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1956 Senior Grille Question
#1
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Packard Filip
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After some reading about the subject, I still require more information. According to a lot of posts as well as the Revere Aluminum Packard advertisement, the textured grille on the senior Packards of 1956 is supposed to be made of anodized aluminum.

However on my recently acquired 1956 Four Hundred it appears to have been swapped at some point as it is rusty and not made of aluminum (picture attached), as it is very magnetic. I have been looking around online too and I keep seeing old grilles for sale, with a similar rusty appearance. I have heard of the illusive chrome textured grille, but it'd not be rusty in that way either.

So I'm wondering whether then if this is a swap from a previous restoration, as the car has been restored and repainted once, or whether the actual anodized aluminum grilles were rare. Furthermore, would it even be possible to obtain the anodized aluminum counterpart that should be there, or should I fix up the one that is already there?

Attach file:



jpg  Rusted Grille.jpg (719.03 KB)
225670_6349e85cce958.jpg 4032X3024 px

Posted on: 10/14 17:55
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Re: 1956 Senior Grille Question
#2
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HH56
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Several books said early production cars used steel which was chrome plated. The screens did rust as well as the all chrome grill sort of overwhelmed the front end and the chromed bars of the pot metal part got lost in the screen. As the story goes Cadillac introduced a grill with gold backing on one of their models and Packard styling liked the look so followed shortly after with the gold anodized aluminum screen.

Posted on: 10/14 18:11
Howard
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Re: 1956 Senior Grille Question
#3
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Packard Filip
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I see. My Four Hundred has the vehicle number 5687-3683 which according to the Packard decoder is the 2683rd Four Hundred produced, but I am not sure whether this constitutes it as late production or not.

It could be possible the grille was taken from another parts car at some point in time however, I have yet to fully read through the documents that came with the car that detail everything done with it.

Problem is I still don't know what to restore the grille as, chrome or gold, the latter would probably mean finding or making an aluminum grille however.

This is not the only design question I have either with further improving the condition of the car, tough to find information.

Posted on: 10/14 18:24
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Re: 1956 Senior Grille Question
#4
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HH56
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I have no idea if any of the repro screens made years ago are still available. It has been many years since they were made so probably not as I seem to recall they sold fairly briskly. Having the steel chrome plated again might be an option but another inexpensive option might be to clean, remove or treat the rust and then paint with gold followed by a clear coat or maybe a gold powder coating would hold up better. Not sure exactly how close either would come to the anodized look but the screen is less prominent and more hidden than other gold pieces so it might work. Almost anything would be better than rust.

Removal of the screen is briefly covered in this thread.https://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=22536&post_id=235362#forumpost235362

Posted on: 10/14 18:42
Howard
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Re: 1956 Senior Grille Question
#5
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PackardDon
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Whether you rechrome yours or find one in gold anodize, I think it would be a matter of your own preference as to which looks better. I doubt any judge would have a list that says your serial number should be one or the other!

Posted on: 10/14 19:13
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Re: 1956 Senior Grille Question
#6
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Owen_Dyneto
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On the 1956 Caribbean convertibles it's pretty well established that the changeover from chrome finish to gold anodize occurred after car #41 and before #77. It wouldn't surprise me if the roster keeper for the other models could likewise estimate the changeover point.

There is also some but more limited information on the convertibles to bracket the differences in the forward door jambs for the three different courtesy light switch configurations.

Posted on: 10/14 19:50
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Re: 1956 Senior Grille Question
#7
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humanpotatohybrid
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Ross had suggested to me to use Duplicolor Gold paint for emblems so that's what I would suggest if you are painting the screen. Note that you need to get it to shiny bare metal first for a proper finish.

Posted on: 10/14 21:19
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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