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Old 07-27-2018, 10:39 PM
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bgadow bgadow is offline
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I Bought A Packard!

Now, I really thought I was more level-headed than this, always over-thinking every little purchase or life decision. Last weekend, with hardly any deep thought, I bought this 1949 Packard Deluxe Eight. I can't decide yet if this was insanity or brilliance on my part

A fellow down the street has owned the car for maybe 5 years; every time I'd drive by his place I wondered why he never used it. Oftentimes I was thinking this while motoring by in my '51 Fordor. (If I drove the old girl any more frequently she'd be a daily-driver). The Packard had been hibernating in his garage so long that I figured he might have gotten rid of it. Then, last week I spotted it in his driveway and a few days later it was advertised in the local classifieds. I had to walk down and take a look, then a test drive. My wife was surprisingly supportive though she did insist that, if I bought it, I had to sell the Ford. Now that I have the keys to the '49 we are both pretty emotional about saying goodbye to the '51 (perhaps the favorite of every vehicle I've owned). A friend of mine, the nephew of the Ford's original owner, had given me what amounted to a standing offer on the car back when I got it. I called him the other day and he was just a little less excited than I hoped he'd be. If the deal falls through I'm not sure which way I'll go as I know he'd keep the Ford in original condition & take good care of it. Anyway...

The Packard has a 288 straight 8 that's as smooth running as I'd imagined. Nice & quiet, and easy starting. (The automatic choke is tuned in pretty good, maybe a little rich for a "cold" start in July but I'd prefer that to the alternative.) The interior is all original and has held up very well for a car nearing its 70th birthday. A previous owner really loaded it up with mothballs & it's terribly strong despite them being long since removed. I've put boxes of charcoal briquets in the car to see how that does. The worst thing about the car is an old re-spray that's failing in places. This brings me to a problem I've never had: I grew up in the family auto body business and whenever we had a project like this we just waited for a slow spell and pulled it in the shop. Well, I closed the doors 5 years ago. Egads, I'll have to actually PAY somebody to paint this car! At least the body is solid, with only surface rust here and there. I'm wondering if it was a problem from the factory as I've seen others online this color that haven't held up.

Most of my work right now is tracing down some little gremlins and such. The master cylinder was replaced in the last year but they never bled the brakes so I guess that will keep me busy for a while on Saturday. Some of the lights aren't working, it needs an oil change, etc. I didn't think I needed something to keep me busy...


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Last edited by bgadow; 07-30-2018 at 10:14 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:33 PM
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dishdude dishdude is offline
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Wow that's sweet! Congrats. Should have kept the Ford too!
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:57 PM
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Tony V Tony V is offline
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That is awesome! I hope the Packard gives you as much enjoyment as the Ford has in the past.
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Old 07-28-2018, 04:02 AM
broadcaster broadcaster is offline
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Ask The Man Who Owns One

You have a fine motor car there. Congrats!
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Old 07-28-2018, 05:40 AM
Titan1a Titan1a is offline
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They really DID build them better back then!
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Old 07-28-2018, 06:35 AM
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Schweet!
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:45 AM
fixmeplease fixmeplease is offline
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I had the exact same car years ago but it was a junker. What amazed me was even how big the car was that the engine just barely fit, LOL Nothing runs smoother than a straight 8. Enjoy!
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:33 AM
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Just one year newer than Doc Brown's convertible, nice.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:58 AM
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Very classy car, I'm definitely envious! Does the tube radio work?

Also, studying the photos I noticed the speedometer "goes to eleven". Spinal Tap reference aside, can such an old car really do 100mph? It would be wild to have that old machine cutting through the air so quickly.
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Old 07-28-2018, 11:56 AM
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benman94 benman94 is offline
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My Grandfather, Ed, was in management at Packard from 1939 until 1954 at which point he became a manager with the Post Office. The handwriting was on the wall so to speak...

His last Packard was a '54 Caribbean and he drove it until it literally fell apart in the late 60s, as he felt a Cadillac or Imperial was beneath him. Packard was truly the last of the American luxury cars.

Congrats on a wonderful purchase. That straight eight is one of the finest engines to ever come out of Detroit.
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:28 PM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Packard-Philco radio.

I had a radio from a Packard like that.
It seemed strange that the radio was located that far from the driver.
The radio was painted with a brown metallic paint. It had eight Loctal tubes, with push-pull 7C5 outputs. The last Packards came through with Delco Radios.
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:48 PM
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benman94 benman94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhifi View Post
Very classy car, I'm definitely envious! Does the tube radio work?

Also, studying the photos I noticed the speedometer "goes to eleven". Spinal Tap reference aside, can such an old car really do 100mph? It would be wild to have that old machine cutting through the air so quickly.
The Packard can do at least 90 mph. The lowly 1949 Olds Rocket 88 could reach 97 mph. A 1949 Buick Roadmaster with the terrible Dynaflow slushbox could hit 110 mph. Going back even further, a Model T in a custom speedster body can reach expressway speeds, as could a bone stock 1906 Ford Model K.

Would you want to take any car that age that fast is the real question...

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Old 07-28-2018, 02:45 PM
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init4fun init4fun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benman94 View Post
A 1949 Buick Roadmaster with the terrible Dynaflow slushbox could hit 110 mph.
Ever actually driven one ?

My 53 Buick with the straight 8 and Dynaflow transmission was a great running/driving car and the "slushbox" slur is in my opinion undeserved ......

PS , To Brian , Great car that Packard , you'll have a lot of fun with that one
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Old 07-28-2018, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
Ever actually driven one ?

My 53 Buick with the straight 8 and Dynaflow transmission was a great running/driving car and the "slushbox" slur is in my opinion undeserved ......

PS , To Brian , Great car that Packard , you'll have a lot of fun with that one
"Slushbox" isn't a slur; the transmission is fluid coupled. It's a "slushbox" by design.

I've driven two: a '49 and a '52. The straight engine is nice, and I'll say that the Dynaflow gives very smooth acceleratio. That's where my praise ends.

Buick always had garbage styling, the Roadmaster I drove handled poorly, and a Dynaflow equipped vehicle accelerates too slowly and wastes gas doing it.

Oldsmobile's Hydramatic transmission was vastly superior. The engineers at the Pontiac, GMC, and Cadillac divisions apparently agreed.

Even Chevrolet's Powerglide was more efficient than Buick's Dynaflow.

All that said, Packard's Ultramatic was a better transmission than Hydramatic, Dynaflow, or Powerglide, with the exception of rather serious reliability issues.

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Old 07-28-2018, 05:26 PM
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davet753 davet753 is offline
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Smile

Love that Packard. That's going to give you a lot of pleasure on the road, as it's hard to beat a Packard for comfort and ride.

Concerning the Buick comments: I had a '60 Lesabre with the dynaflow transmission, and it was very reliable and smooth as silk, but slow. It had a substantial V8 engine, but the only way you could get much "oomph" out of it was to pull the shifter down into Low and manually upshift to drive about 40 MPH, otherwise taking off from a dead stop was pretty pitiful. Admittedly, it was the smoothest transmission I've ever driven. Only after owning and driving one did I realize how wise the Buick division was to drop it in favor of the hydromatic.

I've never heard of the term "slushbox" for the dynaflow, but have laughed at the old wag "Slip and Slide with Powerglide"
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