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Re: Packard Mortality Statistic
#11
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JeromeSolberg
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Just to be a contrarian - I can get my 1953 to make hard stops just fine, and have adjusted the brakes myself. But I remember a couple of times I ended up taking it in a hilly area and had to be very careful, as I could feel the brakes starting to fade, and it wasn't like I was driving fast or anything. Shifted the Ultramatic down to 1st and crept along, but was prepared to stop and let things cool off. Made one think!

Posted on: 12/20 12:43
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Re: Packard Mortality Statistic
#12
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drofmotors
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Unfortunately, it seems that maybe a lack of desire to spend the time and $$ to get it original. It is hard to find original even from the Big Three from the sixties.

But even among mostly stock Packards, I find it hard to find a commitment to originality even among the high $$$ cars (to me, under $100k) . Or at the big old car dealers.I’ve been looking for 1940-1942 120-160 coupe/ convertible . The following is just a sample of cars meeting my search criteria.

Cheats most often come in non- original interiors, colors and , accessories .For example, vinyl interiors, or non-original materials/patterns, paint colors like Viper Red (currently at dealer), or fabricated fender skirts (at dealer also), or 15” wire wheels,etc. So it’s not just the big stuff like engines and transmissions, it’s multiple other derivations from stock.

I look at my Packards as not just fine cars, but representations of the time in which they were built. I shouldn’t have to pay $ 100k to find a car with attention to originality. And I’m not a no modifications either as I like to drive my cars. So modifications for reliability, like electronic ignition or bias look radial tires to enhance handling are perfectly acceptable to me as long as they can be hidden and reversed.

So to conclude my vent, the demise of nice Packards, especially junior series, is not just due to sloppiness of builders but through buyer acceptance of it either through ignorance or lowered expectations.

Posted on: 12/20 15:29
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Re: Packard Mortality Statistic
#13
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Leeedy
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Please. The disc brake thing has gotten completely out of hand with old cars. Totally. And the younger the person is, the more they want to trash everything original out of the car and customize it, mongrelize it to the hilt... THEN call the customized mongrel creation "restored." How did things ever get so far?

Trucks with 80,000 pounds of load are NOT using disc brakes. They use air-energized DRUM BRAKES.

"Disc brakes" and "panacea" do not mean the same thing. And modifying a Packard into something it never was, something the factory never made is not a "restoration" or "upgrade." These are all terms and notions created in recent years by auction houses, magazines with writers born after the Apollo moon landing, fear mongers, theorists and by people selling "kits" to modify your Packard.

If you've decided that disc brakes are gonna save you from the dangerous world out there on the streets and highways, then more power to you. This is a choice... that's all. Make it with the knowledge that you are creating your own customized modified mongrel and admit it. But let's not sink into delusions. No Packard left the factory with dual-circuit boosters and disc brakes. Never. Ever.

The way people talk today about disc brakes OUGHT to make one wonder how American cars ever stopped or survived before disc brakes (and it originally was only front discs) came on the market in the 1970s? How did people driving cars before discs ever even dare face a traffic light or drive in traffic on daily commutes? Well? I DID.

I hung out on Woodward Avenue and street raced back in its heyday. This was back when drum brakes with sintered metallic linings were the ultimate brakes a human being on the real streets in the USA could have. I am a person who raced a Ford XL convertible with a Police Interceptor 390 CID engine. WITH drum brakes. I bought a NEW Pontiac GTO "360 H.O." convertible that was a celebrity car on Woodward. I took it to Royal Pontiac and had it "Bobcatted" (some people may know what this means). It was blazing fast. WITH drum brakes (see the attached photo). I had Packards in Southern California and drove them on the winding, mountainous, famed Mulholland Drive. I drove through Laurel Canyon and up and down Mt. Olympus in Hollywood IN Packards WITH drum brakes.

I am sorry, but during a lifetime of SANE driving with properly-shoed and adjusted drum brakes with old-fashioned brake fluid, I never once had brakes fade in normal driving. I could usually lock up the wheels on ANY of my many cars that were equipped with DRUM brakes. Sorry. What more could anyone want? Are we planning for driving Packards in the F-1 Grand Prix or Indy 500?

I'm sure there will be someone to argue this point into the ground, but changing a Packard to disc brakes does not make it "restored" or "safe"... it makes it "customized" and a "thingie." Something Packard never made. And if dual-circuit disc brakes are gonna save your life or make the car driveable for folks who think tail-gating and doing "donuts" is somehow the thing to do, well what can we say about that?

Like George Carlin once said, "First you learn how to drive safe, THEN you buy your safe car!"

While one is creating a so-called "safe" car...
• What are you going to do about crumple zones in the body?
• What about energy-absorbing front and rear bumpers?
• How about energy-absorbing steering columns? (USA cars had these since 1967)
• What about side impact protection strengthened doors?
• Those disc brakes can still get you into plenty of trouble without computerized anti-skid, anti-lock ABS. So what about that?
• What about airbags (steering wheel, side impact, seat, etc.)? Gotta have these for a SAFE car!
• Where are the head restraints in your Packard? Gotta have them too!
• What about pelletizing tempered safety glass instead of all that "dangerous" laminated glass in your Packard. Gotta have the new stuff since you're "up-grading"!
• How about shoulder belts? Lap belts are to shoulder belt as people these days seem to THINK drum brakes are to discs. Of course, shoulder belts would require a whole new set of mechanisms and anchor points. And knee bolsters (people who have worked OEM level automotive know what these are). OHhhh... and since we're talking shoulder belts, we'll need to include the computerized retractors (most people don't even know these exist) and G-sensors to work them.

Where does restoration stop and customizing begin? And why is it that no one wants to admit they are modifying/customizing and will instead claim they are "restoring/upgrading"? Why all this phobia, fear mongering, overkill and mumbo-jumbo talk about drum brakes?

Technology in mechanical and electrical systems are always surpassed. This is how our world works. If you wait long enough, something better almost always comes along. I once ran IBM 360 computers that took up whole rooms yet did not have the computing power of a typical smart phone of today. BUT... we are dealing with old cars here.

If you've got a Packard, it was a very finely-engineered, high quality automobile when new. Repair your brakes. Use the right parts. Adjust them properly. Drive them sanely. Return the brakes to the way they were when new. They stopped the cars quite adequately then, they can stop them now.

Attach file:



jpg  LEE1968GTO001.jpg (67.08 KB)
1249_61c0e8984c831.jpg 447X454 px

Posted on: 12/20 15:33
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Re: Packard Mortality Statistic
#14
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Tim Cole
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I couldn't agree more that for normal - read sane - driving drum brakes are more than adequate. When they are set up right and have good drums those mechanical braked Packards with the booster will put you through the windshield. Tom McCahill had a Hispano-Suiza for which the power brakes were so powerful they broke the wire wheel spokes. As well drum brakes don't rust and pit the way disc brakes do. I love drum brakes. However, the superior stopping ability in extreme use of disc brakes was demonstrated at the 1955 LeMans where the Jaguar totally annihilated Mercedes with tragic results. That said, if the drums are shot the car is dangerous as proven by a particular 443 that was unstoppable until the owner found a set of decent drums (not an easy task).

So on this issue I try to be constructive. The bottom line is lawsuit avoidance.

Posted on: 12/20 18:31
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Re: Packard Mortality Statistic
#15
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ewrecks
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I think that there is nothing wrong with resto- modding a car if that is what you want. It is not my business to tell someone how to spend his money.
That being said, if you are going to do something t..do it right.. it is dangerous to just bolt a bigger engine ito a car that was never designed for it and go out on the road.
A restored car is a restored car and if you wish to enjoy cruising i see nothing wrong with upgrading to halogen headlights, radial tires and electronic ignition. The purist can easily replace the parts. My radio works but I have an MP3 player in the glove box since there is only one AM station in my area and their offerings suck.
I have several old cars with drum brakes including my Caribbean and thr 39:Six I am working on now. I have no desire to convert to disc brakes or install a dual master cylinder on any of them. That being said, I do not like or trust the BTV. Every part is new but I still do not feel safe with that system in part because there are no local mechanics familiar with how it works. I may arrange for Ross to go over the whole system when and if the pandemic settles so that I can enjoy the car.
We have to admit the market for most Packards has weakened as those who aspired to own one in their youth are now dying off. The cost and availability of parts to do the cars correctly has escalated at the same time. I believe that the market value of the Caribbeans has dropped nearly 40-50% in the pat decade . Lesser models like my 39 have also dropped in value to the point where securing correct running board covers or woodgrains for the dash become a questionable expense.
I do not show my cars, I drive and enjoy them and that gets to be an expensive enough hobby.
There is a 41:convertible coupe improperly listed as a 110 in Hemmings that had over $50k invested in restoration before the restorer closed shop . They would like to sell the car for $27k but it needs at least that much more to get it on the road….much less to Pebble Beach condition. It is a car that has been dismantled by someone else with no assurance that parts are not missing..or available.
Does it make sense to get involved in such a project if you cannot expect to come close to the oulay.?
As I said originally, it is not my place to tell another man how to spend his money….but that one may end up unsold and unrestored.

Posted on: 12/20 18:45
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Re: Packard Mortality Statistic
#16
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ewrecks
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I think that there is nothing wrong with resto- modding a car if that is what you want. It is not my business to tell someone how to spend his money.
That being said, if you are going to do something t..do it right.. it is dangerous to just bolt a bigger engine ito a car that was never designed for it and go out on the road.
A restored car is a restored car and if you wish to enjoy cruising i see nothing wrong with upgrading to halogen headlights, radial tires and electronic ignition. The purist can easily replace the parts. My radio works but I have an MP3 player in the glove box since there is only one AM station in my area and their offerings suck.
I have several old cars with drum brakes including my Caribbean and thr 39:Six I am working on now. I have no desire to convert to disc brakes or install a dual master cylinder on any of them. That being said, I do not like or trust the BTV. Every part is new but I still do not feel safe with that system in part because there are no local mechanics familiar with how it works. I may arrange for Ross to go over the whole system when and if the pandemic settles so that I can enjoy the car.
We have to admit the market for most Packards has weakened as those who aspired to own one in their youth are now dying off. The cost and availability of parts to do the cars correctly has escalated at the same time. I believe that the market value of the Caribbeans has dropped nearly 40-50% in the pat decade . Lesser models like my 39 have also dropped in value to the point where securing correct running board covers or woodgrains for the dash become a questionable expense.
I do not show my cars, I drive and enjoy them and that gets to be an expensive enough hobby.
There is a 41:convertible coupe improperly listed as a 110 in Hemmings that had over $50k invested in restoration before the restorer closed shop . They would like to sell the car for $27k but it needs at least that much more to get it on the road….much less to Pebble Beach condition. It is a car that has been dismantled by someone else with no assurance that parts are not missing..or available.
Does it make sense to get involved in such a project if you cannot expect to come close to the oulay.?
As I said originally, it is not my place to tell another man how to spend his money….but that one may end up unsold and unrestored.

Posted on: 12/20 18:45
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Re: Packard Mortality Statistic
#17
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Mr.Pushbutton
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It's a free country. People are going to do what they want to do. Having said that, I am part of a network of people making and selling parts for people who want to maintain their Packard more or less as it was built. Every restomod is a customer that isn't going to buy from us, they are going to buy from Jegs, Summit catalogs/websites, and we aren't going to get anywhere near making numbers on parts runs, and the retail cost of the parts is going to be on the high side. The world doesn't want us to make some of these parts. Certain materials are getting harder and harder to source, and sometimes part makers have to get together with other like people for other makes just so that we can get enough volume to get a manufacturer to make a run. Most of the new Packard parts I am aware of are made in the USA by small shops. No one is getting rich off of this, we are just making what it takes. Most of what is in the Jegs/Summit supply chain is imported.

Quote:

ewrecks wrote:
I think that there is nothing wrong with resto- modding a car if that is what you want. It is not my business to tell someone how to spend his money.
That being said, if you are going to do something t..do it right.. it is dangerous to just bolt a bigger engine ito a car that was never designed for it and go out on the road.
A restored car is a restored car and if you wish to enjoy cruising i see nothing wrong with upgrading to halogen headlights, radial tires and electronic ignition. The purist can easily replace the parts. My radio works but I have an MP3 player in the glove box since there is only one AM station in my area and their offerings suck.
I have several old cars with drum brakes including my Caribbean and thr 39:Six I am working on now. I have no desire to convert to disc brakes or install a dual master cylinder on any of them. That being said, I do not like or trust the BTV. Every part is new but I still do not feel safe with that system in part because there are no local mechanics familiar with how it works. I may arrange for Ross to go over the whole system when and if the pandemic settles so that I can enjoy the car.
We have to admit the market for most Packards has weakened as those who aspired to own one in their youth are now dying off. The cost and availability of parts to do the cars correctly has escalated at the same time. I believe that the market value of the Caribbeans has dropped nearly 40-50% in the pat decade . Lesser models like my 39 have also dropped in value to the point where securing correct running board covers or woodgrains for the dash become a questionable expense.
I do not show my cars, I drive and enjoy them and that gets to be an expensive enough hobby.
There is a 41:convertible coupe improperly listed as a 110 in Hemmings that had over $50k invested in restoration before the restorer closed shop . They would like to sell the car for $27k but it needs at least that much more to get it on the road….much less to Pebble Beach condition. It is a car that has been dismantled by someone else with no assurance that parts are not missing..or available.
Does it make sense to get involved in such a project if you cannot expect to come close to the oulay.?
As I said originally, it is not my place to tell another man how to spend his money….but that one may end up unsold and unrestored.

Posted on: 12/20 18:56
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Re: Packard Mortality Statistic
#18
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ewrecks
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Don’t get me wrong , I am grateful that are people like you, Max Merritt , Kanter, Mike .Dulinski and others still doing their best to provide the parts to restore the Packards . I thank this Forum for advise no longer readily available. I even thank the internet for easy access.
All that being said, the cost for chrome work, upholstery , machine work and paint and body work continues to escalate.
I am not sure how many people are able to do all of the work required to restore a car. I am certainly not one of them but I am fortunate to have friends who can do a lot of the things I cannot do to try to keep the cost down.
A friend restored a 56 Lincoln Premier in California nearly 20 years ago. It might be better to say he paid others to do the work..and spent nearly $250,000.
It was his money and he knew going in that he would never recoup his investment,…and he ended up with something too perfect to drive.
Some people want a trailer Queen and others just want to enjoy the cars.
We have selected a marque that unlike the .Ferraris or a few other makes are no longer climbing in value.
Common sense and budget constraints sometimes do not coincide and too many cars end up as unfinished projects.
As someone said those under 50 seldom know that Packard was not some .GM nameplate.

Posted on: 12/21 1:43
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Re: Packard Mortality Statistic
#19
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kevinpackard
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I'll put in my 2 cents as a "younger" and recent entrant into the Packard world.

There are still a lot of people my age who are interested in older cars. I can't tell you how many guys I talk to that would love to have a classic after seeing mine. The problem is that most don't have the time/money to devote to it. Young families and other priorities in life trump something like restoring a classic. But children grow up and earnings increase over the years. They'll end up getting into the hobby later in life. I'm fortunate myself to be able to jump in earlier than some.

That being said, not many have heard of Packard before and know nothing about them. All the more reason to drive and show ours.

On the topic of modifications, I tend to lean towards the 'keep things original' side of it. As much as possible, that is my goal. Partly because I want to enjoy the engineering the way that Packard designed it, partly because it gives me a connection with the past, and partly because nearly all the classic cars around me are modified and rodded and I want to be different.

I drive my Packard gently and carefully for leisurely cruises. I don't drive it like a modern car because it isn't. The brakes (drums with a non-original dual master....not my doing) stop perfectly well, but I never give myself a chance to try them out because I drive so defensively.

If I want to go fast, that's not what the Packard is for. Different cars for different purposes. I have an '05 Audi S4 for speed...plenty of power to slam you back in the seat through all six gears, and 0-60 in about 4 seconds. The Audi is designed for speed with all the modern safety equipment. The Packard is not.

-Kevin

Posted on: 12/21 11:59
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Re: Packard Mortality Statistic
#20
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Jack Vines
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A point for discussion. I once attended a joint congressional committee meeting discussing safety standards for new cars.

One of the insurance industry experts told me privately, "Building more safety features into cars doesn't prevent accidents. It just allows the numbnuts to survive the accidents they cause. The safest car to drive would be those which have a 12-gauge shotgun shell built into the steering column which in an accident would discharge and kill the driver. Those cars would never be in a collision."

He went on to explain, as more safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, air bags, anti-skid controls, were designed, drivers just go faster, closer together and use up that additional margin of safety.

Same with modifying a Packard; it can never be anywhere "safe" by current standards, but the driver can choose to drive more safely than 99% of those around him.

jack vines

Posted on: 12/21 12:59
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