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1956 Packard Patrician for Project or Parts- Asking $3,000
#1
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Carl Jr
See User information
It's finally time to sell Dad's Packard.

This 1956 Patrician has been parked in the family garage since around 1961 . Dad said it was running when it was parked. But it surely hasn't been started in decades.

I grew up with this car patiently waiting for attention in the garage, and often thought about getting her running. But now that my dad has passed, we're finally clearing out my parents house. And it's now clear that we need to find the Packard another home. We hope to get a reasonable price for my Mom.

We're asking $3,000 based on a professional appraisal by PVPPI in May 2022 and slight market appreciation. We intend to list it in several places soon. But I wanted to start a post here, in case somebody wants to swing by Pittsburgh after the Hershey meet in this October.

Pennsylvania title is clear.

Car is stored in Pittsburgh PA.

Please contact me if you're interested or have any advice to help us find a good home.

Carl Ott
carl.ott.jr@gmail.com
or send a DM




This car has 68,300 miles.
In all those years, Dad only shared a few details about the car:
* Push button '52 Lincoln hydrostatic transmission (installed by a mechanic on Pittsburgh's North Side, due to issues with the OEM transmission).
[28 Sept correction - Dad's notes indicate '52 Lincoln Hydromatic transmission - surely he meant "Hydra-Matic"]
* Electric windows
* Lots of non-OEM parts, for example, Dad put extensions to one or both torsion bars, since it started to bottom out. He said this was the first vehicle on highway with torsion bar suspension vs coils.
* About the electric shift mechanism, Dad said he disabled the shift contact mechanism, and reordered buttons, so could retain the Packard pushbutton mechanism. (to avoid the aftermarket guy who normally cut a hole int he floor to add a shift lever). Dad said it was not strong enough to pull out of the pawl, so dad had to park without putting the weight of the car on the transmission, a few times had to jack car up to get out of park...


Excerpts from the May 2022 appraisal
The last oil change sticker in door jam reads 1961, PA state inspection sticker on windshield also reads 1961, and the windshield is cracked in that area. It is believed that the car has been in storage in the same garage ever since. Since it has been in storage for over a half century without running or driving, this is a mostly complete #5 condition project vehicle. Much of the vehicle in inaccessible due to long-term storage.
The exterior body panels are in fair condition to poor, with large rust holes in the front fenders and quarter panels. Majority of chrome on the car is heavily pitted in poor condition. While the interior is mostly original and in good condition, there is mildew present but most of it can be saved.

Undercarriage exhibits heavy surface rust throughout which is common for this geographical region, but not completely rusted out. Majority of it is quite solid with the worst areas being the rocker panel rusted through. The Paint Code (MR) is Dover White & Mojave Tan Metallic with Trim Code (69) Tan Striped Broadcloth.

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Posted on: 2023/9/24 12:01
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Re: 1956 Packard Patrician for Project or Parts- Asking $3,000
#2
Home away from home
Home away from home

humanpotatohybrid
See User information
Do you know why the driver fender is so rusted? That "stripe" of rust is very ususual, and considering the rest of the car is decent in the rust department, I have to wonder. Was something dripping there for decades? Or was that section replaced at one point? I've never seen anything like that to be honest.

Selling tips:
- See if you can find a fairly local source and price on a replacement driver front fender, and put it in the ad. The paint needs redone anyway, so it won't be a huge deal to replace that in addition. Perhaps Ross in Maryland has one. Ideally it would be from a 56 Patrician. A 56 400 would work with slight modification for the script on the sides. Not sure about the 56 Clippers compatibility.
- Pull the plugs and pour ATF or MMO in all the cylinders, let it sit a few days. See if you can free it up enough to turn one revolution. 1-1/16 bolt on the front crankshaft... don't use the starter. P.S. disconnect the belts from the A/C first because surely it is frozen too by now.
- Be sure to note in the ad that it has factory A/C. Parts for those are rare and it will add value.

Posted on: 2023/9/24 16:03
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: 1956 Packard Patrician for Project or Parts- Asking $3,000
#3
Home away from home
Home away from home

Packard Don
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Good tips! The top fender rust-outs were in a weak spot from where the "hoods" were added over the headlights to the 1955 and the 1956 Clipper-type fenders which didn't have them. Rather than making a separate fender stamp, the pieces were stamped separately, then grafted on.

Posted on: 2023/9/24 16:35
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Re: 1956 Packard Patrician for Project or Parts- Asking $3,000
#4
Home away from home
Home away from home

humanpotatohybrid
See User information
Thanks for the info Don.

Carl, FYI for transferring the title you will need to notarize it with the buyer's name already filled out, and provide the buyer with a notarized copy of the short certificate (assuming it's in your dad's name).

Posted on: 2023/9/24 18:07
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: 1956 Packard Patrician for Project or Parts- Asking $3,000
#5
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Carl Jr
See User information
Quote:

humanpotatohybrid wrote:
Do you know why the driver fender is so rusted? That "stripe" of rust is very ususual, and considering the rest of the car is decent in the rust department, I have to wonder. Was something dripping there for decades? Or was that section replaced at one point? I've never seen anything like that to be honest.

Selling tips:
- See if you can find a fairly local source and price on a replacement driver front fender, and put it in the ad. The paint needs redone anyway, so it won't be a huge deal to replace that in addition. Perhaps Ross in Maryland has one. Ideally it would be from a 56 Patrician. A 56 400 would work with slight modification for the script on the sides. Not sure about the 56 Clippers compatibility.
- Pull the plugs and pour ATF or MMO in all the cylinders, let it sit a few days. See if you can free it up enough to turn one revolution. 1-1/16 bolt on the front crankshaft... don't use the starter. P.S. disconnect the belts from the A/C first because surely it is frozen too by now.
- Be sure to note in the ad that it has factory A/C. Parts for those are rare and it will add value.



Many Thanks for the tips - I appreciate the positive feedback!

- About the front fender rust - it's on both sides. This car lived in Pittsburgh in the heyday when when salty slush coated the roads for many months each winter and when Pittsburgh earned the title "Pothole Capital of the World". What a great way to make roads drivable - drop tons and tons of actual salt on the roads - then have snow plows throw salty slush onto parked cars so that they're well coated from the underside and the outside. Maybe rust is good when steel is the primary product of your city - planned obsolescence

Dad once said that rust in that area was common for cars in the day - that the tires would throw salty slush into that area, where it would just sit rust. FWIW I've started restoring his Mercedes 190SL which apparently had its nose cowl replaced with a lap joint - and it's showing signs of a similar band of rust at the joint.

- thanks also for the tips & lead on finding a source for replacement fenders. sounds like a great idea

- I was wondering if she really had A/C. Dad never mentioned that part. That's great to hear and I'll be sure to include it in the listing.

- I did think about trying to soak the cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil and try to hand crank it over. But it seems like the spark plus are absolutely buried. I actually live in Dallas, with limited time every other month to get the car and house in Pittsburgh ready for sale. Can you share any secrets that make it easier to access the plugs?

- And if I'm able to soak the cylinders and disconnect the A/C - what about the transmission? Is there any way to ensure that the parking pawl / drive train is disengaged?

- About where to list for sale - Any suggestions as to sites that Packard enthusiasts prefer for level 5 cars like this? Any recommendation for list as classified vs. auction?

Posted on: 2023/9/25 8:43
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Re: 1956 Packard Patrician for Project or Parts- Asking $3,000
#6
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Carl Jr
See User information
Quote:

Packard Don wrote:
Good tips! The top fender rust-outs were in a weak spot from where the "hoods" were added over the headlights to the 1955 and the 1956 Clipper-type fenders which didn't have them. Rather than making a separate fender stamp, the pieces were stamped separately, then grafted on.


Thanks for the feedback! It's interesting to hear how these manufacturing choices and methods lead to different outcomes many years and miles down the road...

Posted on: 2023/9/25 8:46
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Re: 1956 Packard Patrician for Project or Parts- Asking $3,000
#7
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Carl Jr
See User information
Quote:

humanpotatohybrid wrote:
Thanks for the info Don.

Carl, FYI for transferring the title you will need to notarize it with the buyer's name already filled out, and provide the buyer with a notarized copy of the short certificate (assuming it's in your dad's name).



Good points - thanks.

Yes as it turns out - the title was in Dad's name - probably since estimated 1959 (postmark from DMV envelope with Dad's certificate of title).

As soon as I called and asked about the transfer process, the PA DMV immediately voided the title since Dad had died and since dead people apparently can't hold title to property.

That started a 5 or 6 month odyssey of getting the title transferred to Mom - who is still with us. Thankfully, transfer to a surviving spouse worked and let us avoid dealing with probate & estate transfers. Apparently, the PA DMV 'purges' title records if there is no activity after some time. Fortunately, they do keep some kind of meta-data record indicating that the title existed, but they apparently dump the detailed history.

Plus - this car was made what - 20 or 30 years prior to standardized VINs? That also complicated matters considerably. We had a rough time to get paperwork filled out and processed correctly with the correct VIN.

Hence, between the old / non-standard VINs and purged records - title transfer from Dad's name to Mom took 5 or 6 months for both of Dad's cars - the '56 Packard and the '57 Mercedes. Talk about painful. I'm glad we got that done before starting sale & transfer processes...

Along the way I've learned that different states follow different practices for cases like this. For example, Texas apparently has a single form that lets you declare the prior owner's death and let a surviving spouse transfer to a child. But not Pennsylvania. For another example, one friend mentioned that he thought he had a clear Texas title for decades for something like a '39 Ford. Then when he tried to transfer it to a family member, a title search in Illinois revealed that it had been reported stolen within months of the first sale. So much paperwork...

Lessons learned:
if you have an older car and want to make it easier on whoever will manage your estate - do something to refresh the title while you're still around - maybe put it jointly in a family members name or something like that. This stuff can take time and documentation - which is much easier to arrange when you're still there to 'enjoy' and facilitate the process...

Posted on: 2023/9/25 9:24
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Re: 1956 Packard Patrician for Project or Parts- Asking $3,000
#8
Home away from home
Home away from home

Kevin
See User information
Do you mind if I ask what is the VIN on the car? Just wondering if it's a late production car. The 1956 cars were generally better than the 1955s, but the late 1956 cars were the best of the V8 Packards.

Posted on: 2023/9/25 9:32
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Re: 1956 Packard Patrician for Project or Parts- Asking $3,000
#9
Home away from home
Home away from home

humanpotatohybrid
See User information
Quote:

Carl Jr wrote:
- I was wondering if she really had A/C. Dad never mentioned that part. That's great to hear and I'll be sure to include it in the listing.

- I did think about trying to soak the cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil and try to hand crank it over. But it seems like the spark plus are absolutely buried. I actually live in Dallas, with limited time every other month to get the car and house in Pittsburgh ready for sale. Can you share any secrets that make it easier to access the plugs?

- And if I'm able to soak the cylinders and disconnect the A/C - what about the transmission? Is there any way to ensure that the parking pawl / drive train is disengaged?

- About where to list for sale - Any suggestions as to sites that Packard enthusiasts prefer for level 5 cars like this? Any recommendation for list as classified vs. auction?


- I can see the compressor under the hood and vents on the upper dash so definitely factory A/C. I doubt it was much needed in pgh though. Also, buying it used, it probably wasn't much difference in price. The A/C new was about a $10,000 option in today's money.

- The plugs aren't hard to access, just have the right deep well socket and a ratchet. Maybe a 3" extension. There's really nothing removable that would make it easier to be honest. Another idea is just to fill the entire engine, up to the intake manifold, with motor oil. But I'm not sure this would really be worth doing tbh.

- The parking pawl only locks the output shaft of the transmission. It would rotate freely even in Park... that's how the car starts and idles

- Post on eBay (sale, not auction, and open to offers), FB Marketplace, Craigslist, Packard Club classifieds, AACA classifieds... maybe also Bring A Trailer. Keep in mind that Packards are pretty slow movers...

Posted on: 2023/9/25 13:48
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: 1956 Packard Patrician for Project or Parts- Asking $3,000
#10
Home away from home
Home away from home

humanpotatohybrid
See User information
Also join the Packards of Pittsburgh Facebook group.https://www.facebook.com/groups/589755338722996/?ref=share&mibextid=NSMWBT

Posted on: 2023/9/25 14:51
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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