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KPack's 1954 Panama
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It's happened. I've officially joined the ranks of Packard ownership. After many years of waiting because of more pressing concerns (school, career, family, house, etc), I've finally been able to purchase my first.

I picked up a 1954 Packard Clipper Super Panama (quite the mouthful), from here on out referred to as just "Panama". It's definitely a project car, which is what I was wanting. I'm new to all of this, so I figured the best way to learn about old cars, and Packards specifically, was to dive right in and get messy. I'll ask a lot of questions as I go forward, and will do my best to document every step.

We were able to agree on a price that I feel is reasonable for this car. He drove it over on his flatbed from several hours away. Kids were super-excited to see it arrive.
<img src="https://rryqha.bn.files.1drv.com/y4mwR ... t=768&cropmode=none" width="1024" height="768" />

<img src="https://rrypha.bn.files.1drv.com/y4mKK ... t=768&cropmode=none" width="1024" height="768" />

<img src="https://rryoha.bn.files.1drv.com/y4maP ... t=768&cropmode=none" width="1024" height="768" />

Posted on: 2020/6/11 9:16
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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The car needs a good amount of work. Right at the top of the list is to get rid of all the mice damage and smell on the interior. The headliner is destroyed and is full of mouse droppings. The seats are all stained from mice, and so is the carpet.

I'm concerned about hantavirus, so I used a respirator and gloves while I got to work. My respirator filters are old though, and I'm not sure of their effectiveness right now. Unfortunately not a single place I've been to has replacement filters and they have no idea when they'll get them. What do you all recommend I wear when cleaning the interior?

Removed front seat and all carpet. Floors are in great shape.
<img src="https://p7yzyw.bn.files.1drv.com/y4m8x ... t=576&cropmode=none" width="1024" height="576" />

Carpet is non-original. I vacuumed, then pressure washed it. Now it's hanging up to dry in the sun for several days.
<img src="https://rryjha.bn.files.1drv.com/y4m2v ... t=576&cropmode=none" width="1024" height="576" />

Stains on the front seat. The rear seat is much the same. They'll probably need to be reupholstered, but I'm hoping to clean them up and get by for a bit first. Any recommendations on how to clean them??
<img src="https://rrykha.bn.files.1drv.com/y4mMZ ... t=576&cropmode=none" width="1024" height="576" />

Posted on: 2020/6/11 9:32
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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Congratulations! From what you show in the photos it looks to be a great start to your Packarding adventure. I believe you will find several other 54 Clipper owners on the forum. If you have not already done so check out BigKev's excellent project blog http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... =ASC&type=&mode=0&start=0 His model is a sedan one level below yours but with the exception of the doors and some bits of trim and small mechanical differences almost everything he has documented will be applicable if you need to do something in the same areas.

It does look like someone has changed the power brake setup so that might be something you will need to custom source or fabricate if work needs doing. Does the car have the original Ultramatic or the late 54 introduced Gear Start? Gear Starts have 6 positions with a dot denoting the extra position. The dot is in the middle of the shift quadrant indicator.

Posted on: 2020/6/11 9:41
Howard
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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Thanks! I've spent many hours reading through BigKev's build thread and I've bookmarked many posts as I've gone through. His blog was actually one of the reasons I felt comfortable trying to take on a project like this. Since he's been through it all with a '54, I'll basically just follow his lead. If it worked for him it will work for me.

It has the original Ultramatic drive, no gear start. It does work, but I haven't done anything besides just move it around a bit, so no major testing. I want to drain and replace all fluids, do a tune-up, and redo the brakes before I really test it out.

The brakes were changed from the Easamatic to some type of manual brake system sometime in the past. I have some of the original parts for the Easamatic if I want to have it rebuilt. Eventually I might do that. For right now the immediate goal is to get the car clean (don't need diseases), and get it to the point of being able to run on the road. Final interior, paint, etc will all wait until later. Swapping back to Easamtic would fall in the latter category.

Posted on: 2020/6/11 9:52
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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Kevin, that is a very attractive Panama. Congratulations.

May I suggest that instead of installing the Easamatic you simply get a regular (non-boosted) Packard master cylinder and associated linkage and pedal parts. This will be easier and, in my opinion, a better solution to your braking system. Or, you may want to look into a double chamber master cylinder for increased safety.

Please keep us informed about your progress.

Posted on: 2020/6/11 12:33
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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Kevin,

Congratulations on attaining Packard ownership. And, don't forget about including your '54 Clipper Super Panama in the Packard Owner's Registry.

Posted on: 2020/6/11 14:47
Mal
/o[]o\
====


"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

[url=http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/registry/View.php?ID=49 ]'38 Eight Sed
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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JW - thanks, I'm excited. Actually, we all are excited. It will take awhile, but we hope to be able to drive in it together later this year.

Your suggestion about using a regular Packard master cylinder is intriguing. I hadn't thought about that. I might go that route if I don't end up doing the Easamtic rebuild. I do like the thought of a dual master cylinder. Most of the time I drive it I will have kids with me and I'd rather err on the side of safety.


Ozstatman - Yes, I haven't forgotten about the registry. I will work on getting that up!

-Kevin

Posted on: 2020/6/11 14:57
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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Kevin

Congratulations! It looks to be a good solid Panama, when you get it sorted out, its going to provide you and your family many memorable experiences. Please keep us apprised of your progress.

Steve

Posted on: 2020/6/11 15:54
.....epigram time.....
Proud 1953 Clipper Deluxe owner.
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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Kevin,
for including your '54 Clipper Super Panama Hardtop in the Registry.

Posted on: 2020/6/11 16:06
Mal
/o[]o\
====


"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

[url=http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/registry/View.php?ID=49 ]'38 Eight Sed
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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Easamatic is a great system and is the way to go! Why re-engineer something that works well and I may even have all the parts you need to convert it back to stock. I may also have what's needed to go to stock manual brakes but not necessarily from a 1954.

Posted on: 2020/6/11 16:25
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