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Re: Mike's 53 Caribbean
#11
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Leeedy
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Quote:

Tobs wrote:
Here we go! I figured that the name of this blog shows some continuty between the green clipper, and the latest car in my life. It is still in the US, and looks like it will take a few months to get over to me in Germany. I've known this car since I was young, and am honored that I have the chance to be it's caretaker now.
It is a 1953 Caribbean in Matador Maroon. It's a little bit of a packard hotrod. I'll see how well it performs, but it has a 359 with a 327 head, and the ultramatic was swapped for an overdrive transmission. Power steering and brakes are still in the car.
I've been gaining packard experience for a 1/4 century now, so I hope I am worthy of this baby! I know it needs some work and TLC...
The top isn't working, it has the usual leaks here and there, supposedly one cyl is a little low on compression...hard starting when warm/hot, shift linkage locks up sometimes. With time and patience and persistance all those things will get taken care of, and someday I will have a smooth driving and reliable packard that my wife also likes as much as my old clipper.
The car is still 6 volt positive ground, and I will keep it that way. My plan is to keep the car as "original" or period correct as possible. -I mean the engine and trans are not original, but I consider them a worthy upgrade. (As long as I can keep the 359 from pinging)
I'll also have to change headlights to H4 Euro units and install a 4 way blinker system in the car to get it road legal here, but that is not too big a deal, or disturbing to the purity of the car.
Untill the car arrives here, I'll be collecting info and ideas and parts over the next few months.

A few things I am curious to find out. I know the trans was taken from my grandfathers clipper back in the late 70's, but I am not sure about the rear axle. I will have to see if it has the 4.10 or 3.54 rear axle, and what size the rear brakes are.
Does anybody know if Caribbeans had a hood quilt from the factory?
Here are a few recent photos....I'll try and dig up a photo of a much younger me too.


Beautiful color. Interesting to see this Caribbean has no reverse gear lights.

By the way, I see a 1990 Miata listed in the stable. A lot of my ideas went into that car and I wrote much of the original manual books for it, including the Owner's Manual. Saved tons of little souvenirs from development.

Congrats on the Caribbean.

Posted on: 9/28 20:47
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Re: Mike's 53 Caribbean
#12
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Tobs
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The 359 was taken from a 54 pat and installed by my uncle in 1973.
The reverse lights were removed when the car was repainted in the 1990‘s.
After 1954 reverse lights are mandatory in Germany, so I hope I can pass inspection without them.
The Miata is a great car. Tons of fun to drive, reliable and a timeless design. My car is a 1990 US Model imported to Germany. The owners manual is missing…I better start looking for one.

Posted on: 9/29 2:03
1953 Clipper Delux Club Sedan, 1969 912, 1990 Miata, 2009 Ford S-Max.
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Re: Mike's 53 Caribbean
#13
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Pack120c
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[quote]
Tobs wrote:

Does anybody know if Caribbeans had a hood quilt from the factory?


Hi Mike,

Nice Caribbean you have there. Yes, I believe these were installed at the factory. My 1953 Caribbean has remnants of the old yellow fiberglass insulation under the hood. My car is an unrestored, unmolested survivor. Same color as yours. Enjoy the journey !

Posted on: 9/29 10:07
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Re: Mike
#14
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58L8134
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Mike:

Congratulations on becoming that handsome '53 Caribbean's next steward. Glad too you were able to keep your '53 Clipper Deluxe in the family.

The 359 should give the '53 Caribbean lots of 'pep' with stick shift and overdrive. Ultramatic is nice and smooth if a tad 'leisurely' which is what buyers expected of an automatic transmission then. I enjoy my '53 Clipper Deluxe so equipped but plan on my next Packard being stick with overdrive.

Good luck with your new Caribbean, we'll all be interested to see your progress with it.

Steve

Posted on: 9/29 15:34
.....epigram time.....
Proud 1953 Clipper Deluxe owner.
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Re: Mike
#15
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Ozstatman
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Mike,

Will be following along as you wrangle this Caribbean.

Quote:
Tobs wrote:....I'll see how well it performs, but it has a 359 with a 327 head, and the ultramatic was swapped for an overdrive transmission....

Have a mate here in Oz who has a '54 Convertible, 359 with 327 head, and manual trans and O/D and after driving it can confirm it is a bit of a hot rod!

Posted on: 9/30 0:55
Mal
/o[]o\
====

Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

1938 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

1941 One-Twenty Club Coupe - SOLD

1948 Super Eight Limo, chassis RHD - SOLD

1950 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

What's this?
Put your Packard in the Packard Vehicle Registry!
Here's how!
Any questions - PM or email me at ozstatman@gmail.com
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Re: Mike
#16
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Ozstatman
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Quote:

Leeedy wrote:....By the way, I see a 1990 Miata listed in the stable. A lot of my ideas went into that car and I wrote much of the original manual books for it, including the Owner's Manual. Saved tons of little souvenirs from development....
Leon,

Do you by any chance know, or know of, Dave Fewchuck from Australia? Dave was at High School with me in the early '60's and drove an Austin A30 with a padded gas cap! While I drove a '28 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan. I believe Dave was Project Manager, or some such similar title, for Ford of Australia in the development of the Ford Capri convertible

Just wondering if you knew if there was any crossover from/between the Capri to the Miata?

Posted on: 9/30 1:12
Mal
/o[]o\
====

Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

1938 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

1941 One-Twenty Club Coupe - SOLD

1948 Super Eight Limo, chassis RHD - SOLD

1950 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

What's this?
Put your Packard in the Packard Vehicle Registry!
Here's how!
Any questions - PM or email me at ozstatman@gmail.com
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Re: Mike
#17
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bkazmer
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The Capri/Miata question comes a bit out of the blue. And while Ford and Mazda had a partnership for a while, the answer is essentially no. The Miata was designed in Japan with a backbone frame and rear-wheel drive. The Capri (I assume you're talking about the Australian-designed two seat version) had a turbo but was front wheel drive and much more conventional for the time. The Capri's handling was no match for the NA Miata.

Posted on: 9/30 7:01
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Re: Mike's 53 Caribbean
#18
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Tobs
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Car is getting inspected before shipping overseas....I have a 4 inch crack in the windshield in the upper right hand corner. I don't think that will pass inspection here, so I am looking at a new windshield and gasket....Let the good times roll.

Posted on: 10/6 15:16
1953 Clipper Delux Club Sedan, 1969 912, 1990 Miata, 2009 Ford S-Max.
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Re: Mike's 53 Caribbean
#19
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kevinpackard
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Ugh, sorry to hear about the windshield. I just went through the nightmare, and still managed to crack my replacement. I'm just letting it slide for now.

Windshields for 53-54 hardtops and convertibles are nearly impossible to find. Auto City Classic did make reproductions in the past, but they stopped making them and have no more available. I made dozens of calls to try and find NOS glass, and only found 4....one of which broke in transit to me, and the second of which is in my car, damaged.

What I did find out with this whole debacle is that sedan windshields can be used for hardtop/convertible cars if they are cut down. The windshield I have now is actually from a sedan. I didn't know that (and neither did Tucson Packard), and assumed it was from a hardtop. Long story short, someone in the past had taken a sedan windshield, cut off an inch or so off the top, and put it in a hardtop. It was removed from a hardtop and stored as what was believed to be original. When I went to install it, the glass was every so slightly too big from my opening, and very rough on the top edge (poor cut), which led to my cracks. A glass shop cleaned up the edge to the right dimensions and the install went fine after that....with the cracks already done.

Bottom line is, if you can't get your hands on a hardtop/convertible windshield, you can use a sedan windshield and cut the top edge down to the right dimensions. Potential for fracture is high, but sedan windshields are a lot easier to come across. If you can find a good glass shop or hot rod shop, they should be able to do it. But they won't want to take any responsibility for breaking the glass.

-Kevin

Posted on: 10/6 17:29
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Re: Mike
#20
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Leeedy
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Quote:

Ozstatman wrote:
Quote:

Leeedy wrote:....By the way, I see a 1990 Miata listed in the stable. A lot of my ideas went into that car and I wrote much of the original manual books for it, including the Owner's Manual. Saved tons of little souvenirs from development....
Leon,

Do you by any chance know, or know of, Dave Fewchuck from Australia? Dave was at High School with me in the early '60's and drove an Austin A30 with a padded gas cap! While I drove a '28 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan. I believe Dave was Project Manager, or some such similar title, for Ford of Australia in the development of the Ford Capri convertible

Just wondering if you knew if there was any crossover from/between the Capri to the Miata?


Hello...

Sorry I missed this posting. At the risk of being chastised for taking the thread askew as has happened on this site in the past, I will respond here because the question was asked.

I don't know if the characterization someone listed as "partnership" is precisely accurate one since Ford had a substantial investment (part ownership) in Mazda. The percentage of this ownership varied over time, but at one point, FoMoCo increased their share to the point that they could actually direct things at Mazda –and so they did for a while.

I knew many from Ford of Australia. And yes, I even made a couple of suggestions for the Capri. My good friend the late Herb Grasse (Batmobile, Bricklin, Dodge Challenger, Ford Probe) was overseeing styling there for some time. We hung out on occasion in Hiroshima. And frankly I wrote much of the manuals used for Ford of Australia. This is unknown and uncredited but it is a fact. I did so in the USA and in Hiroshima, Japan where both Herb and I spent considerable time.

Of course, long after Miata was a reality and was going into a second-gen, the original fellow who was the spark plug behind the whole idea (Bob Hall) left Mazda and moved to Australia. I believe he was there for a few years with an Australian automotive magazine before eventually returning to the USA.

During one of the 6-month periods I lived in Hiroshima I was also asked to oversee new model service training for Australians. This might bring a chuckle.

If you know anything about FOA vehicles of the 1980s, you will know they sold Mazda-based lines. There was the Telstar (based on Mazda 626), the Laser (based on Mazda 323) and others. Both of these lines were very much the same basic cars with the nose and rear facia/tail lights altered and trim differences.

Now. The Japanese who ran the training center in Hiroshima were wonderful–quite proficient– with colloquial North American and British Queen's English. But when it came to the Aussies, the poor fellows were sometimes lost. One day two Japanese trainers came running into my office saying "Leon-san,Leon-san!" (actually they pronounced it more like "rayon"). They wanted to know... "What is rizah? What does this mean in English?" Puzzled, I ended up going downstairs with them to a classroom that was populated completely by FOA service division Aussies. I had lived with Australians during my service in Vietnam so I figured whatever was going on, I could certainly resolve it!

When I asked the Australians, they said "Heyyy mate, these blokes don't get what we're saying!" I asked what was being discussed and they responded, "We're training on the ly-zah." Ly-zah... All of a sudden the clouds lifted. The Australians were saying "Laser" as they pronounced the word, but it came out sounding "ly-zah"... which completely baffled the Japanese trainers who were imagining heaven know what. And things got worse when they morphed "ly-zah" into "rizah." I explained what was going on to the Japanese and to the Australians. Everyone ended up smiling and happy. But the Japanese decided to add another hat to my ever-expanding list of responsibilities! The upshot of my intervention is that I was placed in charge of training the Australians –as my hosts termed me as a "native speaker of English." Furthermore, among my new responsibilities, I was to accompany the Aussies out on the town to dinner at a British-themed restaurant in the Nagarakawa cabaret district. I believe the place was called "King Henry VIII"... but that's quite another story I won't go into here (use your imagination).

Anyway, I got to know many Australians in both Hiroshima and elsewhere with FOA. It is a good possibility that I at least met your friend, but that was a long time ago and so many names and stoichiometric ratios, welding formulas, aspect ratios, convertible top mechanisms and other things dancing in my head –along with Packards and Creative Industries, alas, I have forgotten many names from those days. But I do still carry window-pane money around in my wallet. I presume you easily know what this is.

Finally, I can comment here to the person "bkazmer" who said Miata was "designed in Japan"... Ohhhhhhhh reallllly????? Let's not say that too loudly. And when I think of a "backbone frame" I think of Lotus. Miata, despite the facia similarity is no "backbone frame" as Lotus. As someone who was there, I can assure you, Miata was designed at Mazda (North America) where I worked in Irvine, California. It was refined in Japan... but designed in the USA. One of my good friends, Mark Jordan (son of GM's Chuck Jordan), was one of the un-credited designers. I was there when we sent the model off to Japan. I was there when we got the early prototype back. I did some of the early test driving. And I wrote a lot of what were the manuals (Owner's Manual, Workshop Manual, Convertible Top Manual, and more). I also walked the first few Miatas down the assembly line in Hiroshima and I was the only development person who had actually worked for Ford (at Dearborn Assembly on the original Mustang).

As for the Capri... while both Capri and Miata shared some elements of Mazda 323, the Mercury FWD Capri and RWD Miata were just two different approaches (funny story here too about our test-driving teams bumping into one another in a remote part of California... I was there too...but again, that's for another time and place).

By the way... I kept a picture of a Packard Caribbean tacked up in my work area in Japan. It was a source of amazement to the folks there and when any of them came to visit in the USA, of course they asked. And I often took them to my warehouse to look at my Packards!

Posted on: 10/6 20:52
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