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Re: Should I Make the Trade?
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MJG wrote:
The black one looks honest and unmolested. I have to say if it were me I'd probably slow down and bit and learn a bit more about these cars before buying one. Like with any purchase in life they are better made with knowledge. I think your seeing now these are rare, but not impossible to find and when they come up in your area, pretty solid.

Are you the one that will recommission the car? Reason I ask, you are targeting ones that can easily absorb $5k+ if you aren't doing the work. If your mechanically inclined the black car could be a nice project, but $13k for a non-runner is crazy money for that. That car should go down the road and not do anything offensive for that price (and be better cosmetically).

I'm seeing a full fuel system service - drop tank, flush lines, etc.. Brakes all around, tires, suspension etc..


Thanks for all your advice, I agree. I do need to chill a bit. I need to wait for one that actually has the set up I want, interior and exterior. I for sure don't want the push button tranny. I like having a shifter. I wasnt necessarirly really lookin to buy this one I just wanted to get your guys take of the condition for the price. The biggest thing that turned me on about this one is how stock it is with little to no missing parts. I am very mechanical, I would do pretty much anything that needs to be done unless it requires tools/ skills I don't have. Like machining stuff.

Posted on: 5/14 11:30
1955 Packard 400
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Re: Should I Make the Trade?
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Also, the black one was a 1956 and there were quite a few improvements that year to the Torsion-Level system and maybe in other areas as well.

Posted on: 5/14 11:31
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Re: Should I Make the Trade?
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Very significant improvements were made to the Twin Ultramatic for 1956, among the many was the changeover to an aluminum case.

Posted on: 5/14 12:16
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Re: Should I Make the Trade?
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Are those changes good or bad? I have read that they could be a problem

Posted on: 5/14 12:34
1955 Packard 400
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Re: Should I Make the Trade?
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In my opinion, this is what I can tell you for 50's Packards in terms of what you might want/not want:

- Unsurprisingly, the Seniors (Patrician, 400, Caribbean, etc.) are generally worth more than the Juniors (Clippers). If you don't care much about the differences between them, consider both. However, if you're buying a car that needs a lot of work, Seniors are usually less of a "money pit" as they're mechanically almost identical but worth a bit more once you're done.

- The 1955-56 Packards tend to be a bit more in demand because of the styling differences compared to 51-54; at the same time 55 and 56 are a bit more common year-by-year. However, don't count out the earlier styling . The biggest difference on these is the drivetrain: 51-54 use a straight-8 engine and the original Ultramatic transmission. 55-56 use V-8 and the "twin" Ultramatic drive. There's pro's and con's to each. Ultimately I don't think one is much better than the other overall. Many prefer the sound and feel of the I8's, along with better part availability because Packard used them for so long. Note that some 54's used the twin Ultramatic (then called the Gear-start), and all years there are cars with manuals, though not on all models and they tend to be pretty rare. For example in '56 less than 700 cars out of almost 29,000 were manuals, only around 2%. Estimates of the actual number are as low as 30. Anyway...

- There's nothing against wanting one with all the options, just don't be surprised at the inevitably higher cost of maintenance. Realistically, the cars were built well enough that they should drive well with NO options. That being said, some common ones and what to look out for. Good checklist of stuff to check when you see the car. I'm sure more people here will add on and add some better tips than I'm aware of.
- Heater (standard and/or under-seat) though in Cali you may not even need one. Check for heater core leaks before you buy.
- Power brakes are nice for safety reasons.
- Power steering is really not needed. Packard steering was already best-in-its-class; while power steering is not bad to have, I don't many would say that it's something you'd specifically want to try to get.
- Radio. Very common option. Packard had I think 3 different radio styles in this year range. Unless they've been rebuilt it probably won't work.
- Clocks were standard but FYI they almost never work unless rebuilt.
- Electric windows.
- Air conditioning was a very expensive option ($650 on a $2500-6500 car). I don't know if they usually work or not. They're somewhat rare.
- Automatic transmission. As mentioned, extremely common in these years.
- Torsion-level. Test as described earlier in this thread.
- Power seat.
- A bunch of other random accessories that you can check by model year on the "Model Information" page... click a year then scroll to the bottom.

Hope this is helpful.

Posted on: 5/14 14:45
Owner of '55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Should I Make the Trade?
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Not sure evern where you are or if this would hurt or help, but here's a '55 400 2 door in IN that looks maybe kinda reasonable:

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/i ... 17-43d5-8985-679123d831d3

Posted on: 5/16 3:53
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Re: Should I Make the Trade?
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Thanks for all the the help guys! Keep em coming I keep reading more and more about these and I just sold the Road king Saturday.

Posted on: 5/16 15:56
1955 Packard 400
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Re: Should I Make the Trade?
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I'm keeping the girls (Road Glide and Softail Standard).

Posted on: 5/16 17:07
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Re: Should I Make the Trade?
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Happy Friday guys! I am back at it. Check out all of these pics and let me know what you think. Everything works on this one(supposedly). The paint has been touched up in a couple spots, has a couple dents in the trim and needs new trim on top of windshield. He says it has always been garage kept 2nd owner. I guess the only thing wrong is the carb needs rebuild. all stock, 28,000 original miles. He is asking 11k. I got quotes to ship to San Diego around 2k enclosed carrier. That will effect my offer. What do you guys think?

I found a video of someone else checking it out 3weeks ago. Here is the link to the video. That is not me in the video, I called the guy Eric who took this video and he said he was going to buy it and flip it but passed. He didn't have anything bad to say about it other than the little dents in the trim and the bit of rust under the left side tail pipe as you will see in the pic. Also couldn't test drive it because the accelerator pump is bad. He said it fired right up.


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Posted on: 5/20 17:59
1955 Packard 400
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Re: Should I Make the Trade?
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Is that the one in Indiana?

Posted on: 5/20 18:21
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