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cletus8269

1955 Packard Clipper Constellation

15 posts in this topic

I promised XP i would throw up some more pics of our old packard when i got the chance so true to my word here they are.

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55packard4-1.jpg

we'll start out with the the car itself. 1955 packard clipper constellation, hardtop, emerald green/moonstone paint. powered by the middle road 352 4bbl had a factory automatic transmission that was later removed due to the lines clogging. Interesting story in itself is that instead of them taking the car to the dealership, the dealership sent some guys out with a manual transmission and dropped the auto out and put the manual in the car in my great aunt and uncles drive way. They purchased this car from the Packard dealership in Atlanta GA from what i understand, that was run by a Mr Ed Earl(sp?). the auto never came back and my aunt just drove it with the stick from there on out. btw they also did the auto to manual conversion there in the driveway too. steering column and all. specs we were told about the car was that it weighed in at 3850lbs. the car cost approximately $4,750 new compared to a 55 chevy's $2500. some of the options on the vehicle were power steering, power windows, power antenna, as well as power brakes. the car also had a tube radio (we actually had to replace one of the tubes when we started driving it.) the most interesting and suprising option that was on the car was the new for '55 torsion level suspension system. i did a little research and this is what i found. In 1955, Packard introduced Torsion Level suspension, which used torsion bar springs, a starter motor and a simple mercury switch to maintain a level ride height by stiffening the springs when the car was heavily loaded. Only a few years later, General Motors (GM) and Chrysler both had air suspension systems in production, allowing their larger cars to maintain a constant ride height without sacrificing that pillow-soft ride. The all-mechanical controls proved unreliable and these systems were short-lived, but development continued. By the early 1970s, the Big Three all offered dependable air suspension on at least one model.

source

me and my dad would sit on the bumper and after a few moments, the motors kicked in and it leveled out, stand up and it sank back down. it was amazing. sadly we couldnt keep the car. the parts were far to pricey to mantain and finaces for an expensive car added another nail in the coffin for her. we sold the car and since it has passed through about 4 more hands. the car was parked in 64 when my aunt purchased a brand new buick. being used to the lap of luxury though she opted for a 64 buick wildcat coupe. 425 2x4bbl out of one rare car and into another i guess.

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Sweet car, Clete.
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A beautiful machine and one of the last true Packards, before they all became Studebakers with flattened noses after 1956. Great story about the transmission swap in the driveway; that's what I call customer service! Please post anything more you might have if you dig up more pictures.

Also, what happened to the Wildcat with dual quads?

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'64 Buick coupes built with the 425/ 2x4s ... inculding the Riviera .... was 366 cars.

Cool Packard, was looking at a '55 CCC last summer, all white with red leather interior & full power, real solid but needed work. The detailing on these cars is fantastic- and I just love that engine-turned dash.

The driveway service call is a great story from another time. We'll never see the likes of service like that again.

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Fascinating reminiscences regarding a very interesting car Cletus.

Just the name alone is so evocative.

Thank You.

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A beautiful machine and one of the last true Packards, before they all became Studebakers with flattened noses after 1956. Great story about the transmission swap in the driveway; that's what I call customer service! Please post anything more you might have if you dig up more pictures.

Also, what happened to the Wildcat with dual quads?

will do. i should have labeled the pics also the engine pics are before's and afters. we pulled the beast out of their barn around 92/93 and it was nice but it had that "help i've been in a barn since 64" thing going on. dad and my grandpa stripped her down primered it and painted it in that garage in the last pic. sent the seats off to be recovered not because of wear but because the originals were so stained from spills and whatnot. dad hated to do it but he couldnt get them out. the engine needed nothing to return to life except the fuel lines were clogged and the oilpan gasket leaked. the only thing painted under the hood was the valve covers. the carpet was also replaced.

the wildcat was purchased in 64 new from arnett motors here in anderson. she drove it daily to work (she was an RN at the city hospital) my dad says that car was a total beast of a machine. he was with her once on main street when these two guys pulled up and started revving their motor at her. he said she never even looked over at them. the light turned green and it was on, by 2nd gear she was walking off, they never knew what hit em. he said it could catch 2nd no problem, with as much torque as it had it could prolly chirp 3rd. gas went up and the 2x4's was too thirsty. they went to the dealership and got a single 4bbl setup and that stayed on the car until it was traded in '73 on a new bonneville. Dad recalls seeing the car after that. it was sold to an older black man on the other side of town. he said the last time she was spotted it was around 80. prolly long since gone to the crusher. when we were getting the packard my uncle roy told dad to take the intake and cars with him. he was just going to dump it but decided there was something special about it so he kept it. we still got it. ive seen complete setups like ours in same condition go for $1000, restored they hit about $2000-2500. I look for similar wildcats constantly on ebay and i happened to run across one in atlanta for sale. it was just like hers to a T. the only thing is it needed restoring (mainly paint and patch panels the guy had all the trim and everything even the factory 2x4 setup. he wanted 8400 for it and unfortunately i was paying on my impala resto and dad had just bought the 68 nova that was in my sig a while back. i emailed him and told him if he ever decides to sell again here is my number, house and cell, email and address. he said if it didnt sell he was going to fix it himself.

here are pics of that intake setup btw

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P1000201.jpg

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I just love the nautical theme of the logo... I saw one much like this years ago at a car show in Calgary and the ship's wheel especially stuck with me.

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Great stories!

In about 1985, I worked for a landscape nursery that stored some outdoor furniture inventory in a number of local barns. In one of these barns (full of holes and pidgeon crap, and falling down) was a Packard like yours except it was a sedan. The barn was in such bad shape, that the car was literally falling through the floor at the time.

I don't know what happened to the Packard, but the barn was razed a while back.

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How awesome your family saved the 2x4s AND the AC !

Have had lots of experience with AFBs- they take some flak & they're not all that big, but I love 'em.

A '64 Wildcat would be my #2 Buick choice after my '59... closely followed by a '66 Riv.

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Hey Cletus,

AWESOME Packard ... cool story to go along with it, too. Too bad you couldn't keep it, though.

Friends of ours in TN have these Packards...

...a '55 Clipper:

http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/200711/RT1...ackard_JPG.html

...and a '41 Special:

http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/200711/RT1...ackard_JPG.html

Cort | 35swm | "Mr Monte Carlo"."Mr Road Trip" | pig valve.pacemaker ...MidW Event = 04/04/09

WRMNshowcase.legos.HO.models.MCs.RTs.CHD = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"Goodbye, easier said than done" ... Clint Black and Wynonna (Black and Wy Tour, 1993) ... 'A Bad Goodbye'

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That's awesome. I love the color pattern on that model, it was really unique.

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Wow, I love that bodystyle Buick...

Chris

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