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1955-'56 senior Packards available with manual transmission?
#1
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Jack Vines
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This has probably been answered here before, but a quick search did not find the definitive answer.

All I've ever seen with manuals were conversions and the late Steve Williams had a Caribbean the Earl C. Anthony dealership had converted to manual transmission, but can anyone substantiate a senior car built with a manual trans?

There's a eBay offering of a '56 400 with 2x4 carbs and manual delivered to Earl C. Anthony. The seller never states he has documentation as to the originality of the car, only that it's "unusual."

1956 Packard 400

jack vines

Posted on: 3/26 10:35
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Re: 1955-'56 senior Packards available with manual transmission?
#2
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Owen_Dyneto
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I can't speak to 1955.

For 1956 the factory information available to me appears in conflict. There was no Utica engine build code that I'm aware of for a 1956 Caribbean (374) engine with flywheel for manual shift, there was such code for the other models with the 374 engine. In conflict is the April 11, 1956 revision to build codes which I've previously posted on this site which shows code "MS" for "Transmission Manual Shift" available for all 1956 models including the Caribbean.

The April 11 document is noted as the 4th revision to the Approved Code List. It does not indicate the changes from the prior Approved Code List so perhaps adding MS for the Caribbeans was a late change?

EDITED.

Posted on: 3/26 10:48
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Re: 1955-
#3
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BH
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Jack -

I've only seen the "MS" production code listed (as "Transmission Manual Shift") for the 56 Seniors on a set of pages of "APPROVED CODES FOR 56TH SERIES" on the Aller Collection of CDs published by Mid-America Packards.

However, auction images for the subject vehicle include a Car Production Order from S-P, and "MS" does not appear among the line of production codes. Friend Randy Berger obtained a similar document for a uniquely equipped 56 Patrician that he owned, and it showed a special code, "REQ. 209", which I believe represented a special build request, and I've since seen other examples of this "REQ." coding. In the absence of such code for this car, I doubt if the 2x4 and manual trans was factory install.

Engine number might shed some additional light.

Regardless, it is an unusual and interesting. Sadly, I don't have time, space, or money for it.

Posted on: 3/26 11:41
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Re: 1955-'56 senior Packards available with manual transmission?
#4
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Jack Vines
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Very unusual production order for sure:

No clue provided as to what the "Special Production Request" entailed

Seller mentions rare single color, but the build sheet shows, "TuTone Paint ($23) and a black horizontal stripe.

Why would a 2x4-bbl engine be ordered with "Export Low-Compression Head Gaskets"?

Why a northern CA car ordered with "Speedometer in Km/Hr, 6-ply tires, Heavy Duty Suspension"?

In any case, the buyer wanted something beyond the already relatively rare 400 hardtop.

jack vines

Posted on: 3/26 16:47
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Re: 1955-'56 senior Packards available with manual transmission?
#5
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BigKev
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I helped a coworker track down a caribbean that his family owned. It was unusual that it had multiple build orders. It was ordered for export to France, so had low compression head, hd shocks, and special interior. The car took to long to deliver and the original family cancelled the order. Then it was reorder two more times. Eventually the coworkers father took delivery of it at the factory at a discount. His father was head general outside counsel for Packard at the time. The car was owned by Steve in Napa at time, then to NJ, and eventually to the Houston area. The family lived in Louisville, KY when they originally took delivery.

Posted on: 3/26 18:12
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Re: 1955-'56 senior Packards available with manual transmission?
#6
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Let the ride decide
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Someone bought the car, it is marked as sold.

I believe the unusual paint is the fact that it is a single color paint code M.

There is no other color, just the stainless ribbed trim down the sides.

I don’t see the code GS for automatic transmission. So neither the MS or GS is visible.

Posted on: 3/26 19:12
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Re: 1955-'56 senior Packards available with manual transmission?
#7
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Leeedy
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Interesting story. A "Special Request" car built at Conner would have been any assembly that varied from the factory-established line codes. Such a car would have required hand-relayed or special line instructions.

ECA-SF prepped several K-D export cars that were sent to Asia. Perhaps this was one that was re-patriated. Of course, this would then make it difficult to explain why such a car would have spent its life in San Francisco. It would be nice if the seller posted a photo of the serial plate in the door jamb. This would answer some questions, especially about the single-tone paint, re-done interior, etc.

The first clue that the dual quads were added later:
1.) the coil is in the wrong place (should be on the firewall–but no indications one was ever there) AND coil is positioned very incorrectly where it is now pictured. The factory never did that.
2.) the special dual quad studs to hold the air cleaner appear to be missing. And the air cleaner itself has obviously been re-done with a shiny paint job (they were never that shiny even when new). And modern repop adhesive-back stick-on labels are on the pots instead of water-transfer decals. Yet nothing else under the hood has been re-done. And despite the talk about how correct the carbs are, the front carb is missing the shield that should be in front of the automatic choke. Again, not something the factory would have done.

By the way, that's a very non-original electric wiper motor assembly and the inner faces of the splash wells are black–something the factory never-ever would have done. Especially not on an all-white car. The spark plug cable looms are not stock at all... neither for 1955 nor 1956 (appear to be Cal-Customs missing their rubber grommets). AND... what are those thingies aft of the battery on the left splash well where the Pushbutton relays would have been positioned?

And there are other issues.

A Special Request order when new is one thing. Modifications are quite another.

Posted on: 3/26 19:40
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Re: 1955-'56 senior Packards available with manual transmission?
#8
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Cli55er
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Saw that car on eBay and rolled my eyes.

Posted on: 3/26 22:56
1937 Packard 138-CD Deluxe Touring Limousine
Maroon/Black 1090-1021
[url=http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/registry/View.php?ID=232]1955 Packard
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Re: 1955-'56 senior Packards available with manual transmission?
#9
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Mr.Pushbutton
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Single tone paint jobs weren’t that rare in 1956, they were usually later build dates than early. My former 400 was single tone, all Norwegian Forest Green.

Posted on: 4/6 23:12
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