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Re: Packard Bikes
#1
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Leeedy
Now... on to 1920 and Harley-Davidson Bicycles. Just to show that the 1925 Packard bicycle made by Arnold, Schwinn & Company had more brethren... submitted for your approval is the Harley-Davidson 1920 bicycle model 220.

Yesss, Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company had a bicycle division and they indeed manufactured and sold bicycles starting with the 1917 model year. National Bicycle History Archive of America (NBHAA.com) has all of the original Harley-Davidson bicycle catalogues, advertisements and other items from the factory. (The sample catalogue page displayed here is from the 1920 prestige catalogue. There was also a smaller sized fold-out catalogue that year. Both were printed on glossy coated stock. Individual pages and folded catalogues on yellow parchment paper –and there are a lot around today–are fakes.)

H-D used bicycle hardware largely supplied to them by Davis Sewing Machine Company (ancestor company of today's Huffy bicycle brand in case you are wondering). All of which raises the question of who was copying who... and which of the many arch-bar frames running around in the 1920s was legal and legitimate? Since Iver Johnson Bicycles owned the U.S. Patent on this bicycle frame design, how was ASC able to use it to make Packard bicycles? How was Harley-Davidson able to do it and be legit?

While there are rumors that Iver Johnson licensed the design to a French bicycle maker, there don't seem to be indications of others with licensed usage. Perhaps. But then with Harley-Davidson using Davis, this would mean that both Davis AND H-D would have needed licenses... and things get very complicated, huh?

By the way, if you are surprised to learn about Harley-Davidson bicycles, also be aware that most that turn up today are fakes. Since repop headbadges and fake "H-D" chain sprockets were unleashed on the market years go, there has been an explosion of Harley-Davidson bicycles. A very large percentage of Harley bicycles around today have been converted from existing old Davis hardware. And nobody ever confesses that their Harley bicycle is a fake. Every Harley-Davidson bicycle that shows up in an auction or museum (and there are a bunch of them) is always claimed to be original. One even turned up not long ago on the cover of a magazine (the editor and photographer apparently not knowing any better than to feature a color photo of a bicycle with modern Philips-head screws attaching the headbadge– EEeeeek!). So who is buying all of the repop fake headbadges and "H-D" chain sprockets all over the place? Good question. Anyway, don't be too impressed when a nice shiny Harley-Davidson bicycle turns up in an auction or on TV...

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Posted on: 9/14 13:51
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Re: Those needing door panels.
#2
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Leeedy
Quote:

kevinpackard wrote:
Thanks for the info Leeedy. I had previously considered trying to save my door panels, and what you said made me want to see if that's possible. I pulled my door panels out of storage to see what can be done. Pictures are in my build thread here.

-Kevin


HH56 already has given you good advice in your other thread concerning your door panels.

In addition to that, I would try to contact an old-time professional trimmer and pay them to bring your door panels back to life. There ARE still old guys out there and old automotive trim shops that know their stuff. It's just a matter of finding them. From what I have seen in your photos, your panels really don't look all that bad–if you are careful and do them the right way.

You'll need somebody who is skillful enough to know how to handle very old padding, embossings, and overall trim–especially vinyl. And somebody who knows how to handle a heat gun without melting things. There once were automotive trimmer's unions around the country. You might want to consider at least talking with an old-time auto trimmer who is familiar with 1950s interior work.

Posted on: 9/6 12:55
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Re: Those needing door panels.
#3
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Leeedy
Quote:

kevinpackard wrote:
Quote:

Leeedy wrote:

The panel shown here appears to have been made by Mitchell-Bentley. They did a lot of Packard's interiors in the 1950s.

This panel was made using a combination of heat-embossing, steam, and attached metal components with a pressed, un-tempered masonite or similar fiberboard backing. Very complicated door panel. The difficult part here was not the fabrics... it was the embossing (and related dies), the attachments, and frankly, the labor and machinery involved. Very tough to replicate.


Thank you Leeedy, that is information that is new to me. I haven't found much on the internet about embossed door panels, but what I did find looked like it involved very specialized machinery and dies.

So if not SMS, what are the options for someone like me who needs this type of embossing? Any way to DIY it without it looking terrible?

-Kevin


Okay, I'm always reluctant to get into details on such stuff because of the nature of the internet and so many opinions.

What I'm telling you is not opinion. It is only what I know after having spent a lifetime in the automotive industry.

What I said about Mitchell-Bentley's process is simply fact. I saw them making panels such as these with my own eyes. They made millions in their plants.

While an aftermarket trim company today could likely duplicate the embossing, it could only be done at great expense unless economies of scale are involved, such as doing Chevy repops at a few thousand per run. Otherwise the cost of making dies, fixtures and patterns would be absolutely crushing on a onesy-twosy basis.

I am attaching an original photo of some embossed door panels being made at M-B. Even with HUGE machinery, dies, lots of steam and lots of workers, these things were not cheap.

As for skipping the embossing...if it's not worth doing right, then it's not worth doing at all. There used to be a difference between "restoration" and "customizing" even if these two concepts have sadly been morphed together by folks today.

Take your time and SAVE any savable embossed sections on your door panels. Clean them properly. Preserve them... and insert into any reconstituted panel whenever possible. There are undoubtedly still some talented auto trim shops and trimmers left around today. But never imagine that some company today can do an affordable reproduction– even if such miracles can occur. Keeping a trimmer or trim shop on tab while the meter is running can really put a hitch in your get-a-long.

With unlimited time, talent and energy certainly you can build or own dies or make male and female molds, locate suitable fabrics and shrink-mold your way into embossing.

Of course, if you have a Bill Gates or Elon Musk-sized wallet, then anything is possible.

My sincere advice is to take very, very good care of what you have already.

Attach file:



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Posted on: 9/4 16:51
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Re: Those needing door panels.
#4
Home away from home
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Leeedy
Quote:

kevinpackard wrote:
Darn. That's what I have unfortunately. Picture is of the panels that were stashed in my trunk when I got the car. They are now stored away in the attack so they would stop taking up space. They are not in good condition.

-Kevin


The panel shown here appears to have been made by Mitchell-Bentley. They did a lot of Packard's interiors in the 1950s.

This panel was made using a combination of heat-embossing, steam, and attached metal components with a pressed, un-tempered masonite or similar fiberboard backing. Very complicated door panel. The difficult part here was not the fabrics... it was the embossing (and related dies), the attachments, and frankly, the labor and machinery involved. Very tough to replicate.

Posted on: 9/2 21:06
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Re: Packard Bikes
#5
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Leeedy
Since I have been on the subject of ASC's 1925 Packard bicycle clone of Iver Johnson's model 87... and since I have mentioned World Champion TOC bicycle racer Major Taylor (who made I-J's bicycles famous)– and the fact that his death went ignored, I want to pay tribute to another related life and death.

I have only recently learned that my friend, Andrew Ritchie, who wrote a 1980s biography book of Major Taylor has just passed. I got Andrew onto a Los Angeles radio show and other publicity for him years ago when his book was first published. We spent time touring around SoCal. Of course we exchanged numerous communications over the years.

Andrew wrote a first-class history of Major Taylor and wrote other books as well. Although he was originally from the United Kingdom, we met decades ago in Northern California and continued to communicate for many years. After many years of living in California, Andrew returned to the U.K. in recent years where there is still water and greenery. He was reportedly out in nature, observing a meteor shower on one of his last nights.

While this is a slight bit tangental to Packard bicycles, it is directly important in light of the information I have provided for you in this thread–especially in recent postings. Whether you knew Andrew or not... and whether you read his books or not, he was a great writer, great historian and a good friend. His loss is a huge one.

I am including a photo of Andrew and myself (I'm holding Andrew's Major Taylor bio and Major Taylor's own rare original book that Taylor wrote). Both books are autographed. Nobody seems to remember it, but I appeared discussing Major Taylor in the HBO TV Arthur Ashe production documentary of Journey of the African American Athlete. This 1996 film documentary was narrated by famous actor, Samuel L. Jackson and featured a number of sports celebrities...

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jpeg  AndrewRitchieAutographToLeon copy.jpeg (4,336.81 KB)
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Posted on: 8/28 13:58
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Re: Packard Bikes
#6
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Leeedy
Now to an early 1930s bicycle wholesale-distributor catalogue that shows bicycle ornaments. The ornaments here were clearly scaled-down pieces inspired by automobile radiator ornaments.

Note the "Flying Lady" ornament in the lower right-hand corner, similar the the one featured on Packard automobiles. Except in this case, the "donut" wheel the lady is "chasing" has been flattened!

Over the years in the USA there were numerous Packard-inspired bicycle ornaments. I showed you some of these ornaments earlier in this thread. Here is yet another.

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jpeg  PackardBicycleOrnament.jpeg (1,906.75 KB)
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Posted on: 8/28 11:19
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Re: SEEKING INFORMATION AND PHOTOS OF "PACARTI" PACKARD CARIBBEAN
#7
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Leeedy
Quote:

ECAnthony wrote:
The "Pacarti" was featured in the Spring 1965 issue of The Cormorant magazine.


Yessss, indeed it was! As always, you're sharp! And that was about the last time I saw pics (there was a fellow with some very fuzzy and dark pics at a PAC National in the 1970s in the Chicago area, but would not let them be copied). But I have heard of it again in the years since. Just no more pics. But I have a good reason for asking.

Thanks ECAnthony!

Posted on: 8/6 18:18
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SEEKING INFORMATION AND PHOTOS OF "PACARTI" PACKARD CARIBBEAN
#8
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Leeedy
Hello. For a number of years I have been on the trail of a special 1953 Packard Caribbean that was badged "Pacarti" with unusual features.

One was last seen in Missouri in the 1960s but has since disappeared. Does anyone out there know information about this car or any like it? Thanks.

Posted on: 8/6 14:34
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Re: Flipper Repairs
#9
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Leeedy
Quote:

Owen_Dyneto wrote:
In my earlier years "flippers" referred to semaphore directional signals as used on many early Europlean vehicles, also sometimes called "wig-wags". Just for interest here's a really unique semaphore.


Yes. Same here. WOW. That is one serious semaphore... and it appears to be on a Packard? Let's see more!

By the way, Los Angeles had "STOP" and "GO" semaphore traffic signals for many years but they quickly disappeared after WWII. Look for one on a famous L.A. intersection of the 1930s in an upcoming issue of The Packard Cormorant magazine.

Posted on: 8/5 12:37
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Re: Flipper Repairs
#10
Home away from home
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Leeedy
Quote:

HH56 wrote:
I believe he is referring to the weatherstrips used on the hardtops above the door windows. Because they flip up for clearance when the door opens and down to cover the gap when the door closes I have often heard those items called flippers. I believe their official name is Weatherstrips, hinge type, and listed in parts book in group 30.344.

I don't know of anyone in the Packard world who mentions repairs but Tucson Packards does seem to repair a lot of items no one else offers services for so maybe worth a phone call to them. I seem to recall reading that the same weatherstrips or at least a very similar item was also used on some GM cars in that era. Maybe one of their vendors would be a possibility or might know of someone.


Okay. So many new names are being made up these days that I can't keep up with it all. We used to call these gadgets "door flaps" or "hardtop door flaps."

Yes, GM absolutely DID use spring-hinged stainless weatherstrips that "flipped" back and forth with door opening and closing. Just like Packard's versions.

Rather than repairing these pieces, it might be far easier (and cheaper) to simply start buying up a few sets off of the many sitting parts cars around the country. These parts were the same for Packard hardtops whether they be Four Hundreds or Caribbeans. The few I've ever seen failed were usually due to never being lubricated or a spring giving out (or both).

As for the term "flipper"... In the 1940s and 1950s around Detroit, when people said "flippers" they meant bars or blades or spinners or anything attached to wheel covers that glinted in the sunlight and appeared to be "flipping" as the car drove along. Some rodders and customizers back then actually used to hammer out wheelcovers so that the caps poked welll out from the wheels and then attached Oldsmobile or Dodge spinners to them. Some even went to the hardware store and bought chrome drawer pull handles and screwed those onto wheel covers. These were all generically known (at least in those days) as "flippers."

Even the 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept car had bright shining thin bars added to the wheels and people around Detroit back then called these "flippers" too. And then there was this dolphin...

Posted on: 8/5 11:50
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