Merry Christmas and welcome to Packard Motor Car Information! If you're new here, please register for a free account.  
Login
Username:

Password:

Remember me



Lost Password?

Register now!
FAQ's
Main Menu
Recent Forum Topics
Who is Online
41 user(s) are online (28 user(s) are browsing Forums)

Members: 3
Guests: 38

dick29, Stephen, kevinpackard, more...
Helping out...
PackardInfo is a free resource for Packard Owners that is completely supported by user donations. If you can help out, that would be great!

Donate via PayPal
Video Content
Visit PackardInfo.com YouTube Playlist

Donate via PayPal



(1) 2 3 4 ... 6 »

Best of its day?
#1
Home away from home
Home away from home

55PackardGuy
See User information
Much has been said and written and argued about the Packard Torsion-Level suspension; whether it was "first" or "unique" or "best" or whatever. But I wonder what you think about the following contemporary views of the time, and whether anyone could cite an American car of the era that could best the Packard with Torsion Level suspension for ride and handling?

One quote:

"... different from any other car...for stability, both front and rear ends have independent stabilizers... You can drive into a corner at high speed with this car and the body remains almost level... It was the most comfortable ride I've ever had with a feeling of security at all times."

--Floyd Clymer


Another quote:

"... a great contribution to the world's motor industry... at least one manufacturer realizes that the conventional coil and leaf springs leave much to be desired... Not only is the 1955 Packard safer than many of its contemporaries, but it is much more comfortable."

--Car Life



I don't think Floyd Clymer was beholden to Packard, and I doubt Packard was a big advertiser in Car Life.

NOTE: Quotes from: 'Packard, a History of the Motor Car and the Company"
Beverly Rae Kimes, ed. Copyright 1978, Automobile Quarterly, pg 592

Posted on: 2011/2/23 0:33
Guy

[b]Not an Expert[/
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Best of its day?
#2
Home away from home
Home away from home

Jack Vines
See User information
IMHO, the Torsion-Level was the best of its day at riding well over uneven roads, railroad track and the like.

However, as with the European equivalent, Citroen's hydraulic suspension, Torsion Level was too complicated, too expensive and didn't offer enough benefits over conventional suspensions.

At various times, Honda and GM trucks have offered a rear wheel steering system which improved handling and reduced turning radius. Both dropped it because buyers didn't see enough benefit for the additional cost and complication.

Bottom line - 99.9% of the car buying public are complete numbnuts about the technology they're operating, to the point they don't even realize they are driving a car. They're too busy texting!

When anti-lock brakes came along, insurance companies offered a discount for cars so equipped. They found accidents actually went up. The few drivers who understood anti-lock drove faster in inclement conditions and used up the safety margin. The other 99.9% had a panic when "the brakes started acting funny and making a noise," and actually let off the pedal.

Good engineering has never sold cars in volume and never will.

jack vines

Posted on: 2011/2/23 15:04
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Best of its day?
#3
Home away from home
Home away from home

bkazmer
See User information
I agree with Jack - how many times do you hear that skid marks indicate the driver stopped as quickly as he could, when not locking the wheel is the idea? Modifying the IRS Ford/Jaguar platform to a live axle for one generation of the Mustang. One brief experiemnt on Corvette with OHC then back to OHV.

I must disagree on a minor point - the rear steering (in-phase at high speed, out of phase at low speed!) was put on the Mitsubishi sports GT (3000 VR?)years before the trucks. The conclusion was the same - performance/cost/complexity not warranted/appreciated

Posted on: 2011/2/23 15:29
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Best of its day?
#4
Home away from home
Home away from home

Craig Hendrickson
See User information
One thing to consider is that the roads were in significant transition in the mid-1950s. The Interstate HWY system was just getting started. Many, if not most roads were pretty poor, if not gravel or dirt. Therefore, a vehicle with a superior suspension system was very desirable. Today, almost all roads are very smooth so that one can drive a barely capable vehicle and still be comfortable riding in same.

Another thing is that in 1959 GM used coil spring with wishbone upper and trailing arm lower control arms on their "B" (big car) vehicles. By 1964-65, GM used splayed 4-link rear suspensions with coil springs. Either could be fitted with air-lift rear shocks for a load-leveling capability.

As pointed out in the posts above, the average driver would not know the difference between Torsion-Level and coil spring with air shocks from "shinola."

Craig

Posted on: 2011/2/23 20:00
Nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure! Ellen Ripley "Aliens"
Time flies like an arrow. Frui
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Best of its day?
#5
Forum Ambassador
Forum Ambassador

Mr.Pushbutton
See User information
For what it's worth, Consumer's Reports did not like Torsion Level on the Clipper they evaluated, and preferred coil front/leaf rear cars!
C-R always has been a bunch of nerds that wouldn't know a good thing if it bit them in the ass.

Posted on: 2011/2/23 20:51
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Best of its day?
#6
Home away from home
Home away from home

PackardV8
See User information
I've found that my 56 Executive handles very well on curvy roads eve nat speeds close to 70 mph. There is some understeer comming up out of a curve at speeds over 45 mph but i doubt that TL has anything to do with that.

Most people that ride with me will comment about how smooth and comfortable the ride is.

Nose dive on hard or even moderate braking is another issue. But the handling on curvy roads at speeds above 45 mph and well above that is very good to remarkable. I always enjoy driving the car.

Posted on: 2011/2/23 21:17
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... ewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Best of its day?
#7
Home away from home
Home away from home

PackardV8
See User information
As Craig and JV point out, most of John Q Public doesn't know a good driving car from shitola. Most of the modern cars are small compared to the cars prior to 1980'ish. Small cars give a false psychological impression of good control.

Posted on: 2011/2/23 21:22
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... ewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Best of its day?
#8
Forum Ambassador
Forum Ambassador

HH56
See User information
Nose dive on hard or even moderate braking is another issue.

Obviously your Packard didn't read the propaganda about torsion level having smooth, safe level stops. And many I've observed also didn't read the part about no lean in cornering. Still a great system but maybe why they were making improvements in the design for the 57's.

Attach file:



jpg  (12.28 KB)
209_4d65cead384f9.jpg 609X175 px

Posted on: 2011/2/23 22:27
Howard
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Best of its day?
#9
Home away from home
Home away from home

55PackardGuy
See User information
First off, I better quote myself:

Quote:
whether anyone could cite an American car of the era


Now, I'll quote PackardV8:

Quote:

PackardV8 wrote:
I've found that my 56 Executive handles very well on curvy roads eve nat speeds close to 70 mph. There is some understeer comming up out of a curve at speeds over 45 mph but i doubt that TL has anything to do with that.

Most people that ride with me will comment about how smooth and comfortable the ride is.

Nose dive on hard or even moderate braking is another issue. But the handling on curvy roads at speeds above 45 mph and well above that is very good to remarkable. I always enjoy driving the car.


That's what I'm talking about. Not whether John Q. Public appreciated the heck out of T/L, or whether the leveling feature was just the bee's knees, but exactly what the two quotes I posted said: It was a helluva advancement over any American cars, and I'll venture to guess, any mass produced passenger cars from overseas, in ride and HANDLING and SAFETY (road control). It makes not a whit of difference in estimating the Packard Motor Car Company or its engineers whether the average driver noticed WHY he'd made it through that corner going way too fast-- just that he MADE it.

As PackardV8 notes on his personal experience, I have personally experienced the road characteristics of the T/L suspension, sometimes at OBSCENE speeds on TERRIBLE gravel roads, going into 4-wheel drifts and coming out of them with the assurance of a stock car racer when I was barely starting to drive.

I can't believe no one else has had these kind of experiences, but maybe y'all just started driving T/L Packards after they had become "investments."

Posted on: 2011/2/23 22:29
Guy

[b]Not an Expert[/
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Best of its day?
#10
Home away from home
Home away from home

PackardV8
See User information
"didn't read the part about no lean in cornering"

I do not notice any body roll going into curves on 2-lane open hiway eve nat speeds of 65 to 70 mph. None at all. But then again i'm running heavy truck shocks front and rear. Not passenger car shocks. But shocks are only a partial factorr.

Posted on: 2011/2/23 22:43
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... ewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
 Top  Print 
 




(1) 2 3 4 ... 6 »




Search
Recent Photos
Photo of the Day
449562 - Cloth Sidewall - Dark Blue
Recent Registry
Website Comments or Questions?? Click Here Copyright 2006-2021, PackardInfo.com All Rights Reserved