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Would the 356 have packaged in the '51?
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2009/11/17 7:51
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Just wondering. Consideration of a '51 Custom was dropped in late 1949 at about same time the final clay model of the 200 was completed. If the 200's front fenders and hood had been designed to be shared with a Custom with a 356 then the answer would be yes. If the Custom was to have a longer axle-dash then probably no.

Posted on: 3/10 10:02:09
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Re: Would the 356 have packaged in the '51?
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2015/1/16 9:43
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The 356 was dropped after the 1950 season. The engines available in 1951 were only the 288 and 327 straight 8 engines.
Not sure how the 356 compares to the 288 or 327 in length?
But the motor mounts were also changed to side mounts on the engine block. The 356 was also heavier in weight than the 288 and 327 straight 8s.
John

Posted on: 3/10 10:45:30
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Re: Would the 356 have packaged in the '51?
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Hmm... engine weights for '48 and '51 suggest that a '51 356 would have been 109 lbs heavier than the '51 327 9 main bearing Eight. If its power had increased similar to '51 327 then it would have reached around 170 HP and the car powered by it would have had a higher power/weight ratio than the 327, all other factors being equal.

Posted on: 3/16 17:59:34
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Re: Would the 356 have packaged in the '51?
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You could drop in a 1954 327 and have 185hp or a 359 and had 212hp.
The 356 engine was a well made engine but more work to build than the newer 288,327 and 359 engines.

Posted on: 3/16 19:09:00
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Re: Would the 356 have packaged in the '51?
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In response to what I think the original question was, the 356 and 288/327/359 engine cylinder blocks are the same length.

Yes, the 356 was considerably more expensive to manufacture, a significant portion of that was due to the crankshaft construction.

Posted on: 3/17 6:52:55
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Re: Would the 356 have packaged in the '51?
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That's it Dave. The '46 Data Book talks about the counterweights being integral for the Six and 282 Eight, and bolted into position for the 356. Perhaps this was one of its cost drivers.

OK, since all Eight lengths were the same, most likely the '51 axle-dash length and bonnet were designed to package the 356 had a Custom series materialized. Am interested because am taking a closer look at what defeated the '51 Custom and how it might have been avoided. Robert Neal's book has been very helpful; so thankful for what he left us.

Posted on: 3/17 10:14:20
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Re: Would the 356 have packaged in the '51?
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Would a Custom have been higher on the totem pole than the 400 series they had? It always seemed to me the 1951 line was maybe rushed into production? Only 4 dr sedans in the 300 and 400 series....Convertibles not available till late in the production season and then only based on the 200 series chassis.

Posted on: 3/17 11:08:08
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Re: Would the 356 have packaged in the '51?
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2008/3/21 18:20
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The 23d series Custom Eights were all but unsalable as one had to pay soooo very much more for somewhat better seats and a fine but very heavy engine. Very few people were looking for that. Not to mention that the torque advantage of the 356 made almost no difference when played through an automatic transmission. Who was actually looking for such a car?

The 51-54 cars had fine handling. Much better than contemporary Chryslers or Buicks--probably better than Caddy but I've not had the chance to flog one of them. That would not have been true with an extra 100+ pounds of 356 engine.

The 51s were not rushed, as evidenced by how very few significant design changes had to be made after introduction. The late arrival of convertibles and hardtops was caused by an astonishing lack of vision by management. They weren't going to make any. Can't grasp how they didn't notice how many Rivieras, Coupe deVilles and even Newports were driving by.

Posted on: 3/17 11:33:43
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Re: Would the 356 have packaged in the '51?
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ptv - I think you've put your finger on it. Yes, a Custom series would have been a rung higher than the Patrician 400 and included several body styles with a common design theme that was clearly differentiated from cars in the lower series. These would have constituted a 400 Series that truly was unique and directly competitive with Cadillac's more expensive offerings. Open cars and exciting closed cars would have made this series stand out.

Using Packard's 1950 naming convention the '51 300 was effectively a Super Eight and the Patrician 400, a Super Eight Deluxe, in interior trim and mechanical specification except for 327's upgrade to hydraulic valve lifters and for the 400, upgrade to 9 main bearings. Also, the 400 came standard with Ultramatic. In other words, these cars could and should have been called 300 and 300 Deluxe, or 300 and Patrician 300.

Posted on: 3/17 11:44:24
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Re: Would the 356 have packaged in the '51?
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Rather than being rushed the 300 and 400 Patrician were late by 3 months and the dealers were not happy having to return down payments.

Posted on: 3/17 11:47:27
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