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A Tale of Two Patricians
Home away from home
Joined:
2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 1371
I've hesitated starting a blog as I'm not sure how far this project is going but decided to give it a go. I've never written a blog before but have read many of them here.

This will be about my two 1954 Packard Patricians. As a little background, I have owned one of the Patricians for over 40 years and the other purchased as a parts car a decade or so later. The first one was my second postwar Packard and at the time I had a 1940 110 Club Sedan, a 1941 Henney-Packard hearse (it's barely visible in one of the photos below) and a 1951 Henney-Packard combination. I had also owned two other 1940 110 parts cars and my original 1939 Six Touring Sedan, all of which have since been sold.

The Patricians in this blog have been parked untouched for close to three decades mostly indoors and are now at my Terrebonne, OR shop. During the last visit, I sat aside the 1965 Imperial LeBaron I was working on as it needs more major engine work than I want to do now (a cracked block and the wrong engine anyway), so the two Packards were moved over into the workshop area.

The goal now - and the hesitance to start a blog - is to merge the two cars into one but I am not planning on a restoration although who knows how far I'll go? There will be a body swap at least which will probably mean cleaning up and painting things underneath while I'm at it but the first step is to see if the one will even start. The engine was totally rebuilt when I used to drive it but has sat so long that all sorts of demons may have crept in.

It was a good driver when purchased but was missing much trim so I bought the second as a parts car. Since then I also acquired a complete set of seats and doors from a friend's totaled 1954 Patrician that were even from the same two-tone gray (Mackinaw Gray lower; Varsity Gray Metallic upper) combination as mine. I already have a large supply of 1950s Packard parts that will help although I am hesitant to install the NOS factory rear window wiper I have as they look rather unseemly to me.

The parts car is Polaris Blue lower and Meridian Blue Metallic upper, which is a beautiful combination that I would love to keep on the final car but I don't want to have to repaint the dash as the gray one is very nice as it is so will likely keep it gray.

The first photo (if they show in the order I am attaching them) shows the car as it was when purchased, taken using a vintage Polaroid (I also collect Polaroids) while visiting my grandmother's mobile home in my hometown of Vallejo, CA and another not too good one at my San Jose, CA storage yard where, at the time, I worked on my cars as I lived in an apartment with no garage. I cannot locate many photos of it from early on but I've also attached a few more as I started working on it while still driving it.

Attach file:



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jpg  1954_Patrician-001.jpg (91.62 KB)
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jpg  1954_Patrician-005.jpg (122.77 KB)
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Posted on: 2017/12/10 14:40
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Re: A Tale of Two Patricians
Home away from home
Joined:
2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 1371
Moving forward, I worked on it now and then through the years as shown here doing something or other to the brakes. I wish I still had that 20s something body!

The blue door and fender were from a 1952 Patrician but after installing the door I realized that the hump was redesigned for 1954 so it wouldn't work for a 1954 Patrician. Still, it was on there until I later bought the parts car and finally here it is with the parts car's proper door installed.

Finally to the current time are the two Patricians being positioned into the workshop area and cleared off for work. The huge pile of empty boxes were actually on the roof of the parts car and have since been taken off but the interior of the other car is still full of parts that I have yet to move out as it was used to transport them when the cars and parts were moved to Oregon ten years ago! Other than a missing radiator, the parts car was complete but not does not have much of an interior left and what it does have is in shambles.

There is a photo of three of the doors from the parts car and from my friend's totaled 1954 Patrician, all with power windows, and another of the Gearstart Ultramatic that someday will go into my car but it needs a total rebuild so that's not in the cards any time soon.

I forgot to take a photo of them in the final position after getting them both spaced for work so will take one next time I'm there.

Attach file:



jpg  1954_Patrician-007.jpg (103.91 KB)
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jpg  1954_Patrician-008.jpg (111.34 KB)
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jpg  1954_Patrician-012.jpg (129.00 KB)
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jpg  100_1645.JPG (289.84 KB)
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Posted on: 2017/12/10 14:57
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Re: A Tale of Two Patricians
Home away from home
Joined:
2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 1371
Most of my last trip was spent in the rearrangement of cars which I finished sooner than I thought I would so had an extra day or two to work on the Packards. I managed a little tinkering before I had to leave, managing to pull the plugs and put a little engine oil into the cylinders, then gave the starter a brief bump with a 12v battery to be sure it would even crank and it does so no problem there.

Lots of corrosion around the water outlet which is common on aluminum heads and this still has the original although it will likely have to be replaced. It has stainless Helicoils in the spark plug holes and in the water outlet holes and the boss around the outlet was welded and re-machined decades ago to repair a severe corrosion problem there.

I don't have any idea where all the coolant went and I don't recall draining it but I must have done so as it's totally dry well below the level of the outlet. None in the oil and no visible sign of expansion plug damage or water jacket cracks either, fortunately. I put coolant in it and it does not seem to be coming back out anywhere either but we'll see if there is a puddle the next time I'm there.

The paint is so faded that it looks off-white now but here is a hidden area of the true color. Speaking of which, I found two gallons of unopened Ditzler Mackinaw Gray acrylic lacquer that is probably no good by now. Not sure how to test it, though.

My next shop visit hasn't yet been planned but I am thinking of late January. Last year when I went at that time, I spent the first five hours there on a tractor digging access to my roll-up door as there was about 6 feet of solid ice in the way but that was unusual.

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Posted on: 2017/12/10 15:15
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Re: A Tale of Two Patricians
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Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 15727
I wouldn't necessarily assume your lacquer is no longer good. I reopened a nearly 50 year-old can of R-M black nitrocellulose lacquer this past summer to paint a small part and the paint was just as good as it was almost 50 years ago.

Posted on: 2017/12/10 15:43
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Re: A Tale of Two Patricians
Home away from home
Joined:
2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 1371
Quite possibly it is still good but I'm trying to save myself some disappointment in case it isn't by considering upfront the possibility of it having gone bad. It has been stored in extremes of temperature too which I'm sure didn't help but I won't know until I open it!

It was dark in the corner where the paint is now so I was trying to get clear photos of the label but this was the best of both together, along with a can of Bill Hirsch's engine paint although I'm not sure which color it is. I have his paint in bronze, gray and green.

Here is a photo of the interior - or lack thereof - on the parts car but it is otherwise actually very solid, having been stored indoors. Both cars are showing some signs of subtle blistering at the back below the trunk lid but I don't know yet if it's only superficial or if there is a more serious problem.

Attach file:



jpg  100_1563.JPG (209.71 KB)
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jpg  100_1587.JPG (354.44 KB)
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Posted on: 2017/12/10 16:03
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Re: A Tale of Two Patricians
Home away from home
Joined:
2015/1/16 9:43
From sw, pa
Posts: 951
A fellow told me one time lacquer never goes bad..... Couldn't say myself.
John

Posted on: 2017/12/14 10:08
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Re: A Tale of Two Patricians
Home away from home
Joined:
2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 1371
Good to know the paint may still be good! Reading another thread about Packard paint made me wonder if two-color cars were painted completely in one color with the other added on top of that. Any comments?

Posted on: 2018/1/5 13:13
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Re: A Tale of Two Patricians
Home away from home
Joined:
2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 1371
Iíve been at my Oregon shop for a couple days but so bitterly cold that Iíve not gotten much done. I had hoped to try to start the former driver but it looks like it wonít happen this trip! Although a bit premature, I did recently buy a pair of NOS backup light housings and lenses and I already have another pair if NOS lenses too.

One thing I discovered during the last visit while rearranging cars to get the two Patricians into the workshop side was that it seems to have a stuck gearshift lever. I do know how to fix it but the real surprise was that I must have discovered it ten years ago when the cars were being transported from California to Oregon as the linkage had already been disconnected. I have absolutely no memory of that issue!

Posted on: 2018/2/22 9:52
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Re: A Tale of Two Patricians
Home away from home
Joined:
2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 1371
As I go along I add more and more things to my shop but one of the best was this 48,000 lumin LED light that I installed as a test. My shop currently has only a 50í extension cord for power which got warm just running my tripod work lights but after converting them to LED, they run cool. With four of them and this panel on at once, the cord is still cool! I plan on several more down each side but even one is like daylight and must be installed at least ten feet up according to the instructions. The small lights below are 12v and powered by a 100w solar panel keepin car batteries charged so I can have some light even without the extension cord.

Attach file:



jpeg  2170816E-2F2D-4E71-90CE-C7928217F77B.jpeg (299.61 KB)
60923_5a8f3fdf76c58.jpeg 2048X1536 px

Posted on: 2018/2/22 14:15
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Re: A Tale of Two Patricians
Home away from home
Joined:
2017/10/3 15:46
From Los Angeles, California
Posts: 152
GO DON GO

Posted on: 2018/2/22 17:44
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