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Re: Packard blanket
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Lap robes as the listing appeared in my 1916 Earle C. Anthony Packard Accessories folder. Price ranged from $9 to $30... a lot of money for those days. Fabrics and patterns varied widely.

As for robe rails on the 1956 Caribbeans, they were certainly planned to be on these cars. And they were a nice design. A few very early pilot vehicle seats were actually made. These seats featured an extruded aluminum bar on the seatbacks. But as a safety measure for rear-seat passenger heads (Ford had the heat on in a big safety program at the time), these were quickly deleted from 1956 Caribbean seatbacks. And that was that.

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Posted on: 6/19 13:14

Re: Legit or a scam?
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Poor car. Something not mentioned here but definitely unusual –and normally a saving grace– is that this Patrician has (or HAD) rare factory air conditioning. Note the vent doors atop the dash and the extra control knob.

I can only wonder how much of the factory A/C system is remaining intact and whether this much could even be salvaged.

Yanking the engine and trans to essentially morph-rod it just tossed all the value and interest in the dumpster. Sad. I am always amazed when low production cars with rare features are trashed instead of restored. Once everything is yanked out and brand-X stuff is in or half-way there (and thus un-sellable to someone who would otherwise love it), these things are usually, mysteriously put up for sale. Why not sell it unmolested? With the engine, trans and factory A/C intact, it would at least have potential.

At this point, the rare parts and goodies have likely been gutted or gone. Too bad.

Posted on: 6/18 20:07

Re: 1956 Air Conditioning
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The important things you need to know and remember are not in a guide that was written when the cars were new.

Having removed and installed several Packard factory air systems, I'll pass along a few things to keep in mind with removing and/or transferring Packard V8 factory air systems.

• By all means, be absolutely certain there is no freon in the lines. I know of someone years ago who was nearly blinded after pressurized freon shot out of the lines. He had presumed since the car was sitting for many years that the system had leaked empty. Bad assumption.

• Very first parts to remove–AND with great care– are the Bakelite A/C vents atop the instrument panel. Save the screws. Back off of the screws carefully. Extract the vents carefully as they may be stuck in their rubber connections. Too much pressure or yanking may result in broken housings. Remember, this old Bakelite may be extremely brittle and delicate.

• NEVER twist on the fittings at the base of the firewall without using fitting wrenches on BOTH the 2 fittings–nut and threaded fitting. Hold the pipe steady while twisting the nut. IF you don't do this, you will either crack or snap off the base line at the evaporator core and thus will ruin it. If you break the evaporator core you'll end up remaking or repairing the whole assembly.

• It is far better to remove the entire instrument panel and SAVE it intact. Most people overlook the fact that the fresh air controls are different. The cables are different.

• Remove the ENTIRE wire harness from the ignition switch to the dash control. The electric harness–including the fuse box–is different.

• Look for and remove ALL of the lines going to and from the condenser core (in front of the radiator) and the dryer (below the headlight, behind the grille in the left front fender). BE sure to remove and save all parts, nuts, bolts, screws and be sure to include the in-line sight glass WITH cap. Many of these parts are missing from these Packards.

• Be sure to remove and save the radiator FAN, the extra front pulley WITH the bolt that holds it into the vibration dampener.

There are other things one needs to do and know in removing, changing or installing one of these systems.

If you are a member of The Packard Club, watch for an upcoming issue containing a story about the Packard V-8 factory air conditioning system in The Packard Cormorant.

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Posted on: 6/17 10:43

Re: Packard Bikes
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And now... from 1949 all the way to 1976 and back to almighty Schwinn.

Here you can see I didn't just recently get involved with Packard bicycles. No matter how many "experts" there are on the internet and in the hobby and on TV–being worshipped and adored (and paid huge money) today.

And while folks are bowing and groveling to guys on TV who claim they stumbled "into bicycles" in the very late 1980s... here is what was happening at least 10 years earlier!

I collected my first Schwinn literature in the early 1950s and accumulated thousands of pieces. I got my first Phantom in the 1950s. Started restoring them in the late 1960s. Started writing about them (including in newsletters and magazines like POPULAR MECHANICS) in the 1970s. By the 1970s I already had a fleet of Packard-branded bicycles. So this is how I know this stuff... for well over 50 years.

Here is a letter from Schwinn (yesss, in Chicago...I had correspondence with them for at least 20 years until new regimes took over and the company developed amnesia). Companies only remember what they want to remember.

People have VERY short memories (even shorter than the companies). The internet and TV have erased nearly everything and everyone they choose to ignore for the convenience of creating new "experts" out of thin air. Experts by self-proclamation, the internet, a TV camera and a microphone, a web site... but not time spent accumulating knowledge and information.

With the internet and TV, whatever went on in the previous world could then be easily filtered out–as if it never happened. This is how it works. And this is how seriously important people in bicycle history like Marshal "Major" Taylor were allowed to die penniless and then be buried in un-marked pauper graves after making millions for the very industry that forgot all about him. This part is conveniently forgotten... or purposely swept under the rug. Let's pretend this didn't happen! Today with Major Taylor safely dead, heyyyy ... the internet LOVES him. There are "experts" and Taylor "collectors" all over the place. There are clubs named after him. Monuments in his honor. Evvvvverybody loves Major. Everybody knows about Major. And there are articles and magazines and new books about Major. There are documentaries And films and web sites. If I show an original bicycle component designed by Major Taylor in my collection these days, somebody born after the Apollo moon landing wants to know the "provenance"! But where was the love when Major was starving and couldn't get a biscuit to eat? When he was desperately selling his own books door-to-door and was dying all alone? Where was the love when Major's body laid unclaimed in an Illinois morgue for a month? Where was the love when love COUNTED?

Anyway, when the Holy Grail company decided to repop the Black Phantom in 1995– DECADES after I revived it and made it famous in magazines and newsletters (even on CBS TV in the 1970s) nobody called me or wrote. They couldn't remember seeing mine on display at industry trade shows like BDS-EXPO and INTERBIKE over many years. I had the first Black Phantom in a collector newsletter. Had the first restored one featured in magazines. Had the first one on TV. Wrote the first history of Black Phantoms when even Schwinn couldn't remember the years they made them! But hey. All that was lost in the sands of time. There were new "experts" that dropped out of nowhere. Nobody offered a repop to me or asked advice on making them or about their history. And the new people had no idea who I was. Funny how this stuff works.

And Packard bicycles? Welll, shucks. Everybody knows they gave them away to sell cars–right? And everybody knows that you can make up any silly story about Packard bicycles and get it posted online or even in publications. It doesn't take any expertise. Make something up! Just dial up the almighty internet and google and DIY. Or turn on the tube and watch guys on TV. Now how would I know something about Packard bicycles when we have DIY bicycle sites and TV guys???? How indeed?!

Anyway... here is one of Schwinn's Schwinn-centric explanations of the Packard name on bicycles they built. It is mostly correct, but leads one to falsely believe that Schwinn Bicycle Company had some kind of lock on using the Packard brand or was the only bicycle company using this sales method. Schwinn neither invented this method nor had any kind of exclusive on using it–no matter who may say otherwise today.

Schwinn also did NOT invent balloon tires on bicycles. But that's another story. No matter how many mountain bike guys and fanatical collectors, museums and "historians" say otherwise. This is a VERY easily invalidated fallacy–no matter how many years it has persisted.

The last part of the letter from Schwinn has the nice fellow attempting to educate me about something I already well very knew, having worked at the OEM level in the car industry–and having designed a few things myself. Some that actually –YES–got made and out in the market. I already knew for certain where the Schwinn headlight evolved from ...and personally knew car designers who also did bicycles. So this part of the response here is dead wrong. And I knew for certain that in the 1920s to 1960s American bicycles copied cars and American cars copied bicycles. But hey. I didn't argue. I enjoyed getting the letters–and I have stacks of them.

Important note: reference here in the letter to "Schwinn's California Cruiser" model is yet another point to ponder. That model name wasn't Schwinn's at all. Nor was the beach cruiser idea. It actually belonged to my old friend Larry McNeely who owned a bicycle shop named "ReCycled Cycles" back then. He sold both old and new bicycles and began holding swap meets in the 1970s where I was always present.

The shop was located in Newport Beach, then Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach, California. Larry more or less formalized the notion of a balloon tire bicycle made for cruising the paths at the beach. Larry came up with a bicycle he called (you got it) "California Cruiser" and went into limited production with them– special headbadge and all (yes I have a NOS headbadge and original sales flyers–see image below).

The generic term was "beach cruiser"... and most were originally cobbled together out of old balloon tire bicycles. The idea spread all the way to Florida and the Keys where they called them "conch cruisers." Schwinn visited Larry's shop, smelled money and voila! Suddenly they soon afterward had their own "California Cruiser" model–even put it in catalogues. But... all without benefit of permission. But Larry successfully made them stop using the name. So? Schwinn changed the model name to...er..uh... "Spitfire." So if you run across one of the "California Cruiser" models, you actually have a rare bird–especially these days. Poor Larry never received credit or real financial reward for all his hard work. But a lot of people sure cashed in on his ideas. Now you know.

By the way... anyone telling you that Schwinn alone devised this method of selling bicycles under many different headbadges or brand names is naively and sadly mistaken. This method in fact was used by the ENTIRE American bicycle industry for the better part of 100 years. Everybody did it. Not just Schwinn.

And the Schwinn-Built Packard I was restoring in the mid 1970s? It turned out to be a 1939 Packard DX Deluxe– red and ivory. It had mostly original paint, headlight, rear carrier and horntank. I completely restored it to like new (my restorations were real restorations–back to original, not refurbishes with a set of new wheels and brand-X parts from modern times). And yes, not only did I have the factory serial list as of 1977, but I had also begun work on pre-1948 Schwinn serial numbers–something nobody had. This was decades before there was any kind of hobby or internet presence or widespread circulation of serial listings. And my lists differ from the ones distributed in "the hobby" today.

You've already seen my Schwinn-Built 2-tone green 1941 Packard Deluxe Autocycle earlier in this thread. And you've seen my 1940 blue & cream Schwinn-Built Deluxe DX. Now you know about my 1939 and you have evidence I was restoring it 45 years ago! Of course I have many other Packard bicycles not made by ASC.

As for anyone today claiming expertise on Packard bicycles or Schwinn-Built bicycles of any kind... or parading around on TV being paid millions (with fleets of trucks and research staffs) or internet videos claiming to know "history" of these bicycles, ask them what THEY were doing in 1976? Bet they can't tell you this stuff or SHOW you this stuff. And how many prewar Schwinn-Builts, Black Phantoms or Packard bicycles they have owned and restored? Ask them to show you their correspondence files with Schwinn Bicycle Company in or before the 1970s (and believe me, I've got piles more). I did it all alone without TV camera crews, research staffs, sound crews, fleets of trucks, multi-million dollar budgets, NO internet, no web sites, no organized hobby, no repopped parts... well, perhaps you get the picture.

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Posted on: 6/13 11:22

Re: Packard Bikes
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For those who said they could not see the Packard bicycle being given away in the 1949 bicycle contest, here is a more detailed view...

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Posted on: 6/13 11:04

Re: Packard Bikes
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Now let's roll forward to 1949 and more Colson-Built Packard bicycles. This original ad does not mention "Colson" because Colson was only the manufacturer. "Packard" was NOT a model of Colson bicycles. So the ad–as it should–only mentioned "Packard bicycle."

I can tell you that there are those who will look at this bicycle and quickly tell you it is from the 1930s or that it is "prewar" or "pre-war".... not true. This design existed both before AND after World War 2. (By the way, we have both boy's and girl's version of this design–original Packards).

Regardless. This indiana department store decided to have a bicycle contest. Now guess what they gave away? And–surprise– NO PACKARD AUTOMOBILES involved.

Also this ad also clearly refutes the Ohio chain store claim that Packard bicycles were "exclusive" to their stores.

As one bicycle guy said, "Hey you ruin everybody's fun by presenting the facts instead of made-up stories!" Awwww. Sorry.

Image courtesy of National Bicycle History Archive of America.(NBHAA.com)

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Posted on: 5/14 16:48

Re: 1958 Packard Pickup Truck (Argentina) - the last Packard?
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Packard Newbie wrote:
Some valid and relevant points made on both side of this conversation. Leeedy, I sure identify with your 'tire story'! It seems like a lot of store clerks and counter folks are so computer-dependent these days, that if it isn't easily findable of their work screen, their 'job is done'. Maybe it's just me, but it usually seems like it's the older guys who 'cut in' here and go do some physical checking, and think outside the box a bit. I know there are some cracker-jack youngsters out there too, but digitization, for all it's advantages and time savings, has also become a dependency issue that, if used for the sole source of info, can end up falling short of telling 'the whole story'. Chris.

Exactly Chris... this is also why we have so many absurd stories on the internet about Packard bicycles.

Or about Packard Panthers– wild stuff. This is why somebody would spend over $700,000 for a Panther that was done completely wrong, with bogus information and claimed to be a later car that it never was. Yet ignored the fact that it IS the first one made. Why? Because the internet and auction companies said so! Who ya gonna believe? Some old dude and a Packard Club article on old-fashioned paper in a magazine for members? OR car hawkers/flippers, auction companies and fancy whizz-bang web sites? (and this car is allllllll over the internet!!!). Forget the facts. Heaven forbid that we might actually have to go physically look in an old magazine or ask the club and people in it that have the facts. Let's go for the instant internet stuff that is just a marvelous click away! AND you can even get it on your phone!

And just recently a big company with a fancy web site is circulating a story that claims Packard Predictor was delivered from Italy without the interior installed. Wow. This despite the fact that in the video I saved of Predictor being uncrated, styling chief Bill Schmidt is sitting in the driver's seat, swiveling it (kinda hard to do if there was no interior). But the company has a web presence, swoopy web site and a huge audience. Let's ignore the Packard Club (which has provided lots of facts, including unknown inside information several times) and let's go for the internet stuff!

Or how about the 10-20 different versions of Earle C. Anthony's Packard neon story on the internet? All from "respected and knowledgeable sources" with whizz-bang web sites with "security" ratings, etc. These sources will tell you Mr. Anthony bought TWO signs (don't take my word for it... take a look and see). By the way, not true–no matter how many web sites, museums and neon "experts" say so.

These web sites will even quote prices Mr. Anthony supposedly paid. Not.

They'll tell you the first sign was mounted on top of Mr. Anthony's Packard dealership (not even close to being true).

And these sources will show you pictures claiming to be from 1923 of a Packard neon ... mounted on a building that did not exist until 1929–and the photo obviously (to someone who really knows) taken even after that!

The Packard Club revealed the exact, accurate story with photographs of Earle C. Anthony's neon Packard signs– years ago. But do we wanna recognize this accurate history? Or ignore it and go for the click-bait internet oleo? You know what has happened.

Mr. Anthony's papers DO exist and that is not at all what they say. Not at all. I got these papers fifty years ago directly from the company's assets and people who worked for Earle C. Anthony, Inc. No. These papers are not online. And the neon sign story (the accurate one) is not online either. But it exists.

So who're you gonna believe? A fancy-dancy web site that follows the popular myths every neon person swears by (courtesy of the internet)? Or somebody who knows? Nahh... let's go for door #1. It's quick and easy and we can click our computer mouse... and use links... or even do it on our phones. And we've got the almighty "wiki" (what a prize "source" this one is). No need to rely on things printed on paper–like in stuffy old libraries, museums or collections.

These are just a few examples of many that illustrate internet reality is not always reality reality.

Thank heaven for the internet and people who have done wondrous things with it. We owe them a lot. But not blind allegiance or singular dedication and the sole route to knowledge. Hopefully we have not yet become lemmings. Even the stuff that is on the internet has usually come from somebody's hard work in the past (the thing that some folks today want to pretend never existed–even while they discuss old cars). It is easy for someone to come along years later and post some thing on the internet and be praised and get credit for what appears in today's world to be a fact or new discovery. One can always stand tall doing so by standing on someone else's shoulders. Recognizing original sources is not a terrible thing. Ignoring them is.

There are plenty of very knowledgeable sources (real people) in the Packard Club. Some of them are the very reasons why this history has been kept alive since the 1950s. This stuff hasn't just fallen out of the sky. People physically saved it and promoted it. A lot of these people are already gone. Others are old guys who don't even use computers. But one can still ask them questions–even if it can't be done via DIY or point-and-click method or smart phones. Their names and even addresses are listed in every directory and every magazine... regardless of how cutting-edge whizz-bang the web site is or isn't. It is important to remember that the whole world is not digitized and online. And... there was also a reason why "snopes" was invented.

Posted on: 5/1 20:00

Re: 1958 Packard Pickup Truck (Argentina) - the last Packard?
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JeromeSolberg wrote:
I was unaware of the fact that this was known beforehand. I am a member of the Packard Club as well as the regional club where I live.

As noted, the Packard Club website is from an earlier era of the Internet, and does not (as far as I have been able to find) have a search feature. The Cormorant magazine index is available, but only as a PDF download.

Realistically, unless one had a physical copy of the magazine issue with the article about the Packard trucks in question, I don't know how anyone would be able to find out.

Just like many other things in the modern world, if it's not on the Internet, it doesn't exist, for practical purposes.

Yessss, these are important points. Yet these points illustrate that despite facts being facts, some today only recognize facts now if they can see these facts on the internet. Otherwise, they don't exist. This is the sad dilemma of the internet age and even the computer age.

I well remember going into a tire store wanting to buy a specific set of tires. The counter guy dutifully fired up his computer and then announced to me that not only did the store not carry that tire, but he did not recall ever seeing any in the store. Young fellow.

Of course, I was incredulous and merely pointed to the overhead rack just behind the fellow. There in plain view were a set of four of the very tires I wanted to buy! Yet the store guy was insisting to me there were none in the store and they didn't even carry the tire. Why? Because the computer on the counter told him so... in spite of the real things less than 10 feet away.

There is a danger in placing all of the world in the hands of a web site or a computer screen. While perhaps "for practical purposes" things not said or shown on the internet "don't exist" for some...they very well often do exist. And I know several people very deeply into Packards who don't even use computers or smart phones. Can we afford to ignore them and make internet reality the only reality? I sure hope not.

Posted on: 5/1 14:22

Re: 1958 Packard Pickup Truck (Argentina) - the last Packard?
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JeromeSolberg wrote:
Interesting article from Curbside Classics:

The last Packard-badged vehicle - a pickup truck?

Actually what may seem to be news or a "discovery" today in 2021 has actually been revealed many years ago in The Packard Cormorant magazine, the glossy publication of the Packard Club.

This Packard truck was covered along with original factory photos of the truck. So the existence of these trucks as well as their place in Packard history has indeed been documented and is known–unlike as implied by the linked source.

For whatever reason when histories of Packard pop up on the internet and in today's publications, a curious thing happens. These new postings and articles never seem to mention or look for what has already been covered by the Packard Club (also known as "Packard Automobile Classics").

The Packard Club's published histories have been monumental over the years. The Packard Club has existed since 1953 when Packard was still making cars. The club and its publications certainly deserve recognition for keeping the Packard flame alive when there were no other histories or sources preserving the name and what the company did. The place were people ought to look first seems to be the most ignored source today. That's too bad.

Posted on: 5/1 7:48

Re: Randy
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You seem to have two sets of rules when it comes to me, Mr. Guscha

1.) The question was asked by Robert.... So complain to Robert and send/post your rule corrections to Robert about whatever direction the thread went. I was merely responding to Robert's question. And it is about 1956 Caribbean and it is a valid question... even if perhaps some people don't want it discussed for what may be obvious reasons.

2.) You have certainly attempted to hijack my participation in other threads in the past. And you've made snide remarks (perhaps I should post about the etiquette rule over grudges). So? What is your morbid and deep interest here? And what is the do as you say, but don't do as you do ruling here?

Didn't you just "hijack" (according to your implication to me) R1lark's thread about Jim Nance and his father with the Predictor? You took us all the way to Russia on a non-Packard vehicle. You may have been responding to Rickey Dillinger's question... but how does that make the principle legit for you and not for me? Same thing. There is a word for this kind of barefaced hypocrisy in the USA... and you ought to know what it is.

Perhaps you don't want this talked about for a reason other than what you are saying?

Hijacking goes on in this forum all the time. But where are you when that happens? And why aren't you following the same "etiquette"? So why is it more grievous when it can be construed that I was somehow involved? I don't see you posting complaints or "etiquette directions" to others! Or following them yourself. So why chastise only me? Why direct your correction to only me?? Your slips are showing Guscha. We both know very well what this is really about.

As for anyone else such as the original poster who might in some way be bothered that I took the time to respond to Robert's question (how dare I?) ... hey, my sincere apologies.

So... let's talk some more about Randy's Caribbean.

Posted on: 4/27 12:03

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