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1955 Air Cleaner Decals
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Marty or Marston
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Where do the decals belong on a Batwing air cleaner on a '55 Caribbean?

Posted on: 2019/3/1 18:33
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Re: 1955 Air Cleaner Decals
#2
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Does this help?

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Posted on: 2019/3/1 19:00
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Re: 1955 Air Cleaner Decals
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Of course there is this decal, reproduced by Dwight Heinmuller.

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Posted on: 2019/3/2 10:02
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Re: 1955 Air Cleaner Decals
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Leeedy
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Quote:

Let the ride decide wrote:
Of course there is this decal, reproduced by Dwight Heinmuller.


I know this decal has turned up on at least one batwing air cleaner (which I strongly suspect was a P.R. car or Press car). But over all these years I have never seen one of these on a production car off the line. .. and I've seen hundreds of Caribbeans since 1955.

The Howard Hughes/Jean Peters Caribbean-as very, very early 1955 did NOT have this decal. I first examined this car in the 1970s when it had about 600 miles on the odometer. You can see the pics I took of the air cleaner back in the 1970s in the article published in The Packard Cormorant magazine back then.

Two of my Caribbeans were original low-miles cars. No "V" decal on either air cleaner. But ALL had the curved orange/black decals down on the pots. Likewise for the Howard Hughes/Jean Peters Caribbean.

I'm certain that there is much more to the story of the "V" decal. Also one may note that during the Cadillac Eldorado run of the same period, Cadillac was installing chrome metal "V" symbols and drawer pull knobs (instead of wingnuts for the pots) on their version of this AC "wet" dual-carb air cleaner. The Cadillac air cleaner mounted backwards when compared to the Packard mounting. Otherwise, the Packard batwing looked very plain and no different visually from the Chevrolet dual carb batwing. In fact many Packard units have been pirated thinking they were the same as the rare Chevy units (the Chev carbs actually mount closer together and won't fit). The decal for the batwing would have been a cheap way to differentiate the Packard batwing and upgrade the appearance. But I've just never seen one on a dealer-sold Caribbean in all these years...

Posted on: 2019/3/2 10:39
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Re: 1955 Air Cleaner Decals
#5
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Leeedy,

You are probably right.
This was discussed in this thread, http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... =ASC&type=&mode=0&start=0

But why was it still in the parts book in July 1956 page 102?
http://www.packardinfo.com/xoops/html ... partslist5556/09_Fuel.pdf


When did the 1st 1955 Caribbean get produced, shown, and sold to the public?

When was the last 1955 Caribbean built and sold?

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Posted on: 2019/3/3 20:27
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Re: 1955 Air Cleaner Decals
#6
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Leeedy
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Quote:

Let the ride decide wrote:
Leeedy,

You are probably right.
This was discussed in this thread, http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... =ASC&type=&mode=0&start=0

But why was it still in the parts book in July 1956 page 102?
http://www.packardinfo.com/xoops/html ... partslist5556/09_Fuel.pdf


When did the 1st 1955 Caribbean get produced, shown, and sold to the public?

When was the last 1955 Caribbean built and sold?


Having worked in this business, I can tell you one thing: these books are done well in advance of the cars ever being built. There are things that end up in OEM publications that simply never arrive in the real world out on the street down on the ground.

You will note the February, 1955 date. By 1956 actual production this was all ancient history. But when the printing presses rolled (especially back in those days) the printing presses rolled. Too many people look back today and take everything in that last two years of almost panic at Packard as gospel fact. But it wasn't always that way.

I don't know that actual date of the first 1955 Caribbean, but the engineer I met back in the 1950s told me it was a cobbled car. The first 1955 Caribbean was built wayyyyyyyyyyyy in advance and several things that were on it either changed or deleted altogether. I don't know how many pilot-production Caribbeans were done, but I suspect no more than one-if that. When I saw him with a "1956" Caribbean, it was really still a 1955 dressed up to look like a 1956. Don't know if this was the last 1955 or simply the 1955 engineering car redressed. But I can assure you the first pilot production and press cars were different from production.

For instance, initial press photos of the 1956 Caribbeans show metal robe rails on the backs of the seats and indeed at least two sets of these were made that way. But it was not a normal production item found on cars you or I could really buy.

Posted on: 2019/3/5 13:05
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Re: 1955 Air Cleaner Decals
#7
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Owen_Dyneto
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Cars considered "experimental" which may or may not been intended to include pre-production, were to have unique vehicle numbers, as the following Packard document shows. Whether this was followed and if it extended to preproduction is unknown to me.

Note the intent at the time to document was prepared to have a "standard" convertible, following the 1953 and 54 practice of having both a "standard" convertible and a Caribbean convertible. Interesting document, and many thanks to Roscoe Stelford for making it available.

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Posted on: 2019/3/5 14:09
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Re: 1955 Air Cleaner Decals
#8
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Joel Ray
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I had one of the 1956 Caribbeans with the robe rails on the seat back. We sold the car and the man who bought it had an accident towing it on the way home and the car was destroyed. I never thought to take a picture of it back then. It was all 1956 but had a late 55 Caribbean serial number. If I had only documented things back then. It also had a clear non tinted windshield I suspect for press photos.

Posted on: 2019/3/6 10:26
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Re: 1955 Air Cleaner Decals
#9
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OD & Roscoe,

Thank you for sharing and posting that page.

It helps me to understand why the V8 cars started numbering with 1001!

I wonder if there are any engines with an "S" stamped still around?

For me this also ties back to these discussion threads,
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... =ASC&type=&mode=0&start=0

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... =ASC&type=&mode=0&start=0

You can see other cars being tested at the PPG.
I wonder how many experimental cars were produced in each model.
Was there a standard convertible built?

Posted on: 2019/3/6 13:43
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Re: 1955 Air Cleaner Decals
#10
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Leeedy
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Quote:

packards1 wrote:
I had one of the 1956 Caribbeans with the robe rails on the seat back. We sold the car and the man who bought it had an accident towing it on the way home and the car was destroyed. I never thought to take a picture of it back then. It was all 1956 but had a late 55 Caribbean serial number. If I had only documented things back then. It also had a clear non tinted windshield I suspect for press photos.


Ahhh... What a treasure that had to be! And what a sad, sad loss. I believe there were two of these cars from what I know.... and I rode in one of them when new. They were hand assembled and kept in a building on East Forest Avenue in Detroit. While I also do not have a set of photos, I can tell you that the engineer's (fellow who was responsible for the changeover and who actually daily drove one) wife sent me old Polaroid photos years ago. I still have those photos today. One photo is badly faded and shows just the right-hand side and the other shows the Caribbean parked in their family garage next to their 1954 Patrician. Her husband used to drive the car home at night and kept it in the family garage when not on East Forest Ave. Everything about the re-dressed 1956 was 1956 right down to the hexagonal reflectors on the cathedral tail lights and the dash changed over. But there were 2 door jamb light switches per door. There were two outside engineering firms involved in the 1955 and 1956 Caribbean set-ups, engineering and prototyping. One of these was Creative Industries of Detroit.

Anyway, as I have said before, the first 1956 Caribbean would not have been 5699-1001 since that number was only the first production 1956 Caribbean (which by the way is undergoing full restoration as we speak). The first 1956 Caribbean had a 1955 serial number... or at least was a re-dressed 1955.

Posted on: 2019/3/6 14:09
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