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Old 4th May 2008, 11:53   #61
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Hi DKG,

Very interesting restoration of your Packard, I was waiting for this update
for long. Your dedication and passion towards bringing this car live is really
marvellous. I also notice that you have very interesting writing skills,
I am anxious to see remaining restoration work. I am sure your family support and encouragement also helps you a lot.
Please share and document it, so many untold stories from your father
or other elders in the family who has similar passions for vintage cars, I am sure you may have interesting stories to share with us.

Wish you all the best in your projects, please keep coming more, also
share us with remaining work of your Packard, bodywork, etc., what is
status of body work now?

Good luck!
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Old 4th May 2008, 13:23   #62
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Hi,

Great Work DKG, A lot of hard work & determination going into it.

I am also in the process of restoring My 73' Datsun 260C,
(with a little help from experts in the field), presently stalled due to my Career commitments.

Will be starting again with the process soon. Can't wait to sit in it & take it for a ride.

Here's the Link for my Datsun's Restoration Story.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vintag...storation.html
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Old 4th May 2008, 21:49   #63
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presently stalled due to my Career commitments.
Now that and many other issues such as money are what makes it all so much fun, as you really need to persevere to make it happen, and often its all these challenges that make the journey so special

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Please share and document it, so many untold stories from your father or other elders in the family who has similar passions for vintage cars
Some of my most cherished moments in this hobby/passion are with people double my age! Countless tales and childlike wonderment. I deeply enjoyed listening to their stories, I guess that's where I picked up the flair for telling them

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Was there a tube to tidy the HT leads?
Until the 1936 Packard 120 there was a tube casing through which ran the leads just along the plugs. They dispensed with this for later models and instead replaced it with a very short 4 inch V shaped casing that just held all leads in above the distributor and allowed the leads to fan out openly to the plug points. Could it have been some induction related issues? Wonder why they did that


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Will you be fitting a body? I always found it helps with overall appearance and comfort
Hope you like it like this? Its present state

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Old 4th May 2008, 22:27   #64
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Just for you DKG:
1905
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1914
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1926
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1929
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Old 4th May 2008, 22:48   #65
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Not bad at all DKG, so the body has been bolted on eh. Looks very mean at this stage
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Old 4th May 2008, 22:50   #66
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Just for you DKG:
Thank you Sir!

Fortunately this marque enjoys a huge fan following in the US and an amazing collection of fabulous Packards have survived.

An interesting fact. RR and Packard always had each other in sight. Once when a senior Packard official was questioned about the presence of an RR at the Packard factory he replied " Just making sure we are not outdone!!"

The fact that Packard had set extraordinary standards in engineering and workmanship was a primary reason why in the 20's it grew to being the world's largest selling luxury brand. They outsold their nearest competitor Cadillac two to one. RR's entire production figure didn't measure up to even what Packard sold in a year.

Recently someone told me an interesting tale about RR having purchased a 120 and the factory driver was to drive the car from some port to the factory. Apparently he did the distance in a much shorter time than what RR's usually took. When questioned there were some exchanges regarding the suspension.

Now I know for a fact that Packard's suspension, especially the 120's, is outstanding and a never publicised fact is that RR copied this very suspension for the Silver Wraith/ Bentley Mark VI models.

Other interesting facts about this legendary marque and peer fascination with it:

Ettore Bugatti used a Packard

Enzo Ferrari was inspired by the fabulous Packard V12s

I would have made a great Packard salesman eh???
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Old 4th May 2008, 22:57   #67
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Not bad at all DKG, so the body has been bolted on eh. Looks very mean at this stage
Was going to save it for the last but our esteemed friend from the UK was in a jovial mood to suggest I get a body for it

I know she will look gorgeous when I am finally done with it. If you look at my 1939 you'll get an idea of what it would look like, even more ravishing in convertible form. The 1938 and 1939 were identical bodies but for very minor trim differences
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Old 4th May 2008, 23:04   #68
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An interesting fact. RR and Packard always had each other in sight.
A grand old man once told me another fascinating story. The Phantom III was a dud from the word go, with many niggling reliability issues cropping up every now and again. Apparently for the last of the IIIs, Packard was called in to fix the problems.
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Old 4th May 2008, 23:12   #69
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A grand old man once told me another fascinating story. The Phantom III was a dud from the word go, with many niggling reliability issues cropping up every now and again. Apparently for the last of the IIIs, Packard was called in to fix the problems.
Apparently so! What's interesting is while so much of RR's reputation was built up on account of the legendary reliability of its mechanicals the PIII seemed to let it down owing to its very complicated design.

Perhaps Julian can throw more light on what made the Ghosts and later the Phantoms so special and what the actual issues on the PIII V12 were

I personally have very limited knowledge of both RR and Bentley so I'll leave it to the experts to comment about their mechanicals

PS In more recent times there was such an alliance between Honda and Ferrari following which we saw a massive turnaround in Ferrari quality and performance, again a not openly acknowledged fact I believe.

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Old 5th May 2008, 00:21   #70
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Apparently so! What's interesting is while so much of RR's reputation was built up on account of the legendary reliability of its mechanicals the PIII seemed to let it down owing to its very complicated design.

Perhaps Julian can throw more light on what made the Ghosts and later the Phantoms so special and what the actual issues on the PIII V12 were
My 2 cents worth

Packard built Rolls Royce Merlin aircraft engines 1941 on and apparently they performed better despite the Packard production being mainly by unskilled or semi skilled ladies. They altered the composition of the bearing liner metal from a copper lead alloy to a silver lead combination and featured indium plating. They also introduced the Wright supercharger drive quill plus a great deal of cooling system alterations.

PIIIs suffered from several problems amongst which were oil sludge blocking the tiny oil ways of the hydraulic lifters, camshaft lubrication problems due to oil gravitating to the rear of the block (the engine wasnít mounted horizontally) and a lot of over heating problems due to the rear of the block filling up with aluminium hydroxide sediment impeding the flow of water. (I have spent many weeks manually poking sediment out of blocks and also rust sediment out of iron blocks/heads of small horsepower Rolls-Royces and Bentleys.)
But at least they had progressed to overhead valves instead of retaining antiquated side valves into the forties as Packard did. While others had progressed to overhead cams during the teens.
I am not aware of Packardís involvement in the PIII, but they certainly were involved in improving the Merlin aircraft engine.

I think the Ghosts and Phantoms were special due to major over engineering. Some have called it a triumph of engineering over design. They made early designs so well that they worked well and were reliable.
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Old 5th May 2008, 11:26   #71
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But at least they had progressed to overhead valves instead of retaining antiquated side valves into the forties as Packard did. While others had progressed to overhead cams during the teens.
In motoring history the issue of technology upgrade is not a black and white case. Technology alone cannot determine the viability of a company and yet it remains a critical element. A lot depends on how the brand is viewed. Luxury brands usually have more conservative customers who dislike too many changes. Packard sadly fell victim to this.

Duesenberg had double over head cams and four valve heads (I think that is correct?) but that didn't help the company survive!

Caddy had the sidevalve unit till 1948 and still survives.

Packard way back in the thirties had also made a front wheel drive car but shelved it.

Mercedes and BMW till quite recent stuck to 2 valve technology while Honda was coming out with 5 valve engines and even oval pistons.

Porsche is another classic example of how a company kept tweaking an older design and simply didn't rush in for new technology. The base 911 engine remained the same for more than 30 years!! Ironically when they finally went in for water cooling there was a huge outcry from Porsche purists who felt the car would lose the feel. Porsche had to convince its fans the essence of the car would never be compromised. So often its how customers also respond to a marque that determines what works and what doesn't. Porsche remains one of the most profitable companies ever and is poised to eventually acquire the VW group and its kitty of marques!

Interestingly the UK still retains the monarchy, an outdated institution, because it sees it as a strong tourism USP. So perhaps there in lies the secret to RR and Bentley's surival. The Brits like their heritage and are proud of it and will ensure it survives!! Infact if you remember there was a huge outcry when RR and Bentley were being sold. Having driven the Shadow and a BMW 750 iL I had no doubt RR going to BMW was the best thing for the marque.

In my understanding of what went wrong I feel Packard had grown too big and their scale of operation, unlike RR which was more like a cottage industry operation, meant they had to effectively be a volume player to justify the huge investments made in modern factories. Their image as a luxury brand worked against them as lowered costs meant lowering of the legendary quality.

Their entire approach to building cars which offered the highest in quality meant they were more suited to a RR type setup (quite possibly the aircraft business bailed RR and Bentley out too). Infact as much as people may call Bentley a badge engineered RR, had RR not purchased Bentley that remarkable brand would have gone under in the 30's. The need to build a volume car and compete effectively was a strength which Packard simply did not possess. Buick was far better equipped.

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Old 6th May 2008, 00:07   #72
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Well the Packard V12s have been called "the Rolls Royce of American automobiles" I don't recall Rolls-Royces being called "The Packard of British automobiles" At the end of the day I think Rollers are for Maharajahs, pomp, weddings and funerals.
Any idea what these are?
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Old 6th May 2008, 09:42   #73
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Well the Packard V12s have been called "the Rolls Royce of American automobiles" I don't recall Rolls-Royces being called "The Packard of British automobiles" At the end of the day I think Rollers are for Maharajahs, pomp, weddings and funerals.
Any idea what these are?
I believe the Packard V12 engine would find a place of prominence in the hall of fame of engines. Do you think the PIII V12 would?

Of the picture you posted its a 1939 Packard 120 convertible sedan, same year and series as my sedan.

I've never had the pleasure of driving an RR but when I asked Manvendra what he preferred he seemed to like the 20 HP more than the Ghosts and Phantoms. I recall him telling me the bigger RR's were ponderous and difficult to drive. What are your personal views? You would have driven all the models to make an informed view.

Perhaps Julian for the reading pleasure and benefit of all of us who have not been as fortunate as you to have worked and driven these cars you could write in detail about what made the Ghosts special, in comparison to other cars you drove. Likewise something on the Phantoms too, and possibly the baby RR's

All automobiles have distinct characters, like the people who designed and built them and to me personally they are all a fascinating reflection of human endeavour and vision. Some were seriously flawed and quirky but fascinatingly so. So far every marque I had the exposure to seemed to hold some strengths unique to that make making it special. Ofcourse there are some that are average overall, but definately when you start looking at the acknowledged automobile greats I find there's something special about them all.

Don't forget someone unceremoniously once rejected Bentley's creations as 'fast lorries'! I know you and I won't agree with that entirely as an apt description as there's something fabulously emotive about Bentleys which even RR's don't possess.

PS: I think it would make great reading to start documenting the tests carried out by various manufacturers of yesteryear to ensure reliability, strength and durability. I'll start a separate thread. I know Karlos would be invaluable help on that

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Old 6th May 2008, 11:59   #74
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PS: I think it would make great reading to start documenting the tests carried out by various manufacturers of yesteryear to ensure reliability, strength and durability. I'll start a separate thread. I know Karlos would be invaluable help on that
I cant resist recalling a particular incident, I think I read in a book.

A certain customer wanted a hood ornament of St Peter (?) slaying a dragon to adorn the radiator of his Rolls. Rolls Royce commissioned one to be made, but then devised a jig to bump and bounce the mascot in every concievable direction, examined it, and then decided to join the tip of the sword to the tip of the dragons tail for further rigidity. While it was earlier acceptable as art, it now met Rolls Royce's quality standards as well
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Old 6th May 2008, 12:08   #75
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I cant resist recalling a particular incident, I think I read in a book.

A certain customer wanted a hood ornament of St Peter (?) slaying a dragon to adorn the radiator of his Rolls. Rolls Royce commissioned one to be made, but then devised a jig to bump and bounce the mascot in every concievable direction, examined it, and then decided to join the tip of the sword to the tip of the dragons tail for further rigidity. While it was earlier acceptable as art, it now met Rolls Royce's quality standards as well
Karlos what should we call a thread that documents all the quality testing (with pictures) and interesting anecdotes.

PS Just got an idea. We could start the following threads

1. Quality Testing

2. Bespoke cars (featuring all the special order cars of all marques)

3. Stories and Anecdotes

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