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Re: Various CL Pickings
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2009/11/17 7:51
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That green '54 is very interesting Steve. With its black walls, wires, lack of skirts and monotone color it has a Euro vibe.

Posted on: 5/10 19:38:28
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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Hmm, see what you mean.

Can also see it working in a sleek sort of way without the dagmars. A Request grill would sit way back rather than protrude forward like Predictor's grill, which was actually a bumper. The horizontal bumpers project forward quite a bit so should have been able to protect the grill.

What I don't like about the last proposal is the painted wasteland left when the horizontal trim that wraps from side to front is removed. Felt I had to get rid of it because it is way over-the-top and crowding the front.

Here's a version that deletes the dagmars and keeps a reined in version of the horizontal trim, now thinner like Predictor show car. Have also added a headlight bezel to driver's side lights; the mock-up doesn't have it.

This is a theme I can honestly support, at least up front. The fins in back need to go as does the rear-axle kick-out, a bad habit borrowed from 60 Special. I know why they all did it - to reuse doors from shorter wheelbase cars - but Cadillac dropped that cost-saving practice for '59 never to use it again.


EDIT: updated grill.

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jpg  1957 Packard Program vs Request new version wider grill spacing v1.jpg (24.17 KB)
2060_5ea71f8925d00.jpg 542X190 px

Posted on: 4/27 8:16:27
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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Great suggestion! Here are two versions - with and without turn signal lights. Also the rendering that inspired it. I tried the grill extending all the way down, felt that with a car as tall as Contour the grill ends up too tall. Feel same about the Request. The idea seems to work better in the rendering because it is depicting the low Panther show car in modified form, so the grill ends up not too tall.

I am probably in a small minority that believes that the investors rejected the '57 proposal in part because of the Predictor grill. I just don't think it works on that wide low theme, is too odd and at odds with the rest of the car. Maybe on a narrow car like a '56 Rambler-based Clipper and coupled with Predictor's hidden headlights. I think the '57 Packard needed the Request style grill. With the car's wide and low proportions it would have looked spectacular if done right (i.e., better than my attempt).

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jpg  55 packard sedan and alternate 2 with bkazmar mods.jpg (77.60 KB)
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jpg  Teague and Hudson rendering.JPG (54.43 KB)
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jpg  1957 Packard Program vs Request.jpg (23.79 KB)
2060_5ea6d4ee6c9e2.jpg 542X190 px

Posted on: 4/27 5:49:54
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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Don't mind me guys, just exploring '55 themes based on Dick Teague and Fred Hudson renderings. The back half of the stock hood is perfectly shaped for this grill.

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jpg  55 packard sedan and alternate 2.jpg (77.68 KB)
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jpg  55 packard sedan and alternate 1.jpg (77.47 KB)
2060_5ea63fecaff28.jpg 1168X410 px

Posted on: 4/26 18:15:24
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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Even as they were expanding Jet's pricing upward they could have lowered the entry model by offering a pillared coupe version. With this car there would have been no reason why it couldn't have stickered same as original Jet. Now the youth market would've had a better chance of obtaining one, and once they got hooked Hudson would have secured its future.

The point of all these Hudson and Packard models is to show not another big Detroit company but instead something special and lasting, founded on content and competence rather than chrome and cush.

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jpg  Hudson Jet 2 door pillared coupe 105 wb.jpg (48.31 KB)
2060_5ea4c0fb7d122.jpg 640X470 px

Posted on: 4/25 16:04:32
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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"How much heavier would the 308 engine been than the 202 engine used in the Italia?"

Was trying to figure that out looking at '55-57 vehicle weights for Wasp 202 Six and Hornet 308 Six. Hard to say but appears to be significant. Another tidbit I came across was that the 308 would have crashed into the firewall. See discussion about 308 in Jet at this link in the Motorsports section:

https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Hudson_Jet

It may well have been the case that the 202 was the only engine that would have packaged. Horsepower eventually rose to 130 so it had potential, and Hudson engineers were pretty resourceful so probably could have wrung out 5-10 more by developing "severe usage" components.

Another approach to the Jet would have been to focus on the 2-door model, turning it into a very sporty hardtop. I initially lowered the greenhouse 3 inches like the sedan but the result didn't seem compelling as a 2-door, demanded more in terms of style. So a hardtop roof was fashioned together with wrapped windshield moved back a few inches. This car would have probably cost an additional $1-2M to tool but in the end I think it would have been the only Jet capable of driving sales of 50K or more. Most Americans didn't want an undersized sedan but many would have felt the allure of a sporty coupe. Overall height would have dropped to 56.5 inches, on par with Studebaker hardtop. With a firm suspension the handling of this spunky Hudson would have been phenomenal and the price reachable by many. Optional trim like Frank Spring's contoured Italia bucket seats and a four-on-the-floor could have expanded its price range. The American Alfa.

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jpg  Hudson Jet 2 door 105 wb.jpg (47.84 KB)
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jpg  Hudson Jet 2 door 105 wb 3 lower.jpg (47.66 KB)
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jpg  Hudson Jet 2 door hardtop 105 wb.jpg (48.11 KB)
2060_5ea4afb364674.jpg 640X470 px

Posted on: 4/25 14:43:31
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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The assembly method makes sense and Railton was an education for me, had heard the name but didn't know about the Hudson connection. Wonder if Italia coupe might have also made a good Railton, powered by 308 Six.

Came across this ad for Irish-built Jet. Have lowered the car 3 inches to show suggested change.

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jpg  53 jet european 3 lower.jpg (54.58 KB)
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Posted on: 4/25 7:06:28
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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The nice thing about this exercise is that we all get to pick whatever we like!

First image is 105 wb Jet with 60.9 inch height. Next to it is a version with greenhouse lowered 3 inches for a new height of 57.9 inches.

Second image pits the Willys Aero with its 108 wb and 60 inch height next to the lowered Jet.

The Jet was functional and roomy inside but at expense of styling. Lowered 3 inches as Spring had wanted it matches fairly well with Aero though the latter is several inches wider. I think the lowered Jet and Aero are equally compelling.

If Packard had bought Hudson in 1954, dropped the big Step-Down and re-purposed Clipper - perhaps as suggested, kept Jet and spent a million dollars lowering its greenhouse for '55 and adapting Torsion-Level, and made a big push to export it and the rejuvenated Packards to Europe and elsewhere, I think Packard-Hudson might have had a really good year and a bright future.

Hudson lost a ton of money in 1954 and Nance probably would have been able to determine early in the year a rough ballpark of how bad it would be. Maybe he could have given Barit an ultimatum of sorts: rework the Jet for '55 as suggested using the last of Hudson's capital, plan for a Clipper-based big Hudson for '55 and prepare for the official merger after Hudson closes the fiscal year and booked its losses. This would have made Hudson as cheap as possible for Packard. Barit would have had no other option except to sell to Nash and see Jet liquidated.

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jpg  53 jet red 105 wb and 3 inches lower greenhouse.jpg (47.90 KB)
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jpg  53 jet red 105 wb and 3 inches lower willys aero 108 wb.jpg (42.95 KB)
2060_5ea439ba4265f.jpg 1011X245 px

Posted on: 4/24 19:50:15
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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2009/11/17 7:51
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Realized I forgot about occupant packaging in the earlier Clipper-based '55 Hudsons of a few comments ago so updated the images with many changes. Check them out if interested.

One of the changes was to raise the seats and steering wheel back to standard height, which raised something else... a question. What happens to headroom front and rear and visibility out the windshield, specifically the up-angle, if roof and windshield header are lowered 1.5 inch inches? If you are curious, have a '53-54 sedan and a 1.5 inch thick book, would appreciate what you discover if you sit on the book in the front and rear seat. If you are 6' or taller I'd be extra specially double secret curious.

Also, after going round and round and back and forth on a solution, moved the windshield wiper assembly rearward a bit. Of course, what's up top is only the tip of the iceberg so the motor below might have also needed to move, were space available. And the wipers would have needed shortened a bit since windshield header was lower. Thought about sinking the assembly below the cowl to keep the wipers low on the windshield when in resting position but that might have opened up an very slimy can of worms.

Posted on: 4/24 13:23:27
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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There is a brief discussion of Torsion-Level on would-be '55 LWB cars on pg 710 of Kimes' book that suggests there would not have been an issue.

Yes, padded roof for sure unless someone ordered a car without one.

Count a total of 8 wonderful Packards on three chassis with minimal extra tooling over what they spent.

Posted on: 4/23 18:30:02
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