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Had to laugh
#1
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Ozstatman
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Here "downunder" every second Packard of this era is often described as General MacArthu'rs or, if not, as Admiral Nimitz's.

Saw this on a Facebook page, so I know it must be true. Right?

Click to see original Image in a new window

The Facebook page said this:

"In 1942 General Douglas MacArthur ordered this Packard Clipper Eight sedan with virtually every option including air conditioning, overdrive, and radio.

The $1,341 base price nearly doubled to $2,600. The factory returned his check and delivered the car to his station in Australia as a gift.

The car was MacArthur's until 1948, when he gave it to his driver who had served the general.

The car sat forgotten in a barn in Texas for 30 years. MacArthur made arrangements through a Navy friend to ship the car on the aircraft carrier Princeton to San Diego.

Then on a military flatbed it shipped to Fort Sam Houston, Texas. It was released to the driver in his home city of Dallas. He made arrangements to have military hardware removed and painted a bright post war color. However, he had to wait as they were busy.

Before he could get it done he parked the car in his small, dirt floor garage. He died in his sleep and it remained there untouched for years. The car still had MacArthur's old army helmet and corncob pipe.


Best story I've heard so far.

Posted on: 2/1 2:29
Mal
/o[]o\
====

Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

1938 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

1941 One-Twenty Club Coupe - SOLD

1948 Super Eight Limo, chassis RHD - SOLD

1950 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

What's this?
Put your Packard in the Packard Vehicle Registry!
Here's how!
Any questions - PM or email me at ozstatman@gmail.com
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Re: Had to laugh
#2
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Ernie Vitucci
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Now that's a tall one! Ernie in Arizona

Posted on: 2/1 10:26
Caretaker of the 1949-288 Deluxe Touring Sedan
'Miss Prudence' and the 1931 Model A Ford Tudor 'Miss Princess'
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Re: Had to laugh
#3
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HH56
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That same car and story of how it arrived in US was featured in an article by Jim Hollingsworth in the May-June 1976 or 1978 (last number is blurred) issue of Special Interest Auto. In that article they were featuring the car's factory AC. At least the story is consistent but whether it is true is anyones guess. Since the article was authored by Hollingsworth would like to believe there was some evidence to support the story.

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Posted on: 2/1 10:54
Howard
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Re: Had to laugh
#4
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Leeedy
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Quote:

HH56 wrote:
That same car and story of how it arrived in US was featured in an article by Jim Hollingsworth in the May-June 1976 or 1978 (last number is blurred) issue of Special Interest Auto. In that article they were featuring the car's factory AC. At least the story is consistent but whether it is true is anyones guess. Since the article was authored by Hollingsworth would like to believe there was some evidence to support the story.


Ahhh. This one again. Myself and a friend, Darwin Lumley (we were both members of Society of Automotive Historians [SAH]) debunked this story when it first appeared. But the de-bunking never got published (yes, I still have the original typed manuscript to this day).

For one thing, MacArthur preferred Cadillacs. It is a fact that while in the Philippines the General had a Cadillac for himself and another for his wife. Those Cadillacs carried license plates that read: USA-1 and USA-2.

Furthermore, the ship that supposedly brought this Packard back from the Philippines was... actually SUNK off of Luzon in Layte Gulf prior to the return. So... uhhhh... that would be a neat trick for the Packard to somehow come back to the USA in 1948 aboard a vessel sunken in 1944.

There were numerous other questionable issues about this story. But it is certainly a good story and interesting car.

About twenty years ago, there was yet another of these olive drab Packards running around in Washington state... also being claimed to belong to General MacArthur.

How many Mercedes did Hitler own? How many pink Cadillacs did Elvis own? Well... apparently a bunch of them, huh?

Posted on: 2/1 13:46
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Re: Had to laugh
#5
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su8overdrive
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Right, and how many Bonnie and Clyde Fords were circulating Midwest fairs in the '70s? We thought the May-June 1976 issue #34 Special Interest Autos piece thoroughly debunked the "General MacArthur Packard Clipper," explaining that MacArthur was chauffeured occasionally in a '42 Cadillac 75 limousine belonging to the owner of a Philippine sugar plantation.

A new generation of buffs is now certain MacArthur had a '42 Packard Clipper staff car, abetted by down home museum displays of olive drabbed, blacked out Clippers -- some of them postwar models at that -- and the internet.

Ike, Omar Bradley and some other high brass in Europe did get '42 Packard One-Sixty/One-Eighty Clipper staff cars.

Have you noticed the rabid interest in war materiel invariably in those who never served, or did so in the peacetime military, or the reserves--never combat vets? We've even seen paeans to Packard-built Rolls-Royce Merlins to the point where one duffer said he could tell by the sound of one running up or taxiing whether it was one of the 55,523 built in Detroit, or 112,945 Merlins produced by Rolls-Royce in Crewe, England, Glasgow, Scotland, or Ford of England (Manchester). Improvements from either side of the Atlantic were quickly incorporated in both's next series, lifelong Merlin rebuilders reporting the sole difference the Brit versions' finer external finish. Packard otherwise had nothing to do with the Merlin beyond enlisting a platoon of draftsmen at taxpayer expense to redraw the engine for US methods. It was an impressive undertaking, but hardly an act of altruism, wartime ads aside.

Packard's legal counsel Henry E. Bodman rewrote the Merlin contract so it became the basis of governtment contracts for years to come, Packard one of only two automakers to emerge profitable after the war. And look how Packard blew this second lease on life (their first the excellent '35 120): spending as much clobbing 200 additional pounds of glop on the svelte Clipper as an entirely new body would've cost, and producing, with help from Detroit Gear, essentially a Dynaflow with lock-up torque convertor because GM would not allow Packard to use HydraMatic for an entire year after introducing any improvement.

The liquid cooled, 1,650-ci Merlin V-12, quickly adopting a two-stage, two-speed supercharger, was the second most produced aero engine by any combatant of the war; only the 1,830-ci air-cooled, turbocharged, two-row 14-cylinder Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp radial eclipsed it with help from Buick; 173,618 to Merlin's 168,468 total, narrowly making the R-1830 the most produced engine in aviation history.

And yet we have war buffs raving the P-51 Mustang just had to be the best pursuit plane of the war because it had a "Packard" engine, overlooking the Spitfire, Focke-Wulf 190, the Zero, P-47 Thunderbolt, Yakovlev 3, the Corsair, P-38 and others all purpose built for specific engagement and use, precluding the idea of a single "best," those flying them quick to accord respect for enemy designs.

Packard concurrently produced all 12,103 of the 2,490-ci marine V-12s for the patrol torpedo, Army and British rescue boat fleets. ELCO's beautiful woodworking aside, the Diesel German Schnellboots, S-boats, fast boats, were considered superior, including by JFK and others who experienced both, another wartime aside many suffering one marque-itis overlook. Gasoline at sea more dangerous than Diesel, but gas simplified our logistics, and there never was a domestic gas shortage. Rationing and 35 mph speed limit were to conserve vital rubber. The PT boats were such gas hogs they often had to be towed back to base after sortees by destroyers.

This "General MacArthur Clipper" bolshoi is a good time to park the odes to military hardware, try to remember the hell the infantry suffered in the war that erased the last of the world's innocence, left 71 million men, women, children dead; three percent of the globe's population, sidelined peacetime science: 1939's cyclotron, 1940's electron microscrope, live television broadcasts from the 1939-40 NY World's Fair, though the first major TV broadcast was of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where American athlete Jesse Owens embarrassed Hitler, only to be snubbed by FDR when he returned home.

In June, 1943, just as the US was, with much blood and sacrifice, both domestic and Russian, as well, as Brit, French, Polish, Czech, gradually wresting victory from a Germany running out of oil, 25,000 whites walked off the job in a wildcat strike at Packard, after the Company finally promoted three blacks to work alongside whites, sparked when one of the "gentlemen building the car for gentlemen" yelled "I'd rather work next to Hitler or Tojo than a n--word!" This event slowed critical war production.

The point of this expansion is perspective. The war did nothing for Packard's automobiles. Quite the contrary. I doubt the quality of my '47 Buick Roadmaster according to Packard (Super Clipper) is better, let alone as good as, the '42 version, and you can probably say that for the 1946-47 versions of all other makes.

There are websites for those who want to have Batman vs. Superman debates over military gewgaws. Some of us would like to stick with a u t o m o b i l e s; their design, engineering, competition, servicing, rebuilding, and not just, to the last lockwasher, how they were built, but why.

"The hills and rivers of the lowland country
You have made your battle ground.
How do you suppose the people who live there
Will procure firewood and hay?
Do not let me hear you talking together
About titles and promotions;
For a single general’s reputation
Is made out of ten thousand corpses."

--Ts'ao Sung (c. 830 – 910) Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty.

Posted on: 2/2 5:08
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Re: Had to laugh
#6
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Wat_Tyler
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Two years ago, Wat ran into an ad for a "1942 Packard 180 staff car" for that other general, the Eisenhower guy. Now, I intuited that they were misinformed, or full of horse apples as the case may be. But it had fender skirts!!! A pair of them. And what I thought was a decent drivers side LWB front fender. So it merited a visit. Turns out the guy made me an offer I don't refuse, and it came with the piece of a trailer that you see it on. A few shekels two weeks later and it was mine. Turns out the car was a 1941 Clipper and probably no closer to Ike than I was. Nothing fancy or special on it other than the art fair project "military" paint job.


I dragged it back to VA and then hauled it to KY a few weeks after that. The lights on the trailer didn't work, but I was driving it both trips while the sun shone and the gendarmerie left us alone. Both trips added together came to nearly 900 miles. About 18 miles, maybe a bit less, from the farm, one of the front axle tires blew. Being on the back roads, we simply slowed and watched the smoke roll and listened to the rubber flap. A few miles later, the tire on the other side of that axle blew. We made it to the farm on what was left of the trailer arrangement and parked the whole rig. The other two tires went fat overnight. We got a good laugh out of that.


It is a good pile of parts, and those skirts!!!

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Posted on: 2/2 10:03
If you're not having fun, maybe it's your own damned fault.
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Re: Had to laugh
#7
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Guscha
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This trailer was once a vital component of General Custer's wagon fort. Mal (Ozstatman) knew about it and that was the reason why he posted this thread in the General forum. The lights of the trailer were deliberately turned off; that was part of the plan. I believe that the tire burst is due to another cause. Have you ever checked them for traces of arrowheads?

Posted on: 2/2 12:40
The story of ZIS-110, ZIS-115, ZIL-111 & Chaika GAZ-13 on www.guscha.de
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Re: Had to laugh
#8
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su8overdrive
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Whitewalls on a staff car. Good one. Thanks. But wasn't Custer's a Studebaker?

Posted on: 2/2 18:21
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Re: Had to laugh
#9
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Bob J
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Sure wasn't a Pontiac...

Posted on: 2/2 22:13
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Re: Had to laugh
#10
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su8overdrive
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Bob J knocks it out of the park.

Posted on: 2/3 3:57
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