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Re: 1955-56 fender mirror
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2008/10/28 6:22
From Simi Valley, CA
Posts: 614
I replaced the side view mirrors on my '55 Caribbean as the left side one would not sty in position and the right side couldmn't be moved. I replaced them with side view mirrors for a 55-57 Chevy. I ordered them from Summit Racing in 2018 for $22.

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Posted on: 6/23 8:27:12
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Marston,  
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Re: 1955-56 fender mirror
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2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15199
Not a terribly bad match and for only $22 my Caribbean can suffer the indignity of a repro Chevy part too. The mirrors that were on the car when I got it were aftermarket and have similar styling but the post is more slanted like Packards. No idea if they are Chevy copies but nice thing was they are real pot metal unlike so many of the plastic repros available today.

Posted on: 6/23 8:42:01
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Re: 1955-56 fender mirror
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2008/10/28 6:22
From Simi Valley, CA
Posts: 614
Howard, they are $30 now. I like the quality. I don't like the placement - the right side wing wind post blocks a lot of the view, but I was stuck leaving it there as that is where the holes were. The mirror is a little larger that what was there. I don't believe the ones I replaced were original in style.

They work and that is the main thing what matters.

Posted on: 6/23 10:27:27
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Re: 1955-56 fender mirror
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2012/4/10 19:35
From San Diego, CA USA
Posts: 1435
My dad's didn't come with them. What is the code on mirrors.

In the 70s I was getting pulled over. Finally put one on.

Think the cop said all cars 55.56 but Packard did not have them .even the catalogue didn't show them on cars

They do help...but take away from the car lines.

Posted on: 6/23 13:42:58
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Re: 1955-56 fender mirror
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2008/10/28 6:22
From Simi Valley, CA
Posts: 614
Riki,

Click on the Summit Racing in my post above and it will take you there. They are ~$30 now. I liked them so much, that I put them on my '51. BTW right and left hand sides are the same mirror.

Posted on: 6/24 14:01:53
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Re: 1955-56 fender mirror
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2006/11/29 20:35
From Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 2831
Marston wrote: Quote:
I replaced the side view mirrors on my '55 Caribbean as the left side one would not sty in position and the right side couldmn't be moved. I replaced them with side view mirrors for a 55-57 Chevy. I ordered them from Summit Racing in 2018 for $22.

IIRC, BigKev was able to replace the glass in an original, used 51-54 mirror for his 54 Clipper by un-crimping, then re-crimping the shell. While the stem of the 55-56 mirror differs significantly from the 51-54 version, the head and its mounting are the same.

I only bring this up here because I know that, from my inspection of a couple of glass-less 'cores' in my collection, the head is retained to the stem, from inside the shell, by a screw and spring affair.

I haven't attempted the crimping work myself, and haven't found anyone in my area who can do the work, but I hope you didn't throw those old original mirrors away. They might be repairable.

Posted on: 7/16 8:33:14
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Re: 1955-56 fender mirror
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2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 15496
It isn't always necessary to uncrimp and recrimp the bezel or edge to replace the glass. I've done quite a few by first just breaking the old glass to remove it, and having the new glass cut very precisely so it just exactly fits inside the crimp with no clearance, and first filling the cavity behind the crimp with a sealant/adhesive before inserting the glass. I did the set of sidemount mirrors on my '34 that way and they've been trouble-free for 40 or more years.

Posted on: 7/16 8:49:53
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Re: 1955-56 fender mirror
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Joined:
2006/11/29 20:35
From Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 2831
HH56 wrote:

Quote:
Not a terribly bad match and for only $22 my Caribbean can suffer the indignity of a repro Chevy part too. The mirrors that were on the car when I got it were aftermarket and have similar styling but the post is more slanted like Packards. No idea if they are Chevy copies but nice thing was they are real pot metal unlike so many of the plastic repros available today.

Personally, I prefer the elegant simplicity of the factory-issued mirrors for these cars, but - like many - am put off by the high price tag of repros. Yet, I just don't care for all these other mirrors, including the 'Yankee' style.

However, I've been watching these on eBay for some time:

2 NEW Exterior Chrome Door Mirrors 55 56 Packard 1955 1956 PAIR

These mirrors are a chunkier-looking than the original, and they are not exactly inexpensive, but I decided to give them a try, with the intent of using one each for my two 56 Patricians. Ordered on Thursday, they turned up on my porch this past Saturday afternoon. Though the seller is shown in Montville, NJ, tracking shows Boonton, NJ as the point of origin, which makes me think there's a connection to Kanter.

Though billed as a 'reproduction mirrors, close to the original design', I don't believe for a NY minute that these are a reproduction of the Packard mirror, but suspect they are a reproduction (or re-run from original tooling) of a long-since discontinued AFTERMARKET mirror that was clearly inspired by the Packard's design. In fact, I found a line art rendering of such an aftermarket mirror in an old J.C. Whitney catalog.

The stem/base of these new mirrors is cast metal; sadly, the head appears to be plastic at its core. The overall design also reminds me of an aftermarket mirror that I purchased from the automotive department of a now-defunct discount department store, decades ago, but had returned due to problems I had with it. Now, I was beginning to worry.

IMHO, the narrow base of the original Packard mirrors (about 5/8") is what allows it to fit in either door or fender locations. I was concerned about these new mirrors because the base measure 1" at its widest, but 1-3/16" with mounting pad/gasket. Since that pad/gasket comes taped to the base of the mirror, I went out to offsite storage for a test fit to the car(s). I was pleasantly surprised to find that this mirror fits the crown of either the door or the fender. I can't tell whether that's because of the mounting pad/gasket or the wider hollow stance of the base itself, but I was relieved.

What you can't see in the auction images is that the head is secured to the stem by a screw from the front of the stem (rather than inside the shell). While the glass might give you the impression that its smaller than the original Packard unit design, it measures 4-3/4" (same as shown in the old J.C. Whitney catalog). The Packard head measures 4-1/4". So, the viewing area is actually the same (if not a tad larger).

A plus about this new mirror is that the mounting bracket has two long slots, which should allow it to be installed using the existing mounting holes for many previously-installed mirrors.

A friend across town recently purchased a pair of repro Chevy mirrors for use on his 55 Pontiac that he claims are all-stainless and they have LED turn signals, but he paid only $75 for the pair. So, I wish the price was lower on these Packard replacements, but I have no idea of the seller's cost or desired margin. However, I do think the S&H was reasonable.

All things considered, I'm gonna keep these mirrors for use my two 56 Patricians, but (due to family health problems) probably won't be able to hang them until next year. Then, I should have a nice clear view to the rear - unlike the defective/repaired, but damaged/incorrect mirror that American Arrow sent me and refused to replace all those years ago.

Posted on: 7/16 9:31:51
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Re: 1955-56 fender mirror
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Joined:
2006/11/29 20:35
From Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 2831
Quote:
It isn't always necessary to uncrimp and recrimp the bezel or edge...

Thanks for that tip, Dave.

Perhaps, someday, I will experiment on the useless American Arrow mirror that I have - if I can find someone in my area to cut the glass correctly. Then, I can proceed with rehabilitating my cores.

Sadly, trying to make a 55-56 mirror out of the 51-54 repro that I got stuck with may not be worth the effort.

P.S. -

Here's a recent post showing a repro mirror that 'bolts' on from the inside:

Re: Parts for 1955 Packard Caribbean #4

Posted on: 7/16 9:42:38
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Re: 1955-56 fender mirror
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15199
Any consensus on how many 55-6 mirrors were fender vs door mounted. When I got my car the aftermarkets I spoke of earlier were fender mounted. While they looked decent, for my rear view I felt they were all but useless because the width of view to the side seemed very restricted. Perhaps they were farther forward than factory would have placed them. Photos of other cars seem to have them fairly close to the windshield and mine were a good foot or more away. Anyway, I felt there was a significant loss of field vs the door mount. Anyone else who have used factory fender vs door mirrors have an opinion.

Posted on: 7/16 10:10:18
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