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Re: Are 57 and 58 Packards really Packards
#31
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Predictor
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Quote:

BH wrote:

Now, back in the dark days in the bunker, while S-P looke into the building of Packards on Lincoln bodies, Duncan MacRae was exploring the possibility of building Studebakers on Ford shells, but neither program came to fruition. (Funny, but I get a Packard "sensation" from the '58-'60 Lincoln Premieres.)


Funny you should mention that...I think there IS a Lincoln connection. Bill Schmidt had styled Lincolns before coming to Packard and may have had a hand in or knew of the upcoming 58-60's and in turn influenced Teague in the design of the '57 Packards. It's reported that Schmidt designed the Predictor under Teague's direction.

I recall seeing someone's stalled project in which he began to convert a 58-60 Lincoln into a '57 Packard. There are MANY styling details shared between the two, not the least of which is the roof line, the way the dash and rear package shelf are on the same plane as the hood and trunk lid (respectively) which gives the illusion of yet greater length...the overall size and proportions also match.

You're correct regarding Roy Hurley and the Hawk. The original was a car specially built for him and the padded exterior armrests were his pet feature. Gadzooks! An answer to an unasked question!

Just found THIS Schmidt related link

Posted on: 2009/9/7 22:51
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Re: Are 57 and 58 Packards really Packards
#32
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BH
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Interesting link, and I'm glad to hear that so much of his work survives in the hands of the Henry Ford museum.

I visited that museum back in 1989 or so, shortly after a complete and beautiful renovation of the automobile exhibit, and was pleased to find an original rendering and scale model of the Predictor donated by Wm. Schmidt himself.

In a visit to another museum, a few years later, I was surprised to find there was a bit more to the story regarding these two artifacts. I'll try to come back and tell that later today.

Posted on: 2009/9/8 8:04
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Re: Are 57 and 58 Packards really Packards
#33
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BH
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Back in the 1992, I made a trip to the Studebaker Museum in South Bend to do a little research in their Archives. I had learned, from a previous tour in 1991, that the museum had received what was left of the Studebaker corporate record, and since Packard had merged with Studebaker in 1954, I though there might be some good technical info there for my V8s that hadn't been available to the public. Specifically, I was hoping to obtain copies of Packard Service Technical Bulletins (STBs) to fill in the gaps in my collection, looking to see what bulletins Studebaker might have published (if any) in the years that followed, and browsing for anything else on the mysterious engine oiling issues. They literally had tons material (paper, in large quantities, is surprisingly dense) - not including countless cabinets full of engineering drawings that were off limits (that is, until the terms of that separate donation were complete).

Visits for research were by appointment only, but you're not allowed to simply pour through the shelves unattended. Instead, a curator would bring file boxes, one or two at a time, to large table for me to sift through. I found a complete set of STBs for 1955-56, including the seldom-seen Zone-only issues. I also found a binder that had belonged to T. W. Nertney, Packard's Service Technical Manager back then, which contained master texts for inner-company correspondence with interesting insights on a few service issues. My time and funds were already running short when I found a binder of Studebaker Service Bulletins (SSBs), and I only managed to copy a handful of articles pertaining to some immediate issues with my three V8s.

Yet, near the end of my journey to discovery, I happened across a report regarding the disappearance of a rendering and scale model of the Predictor. Naturally, that rang a bell, given my visit, just a few years earlier, to the Henry Ford museum - where I saw those two very artifacts on display. However, I clearly remember reading on cards accompanying the display that each of those items had been donated by Wm. Schmidt.

As I read on through the report, it seems that an outside agency (Pinkerton, IIRC) had been employed to investigate the disappearance and report their findings. Apparently, these two artifacts came up missing as Detroit operations were being shutdown and assets relocated to South Bend. The agency interviewed scores of employees, but while it was clear that they were targeting Schmidt, they could not come up with the artifacts. In the end, they concluded there was insufficient evidence to proceed with any criminal filings.

I didn't make a copy of that report, but wish now that I had. At the time, all I could do was sit back and grin - thinking of all the stories about how much had been scrapped or incinerated. What might have been considered an act of theft, then, would come to be revered as an act of salvation by countless generations of Packard enthusiasts and historians.

So, as Paul Harvey used to say, "and now you know...the rest of...the story - Good Day!"

Posted on: 2009/9/8 13:15
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Re: Are 57 and 58 Packards really Packards
#34
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Great story! Thanks for sharing...I love stuff like that. You nailed it concerning saving stuff for posterity. Back in 2004 when the sold off the Indian motorcycle assets I was scrounging all manner of prototype parts and paper from the dumpsters...and all the while I had visions of Packard files being carted off to the incinerators back in 1957...if only I had been there to save some of that! Alas, I was negative 1 years old at the time.

Posted on: 2009/9/9 0:04
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Re: Are 57 and 58 Packards really Packards
#35
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BH
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While a lot of stuff proabably did go to the incineraor at East grand, more survived than most people realize (though it will never be enough).

Based on other stories I've heard, I can tell you that Wm. Schmidt wasn't the only person who "rescued" ephemera and artifacts, and I am sure that there are plenty of good stories out there.

If people wanna tell more about such efforts, I can repost my story as a jumping off point for a new thread.

Posted on: 2009/9/9 7:33
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Re: Are 57 and 58 Packards really Packards
#36
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Randy Berger
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Kudos to you Brian! What a story and it provides some inspiration to never quit digging for facts and documentation.

Posted on: 2009/9/9 7:34
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Re: Are 57 and 58 Packards really Packards
#37
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On the point on who did the 57 Packard styling, it is my understanding that the basic design (for the 1956 Studebaker President) was Vince Gardner based on an article by Ross Miller in the PAC's Packard Cormorant in which Hal Hermann's 1957 Packard Clipper was featured. Nat Dawes in his book on Packards 1942-1962 says that Duncan McRae and William Schmidt made the alterations to the basic Studebaker President design to create the 1957 Packard Clipper and that they did so with 4 weeks lead time. So it was definitely a rush job that I think came off pretty good. I seem to recall (probably from the PAC's Packard Cormorant) that someone asked Dick Teague about the use of his 1956 Clipper taillights on the 1957 and he said something to the effect that it made him want to throw up. I doubt if he would have said that if he had been involved in the styling of the 1957. But personally, I think the taillights on the 1957 look good. To each his own, I guess. (I did not like Dick Teague's AMC Pacer.) They did have to wedge the taillights in somewhat, by raising the fender (by a fender cap) and reducing the width of the rear bumper.

Posted on: 2009/9/9 9:26
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Re: Are 57 and 58 Packards really Packards
#38
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HH56
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Agree with Kens53 on how the 57 tail lights turned out. When you consider the alternatives they could have chosen that were probably still in a parts bin or could be re-made easily enough to maintain the continuity of a Packard theme. The ones chosen were fairly narrow & current & probably lots of them on hand which undoubtedly influenced the decision but I can see someone adding different if there were more of those instead--55 sore thumb anyone? Just think - what if in addition to the added pod for the 58 dual headlights they had maintained the theme and done the same for a matching pair of 54 bulls nuts in the back.

Posted on: 2009/9/9 9:57
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Re: Are 57 and 58 Packards really Packards
#39
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I love the '56 taillights on the '57 Clipper! While they may be proportionally larger they still look great. And seeing as how they became a mainstay of the lead sled crowd I'm not the only one of this opinion.

Funny thing about the station wagons, while Studebaker offered both 2 and 4 door wagons there never was a 2 door Clipper wagon but the body style number sequence skips of the logical number that COULD'VE been one. Seems to me that at one point they considered building such a car.

It would be fairly easy to replicate such a model, start with a Stude 2 door wagon, swap the front end, dash and quarter panels (the latter being the only difficult part). Trim out the interior and you're done.

I wonder if a 374" could be shoehorned under the hood...

Posted on: 2009/9/9 10:58
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Re: Are 57 and 58 Packards really Packards
#40
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acolds
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The Packard V8 will fit in the Studebaker chassis the 1956 Golden Hawk is on production example. The sedan engine compartment is wide enough as the picture below shows a Packard V8 with dual 4 barrels and air this car was a 2008 Studebaker show in Lancaster Pa. as were a couple of others with the same basic engine. Note the car also has air conditioning

Attach file:



jpg  (129.23 KB)
252_4aa7d7010f00f.jpg 1280X960 px

Posted on: 2009/9/9 11:26
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