note and then it went away for work and ran almost silent for a year or so.

Owner was a deep sea sport fishing boat owner so the car lived on the wharf and was always used to cart salty gear around so you could just about see it rusting. The story was it had been turned over early in its life with battery acid spilled which started a lot of the rust.

Although said to be a '39, it had a symmetrical dash with large driver side speedo incorporating the fuel etc gauges and a matching passenger clock on the left which is different from '39 LHD models I see on the net.

Maybe RHD kept the older dash, as was common with postwar Ford and GM models imported from Canada and assembled locally eg '65-'68 full size Chevys and Pontiacs all had a RHD version of the '65 Chev Biscayne dash.

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  • 5 weeks later...

This seems to be quite an old thread, but I just came across it.

On the subject of RHD Packards, I have two. One a 1928 5th series 7 passenger, supplied new by WC Gaunt & Co, of Piccadilly, London (the precurssors of Leonard Willams & Son), the second one is a 1948 22nd series Eight, which was supplied by Leonard Williams & Son.

Both are original RHD cars.

Adam..

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