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Board index » All Posts (su8overdrive)




Re: Packards in the Sierra
#1
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su8overdrive
Must've been nice seeing a slew of old, authentic cars suddenly appear in the middle of nowhere.

However, the CCCA "determines" absolutely nothing except what 2,200 or so coupon clippers happen to like. The CCCA's listed membership figure includes what they call "associate members," aka wives. That the CCCA considers themselves the final arbiter is conceit.

Remember: No one used the term "classic" until LA attorney car buff Robert Gottlieb, writing in one of his 1951 Motor Trend columns, coined the term for the white elephants languishing on the backrow of any big city used car lot for want of unavailable tires. The next year, some 20- and 30-something tri-state executives and trust funders enamored of the big, expensive cars of the '20s, 30s, early '40s, started the CCCA. Since a few on their vanity list were postwar continuations, these were added through 1948.

The paucity of accepted sport cars tells you sheer size as much a CCCA requisite as anything, witness the more roadable Buick Roadmaster not accepted, but the same car with a few inches longer wheelbase and some fancier interior trim was.

I knew several of these early CCCAers. Some were nice, enthused folk. But a club is a club, and remember what Groucho said about them. Since those long ago days of more relaxed events, the CCCA has morphed into rubber chicken dinners at pricey hotels at which members exchange trophies. "Grand Classics," these meetings are called. New members are essentially fodder; numbers to imbue these trophies with value. Anyone long in this hobby well knows there is no such thing as a "100-point" car, and many are what old plane friends called "paint overhauls," witness the "trouble truck" a l w a y s bringing up the rear of any tour.

The CCCA's a club. No more, no less.

When a Duesenberg erroneously claimed to have been Greta Garbo's (she never owned, only drove it a few times) became the first automobile at major auction to approach $100,000 in 1972, suddenly everyone glommed onto the term "classic;" pizza, Coke, mortgage companies, oldies radio stations. The Korean War generation wanted their tri-Chevs and 1955-57 T-Birds to share the limelight, then the War II generation's boomer kids, tired of being in their shadow, so termed their Mustangs, muscle cars, et al.

Posted on: 5/18 14:57
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Re: What is needed to add overdrive to 50 Deluxe 288 engine?
#2
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su8overdrive
Respectfully, absolutely do n o t change your differential. It is a blessing in disguise if you're installing overdrive. Many install the slightly taller, more long-legged ring and pinions from cars leaving the factory without overdrive in overdrive cars for still more relaxed cruising on today's highways. There were Hudson dealers out West whose service departments often did this after the war for those driving long trips on increasingly faster roads, and imagine this done at Packard service departments, too. It is hard to over-gear a Packard, unless you live in the mountains and travel with a pair of Sumo wrestlers. You can always downshift, but it's a real drag to "run out of gears."

As late as 1950, most manual shift automobiles retained trucky rear axle ratios because not having to downshift, doing most driving in third gear, was a mark of refinement to people born or who came of age when horse-drawn delivery wagons still shared the roads. When your Packard was built, we still had speed limits as low as 35, and 60 was really moving. To many people, a little snappier acceleration was more important than reducing sustained piston speed.

This is not encouraging you to cruise at 80 mph, because brakes that were good for 1950, even by early '60s standards, are no match for today's ABS four-wheel discs and more crowded roads full of cellphone nattering, texting, tweeting folks eating, drinking, putting on make up. Well adjusted drum brakes can stop you as fast as discs, but can fade if repeated fast stops on mountain roads.

The other advice above is what you need. Jeff Adkins, Moose Motors, Penngrove (Petaluma, CA in the North Bay) has everything you need. (707) 792-9985, packardguy54@sbcglobal.net
Please tell him a '47 Super Clipper in Walnut Creek referred you.

Posted on: 5/14 15:11
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Re: 1947 Packard clipper
#3
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su8overdrive
Short but accurate story/overview: Packard consecutively won the Gallop Poll's Most Beautiful Car in America 1935-37. But their pontoon fendered '38s lost to Buick. Two years later, Packard aped the '38 Buicks' hood louvers in chintzy fashion. Also in 1938, Cadillac's 60 Special Fleetwood, originally intended as the '37 LaSalle, cribbing its thin window frames from the '37 Panhard et Levassor Dynamic, and Lincoln Zephyr's horizontal grille simply as it aided cooling, gave Packard and the industry something to think about. The "Ford-and-a-half's" sideways grille set the industry on a lateral quest, focusing on width, not height, witness the horizontal side grilles on so many '40s automobiles, including your Clipper, Delahaye, and Alfa Romeo.

Packard's small design staff was at an impasse, even sticking 1940's new narrowed grille on a '40 Buick. GM's racy new 1940 C bodies available on all GMobiles save Chevrolet, made Packard's 1938 restyle look staid, shopworn by 1941, when East Grand's traditional bodies were box office poison, while Buick's and Cadillac's hits. Since Packard Darrins were already a well received counter to Lincoln's Continental, East Grand asked Dutch Darrin to render something. He did, and Alex Tremulis, then working for Briggs, and other insiders confirm the Clipper's theme was Darrin's, if adapted by Packard. East Grand's design chief, Werner Gubitz, responsible for Packard's crisp, chiseled look in the '30s, helping Packard look apart from the crowd, enabling the Company to capture 42% of all fine car (above $2,000 FOB) business through '36, and especially Howard Yaeger, even the '33 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow's designer, Phil Wright, were involved. They made a few changes: stopping the flow of the front fenders into the front doors, not at the bottom of the rear fenders as Darrin had, and Buick would, in bolt-on fashion, for 1942, decreased the size of Darrin's rear window for a more formal look, small bumps to conceal the vestigal runningboards, and used some GM C body cues.

Though introduced April first, 1941, halfway through that model year, and priced between the traditional bodied 120 and 160, the new Clipper outsold the former. Ford's Mustang was also introduced mid-year, in April '64, as a hedge, since that's traditionally when used car inventories at their lowest. Had war not intervened, largely Clipperized 1942 would've been Packards biggest year since 1937, when they whored themselves silly offering the little six--which should've been called something other than Packard-- but after years of Depression worry, who can blame them, and Packard had been offering juniors since late 1905; their Single Six/Six outsold the Eight over five to one through the 1920s. But Packard had never fielded a junior for less than a grand 'til the terrific '35 120, calling in B-O-P production men to help cost the project, even recruiting Chevrolet's sales manager Bill Packer to teach their dealers how to sell credit purchases to the middle class.

Packard was already fading, 1929 had been their most profitable year ever, and that was a long time ago. Owning the fine car business through 1936 was moot, since that was a slivver of industry sales. Their 1932-39 Twin Six/Twelve had never been intended as top of the line, only a 376 c.i. FWD V-12 Buick Model 80/90 contender, front wheel drive then the rage, witness Ruxton, Cord L-29, Miller racing cars, and was cheaper to produce than conventional rear wheel drive. But Cadillac, faced with three ton customs, realized a bigger V-8 would bring thermodynamic, balance, cooling woes. So after years of crowing over their V-8, to Packard's chagrin, introduced a straight eight with the firing impulses halved, a V-16, able to use their existing transmission. But with a public seeing more as better, Packard hurriedly stroked the new V-12--similar to Auburn's 391-ci Lycoming V-12 even to the splayed valve layout -- dropping it into the existing Custom 8 chassis, the '32 Twin Six having cooling issues as a result. Pierce Arrow's V-12, with three more main bearings, was designed from the outset as power for massive luxe barouches. However, if using GM's complicated valve silencers under license, while Pierce their patented new hydraulic valve lifters, Packard's Twelve was otherwise nonpareil, thanks to their penchant for over-engineering, quality, refinement, abetted by Gubitz's aforementioned sculpted tailoring, a chassis a trace more modern than Pierce's, certainly than the big archaic Lincolns which nonetheless had the finest craftsmanship of any big domestic, rivaling Rolls-Royce, which England's own respected Laurence Pomeroy dismissed as "a triumph of craftsmanship over engineering."

The point of this rainy Saturday afternoon digression, P-49, is to underscore that an already waning Packard was facing a new era preferring smart, rationally sized upscale, thanks to engineering improvements making sheer size look comic opera dated, so survival demanded a coup, the Clipper being Packard's last. Remember, too, that the P-51 Mustang, powered by a Packard-built Rolls-Royce engine, was called "the Cadillac of the skies."

Packard's later Ultramatic absorbed war profits merely as GM would not allow Packard to use Hydra-Matic until a year passed after any improvement East Grand made. So the Company conjured, essentially, a Dynaflow with lock up torque convertor, since smoothness was a Packard byword. East Grand's sole major engineering feat of the '50s, Torsion Level, was from an outside engineer after GM and Ford declined, Chrysler having torsion bars at the front only for '57, as Lagonda had in '38 while using after the war, a copy of Packard's prewar Safe-T-Flex i.f.s at the rear -- at the front postwar Rolls-Royce and Bentley. In 1948, Coventry's new Mark V saloon and the XK-120 intended to promote the Mark VII saloon's new engine had front torsion bars. The 1941-47 Clipper abandoned Safe-T-Flex for the same reasons Crewe did 1956 on; cost cutting, and the new, lowered floor pans allowed no room for the long torque arms.


Though Packard insiders including John Reinhart wanted to retain and his word, "sweeten" the Clipper, Packard felt pressured by developments of the new envelope bodies postwar, and blew as much of their war profits clobbing 200 lbs. of pork onto the svelte Clipper as an entirely new body would've cost. The same year that sad effort debuted, even as Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Chrysler, even Studebaker about to debut or working on ohv V-8s, Packard, addicted to less hassle, lucrative govt. and jet engine contracts, increasingly phoning in their cars for the sake of largely heartland middle-class conservatives glad to have something called "Packard," bothered only to introduce a pair of new versions of their 1935 One Twenty engine. Good flathead straight eights, certainly. For hobbyists today. Not for the company that once led, not followed, the industry, guided as Packard now was by former GM production managers.

For Packard's final new body, East Grand parked a Chevy-based '49 Olds in their styling studio, told John Reinhart and his small crew to use its cowl and roof heights as their guide. Steel cheaper than glass, the "high pockets" result was decried by its skilled designer, John Reinhart, tho' one observer complimented its hood being akin to a Cisatalia, unfortunately offset by what Consumer Reports called "the largest and probably the homeliest grille die casting in the industry."

Treasure your Clipper. Packard's ads for it in 1941 alluded to a trio of famed designers, unnamed. Masonic, Detroit Athletic Club, boardroom egos at Packard would hardly admit their company saving bellringer was thanks to a foul-mouthed raconteur and lady's man living in Hollywood. Dutch Darrin had a habit of over-selling, self-aggrandizing. He did not need to do that, anymore than Jelly Roll Morton and Little Richard needed to proclaim they invented jazz and rock 'n' roll.

Educated folk, a man, and a woman, driving late model top-rung BMW, and Mercedes, approached me at the gas station, filling my '47 Super Clipper, a Buick Roadmaster according to Packard, asking if it was "a Bentley" or "one of those big Jaguar sedans from the '50s." R-R/Bentley could do no better in their 1956-on Silver Cloud/S-Type than razor edge your Clipper adding the dubious achievement of a curved, one-piece windshield.

Posted on: 5/4 19:10
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Re: 47 Packard Speedster
#4
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su8overdrive
Leeedy makes good points. This wonderful site is for those admiring, owning, rebuilding, servicing Packards. We should ban crapola like the above, rendered by and for twits with no education, or curiosity about the genuine article. By giving butcherers a forum, we imbue their cluelessness with credibility.

This is how we disappear. We contribute to our own demise.

Posted on: 4/29 21:39
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Re: New Engine
#5
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su8overdrive
Pipesarge, why not install a (Packard) 327 instead? Bolt in proposition, more power. While you're at it, get a four-barreled 327 from a 1953 or '54 donor. The 288 is a good mill, and will wind, but lacks even a two-barreled 327's oomph. Packard service departments made such changes, just as if you brought in a prewar 120 needing an engine, they'd replace the 282 with a 288.

While Olds, Cad, Chrysler, even Studebaker about to unveil or working on new ohv V-8s, a waning Packard addicted to fat War II defense contracts was more interested in more lucrative, less hassle govt. and jet engine business, so instead only offered a pair of revisions of their 1935 One Twenty engine. The 288 and 327 were excellent flathead straight eights for the benefit of today's hobbyists, if diminishing Packard's stature in their day. Take advantage of that situation.

Posted on: 4/26 20:43
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Re: On 356, which cylinders does the inboard idle adjustment screw
#6
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su8overdrive
Kevin, meant to ask that, it being my surmise. But i bow to others here.

Posted on: 4/25 15:05
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Re: On 356, which cylinders does the inboard idle adjustment screw
#7
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su8overdrive
T h a t was my initial guess. Thank you, Dr. Miller. BTW, your Speedwell Garage YouTubes are terrific.

Posted on: 4/24 22:09
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On 356, which cylinders does the inboard idle adjustment screw
#8
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su8overdrive
primarily serve? Or are the two idle adjustment screws only for the barrel above each in the carb?

Attach file:



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Posted on: 4/24 18:38
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Re: 1947 356 valve clearance
#9
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su8overdrive
Right. HH56 always speaks the truth.

Regarding the mechanical liftered engines, a wise auld mechanic's practice to prevent valve scorching was to use a go/no-go gauge, set intake at .007-.009, exhaust .010-.012 engine warm and running, or at least thoroughly warmed. Packard's focus on smoothness usually second-tiered performance, not that well-tuned Packards were slugs. Howard Reed, a Buick alum, tried to convince Packard mgmt. to adopt not just overhead valves, but overhead cam. He was told the additional noise would be unseemly. Read: Reduce Packard's profit margins.

Some buffs forget that Packard's raison d' etre was not to produce toys for us 70, 80, 90 years hence, but return profit. Before the war, Packard was the second most widely held automotive stock after only GM. (Ford didn't go public 'til New Year's Day, 1956.) Packard's legal counsel, Henry E. Bodman, rewrote the Merlin contract so that it became the basis of government agreements for years to come. Packard's war work was not altruism, but for profit. Just as it was not the "Packard Merlin," but the Rolls-Royce Merlin for which Packard hired a phalanx of draftsman at taxpayer expense to redraw the plans suitable for Detroit production. Britain produced twice the Merlins as Packard, and each series either side of the Atlantic equally good.
The PT boats were not as good as the German Diesel schnellboots, or fast boats, and used the more dangerous gasoline at sea simply as we never had a gas shortage and it simplified logistics. Gas rationing was to conserve vital rubber.

Perspective aids discussion of nuts and bolts; why as well as how.

Posted on: 4/23 18:20
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Re: 1949 2262 Died On Me
#10
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su8overdrive
Pinhole leak in carburetor float?

Posted on: 4/19 20:21
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