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Thread: 57 Packard parts interchange with 53 K.

  1. #1
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    57 Packard parts interchange with 53 K.

    I have a chance to acquire (for free) a 1957 packard clipper sedan body. NO engine or trans. Very rough condition (why else would it be free?)

    I know that it is mostly a rebadged Studebaker. I already have a 53 Commander hardtop. I am planning an engine upgrade for my Commander from the original 232, installing a stock supercharged 289. Not going nuts, and keeping it in the Studebaker family.

    Are there any parts on the 57 Packard that are worth the effort to retrofit to my 53? Such as better brakes (I believe my Commander has 11 x 2 in front and 9 x 2 in the rear, which already seem pretty substantial for such a small car) and the Packard has 11 x 2 in the front and 10 x 2 in the rear), rear axle, etc. Maybe frame reinforcements? I really have NO DESIRE to just part out the Packard. If there aren't parts I can use that would be an appreciable improvement (such as a better brake design) I will pass.

    Any input is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Silver Hawk Member bezhawk's Avatar
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    Yes, the 54, and up (which the 57 Clipper qualifies) brakes are a much better design, and will improve the braking from the 53 design. The rear differential may even be a twin traction unit, and it will also bolt right in. The Clipper may also have a rear anti sway bar. Grab that too. The lower control arms have the later shock mount system, and you will have a larger selection of good shocks if you swap them out too.
    Bez Auto Alchemy
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  3. #3
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    Thanks much.

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    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    If there are any good Parts on the Interior of the Clipper or Body Trim, Grille, Chrome, Emblems, Nameplates etc. you will easily be able to sell those, of course there will be nothing on the body that fits your '53 Hardtop so you won't need any of that.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  5. #5
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    ... there will be nothing on the body that fits your '53 Hardtop so you won't need any of that.
    But someone might!

  6. #6
    President Member acolds's Avatar
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    If the taillights are included take the car they are worth money if you don't believe me check ebay

  7. #7
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    I have decided to get it. Thanks for all the input.

  8. #8
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    If you acquire the 57 Clipper, let me know what parts you might sell. My 57 Clipper is complete, but I'm always looking for spare parts, particularly trim. Best of luck with your plans. Steve in Montana

  9. #9
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    I actually have two threads going on this. One I was asking about shop manuals for the 57 Clipper and Golden Hawk.

    The car is not actually just the body. It is a complete running car with the supercharged 289. Supercharger recently rebuilt. I described it as just the body, because I had already made a deal to buy the engine and trans. The seller (selling for a lady friend) told me I could have the whole car for the same price, as that way he would not have to pull the engine and trans. I figured what the heck, may as well get the whole car. Any time you do an engine and trans swap, if you don't have the donor car, you end up needing about 100 little pieces that were left with the donor.

    I bought the car, and it arrived today (on my birthday). I just bought it for the drivetrain and brakes and sway bars to swap onto my 53. I had not even seen a picture of the car itself, just the engine with the supercharger. I am shocked at how complete and decent the body is. I had it delivered to a buddy's place to sit until I can get to it. My buddy was freaking out because he knows I am going to cannibalize it to make a 53 Starliner with all Golden Hawk running gear, brakles, TT rear axle and sway bars. Interior is shot but the body is all there; surface rust on the hood and top, and a couple rust holes, but mostly solid. Have not inspected underneath, but I was expecting a much rougher car. There is some rust through on the RR quarter. I believe all the tirm is present. My buddy is really bumed that I am cannibalizing this car. "Man, it is a complete running 57 supercharged Packard. How can you steal all the good parts from it?"

    Frankly, I am just not a fan of the four door 57 Clipper. I get that there are those out there that love them. In a lame attempt to atone for my sin (this isn't my first sin, I put a Chevy engine in my 49 Studebaker farm truck, and am cannibalizing a Ferrari.... you ought to hear those guys moan.... for another project) I promise to do my best to get all the good parts into the right hands. I noticed that the LR tail lignt lens is broken, but the RR is good. Just needs polished. There will be a boat load of good parts, and they will go cheap to those who can use them.

    I will be starting a new thread once I can start making one fabulous car out of the two. Will title it something like "1953 Starliner hardtop gets all 57 Golden Hawk running gear, brakes and sway bars" I am really looking forward to this project. Plan is to have the tranny gone through, make sure the engine runs OK and install all the parts (including big brakes, sway bars, and what I hope is a TT rear axle) on my 53. My 53 is a bit rough, so before taking it off the frame and restoring every thing to like new, I want to make sure I have all the bugs worked out. I will drive it with the current patina while finishing up some other projects. When I am ready, the body will come off the frame, the 289 will be rebuilt to exacting tolerances, the body will come off the frame, the frame can be reinforced, and everything restored to like new. What will I do then? Drive it like I stole it. What could be more fun that a 53 that actually goes and stops like a Golden Hawk?

  10. #10
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    The frames on the 53 and the 57 are the same wheel base. 120 1/2"
    Depending on the condition of the frames it might be worth swapping frames since you are planning on lifting the body on the 53 anyway.
    In stall the pieces from the 53 to move the engine back, steering box and column, pedal assembly etc.
    The frame is thicker on the 57. [14 ga -53, 12 ga -57 ?]
    South Lompoc Studebaker

  11. #11
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    I assumed that was the case. Have not looked at the frame yet. The 53 frame is in really good shape; one of the benefits of leaky engine and trans.... everything is oil soaked. If the 57 frame is in good shape, I will do exactly as you have described.
    Last edited by Lynn; 01-21-2018 at 12:38 AM.

  12. #12
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    57 Packard body

    Here are some pics of the 57 Packard Clipper body. 6 of the 8 side moldings are in good shape. Both front side moldings are dented pretty good. I failed to take a pic of the grill, but it is perfect, with a little boat type steering wheel in the middle. Guess that is a tribute to the clipper boats. I may pull the grill and hang it on a wall in the shop as art. Big rust hole in the RR quarter and small rust hole in the RF fender. Floors have lots of rust-through. Hoping the frame fared better.

    Anyway, there will be lots of good parts available. I may just offer the whole body to someone with the time and energy to part it out. If this frame is good, I will use it, and set this body on the 53 frame so it will roll and can be loaded.

    In the meantime, I don't mind pulling easy to pull trim parts and sending them to anyone who can use them.

    Lynn
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    There is a TON of good, hard to find Stainless Steel Trim on that Clipper Town Sedan, maybe even a good Tinted Windshield.

    There are actually 14 Side Mouldings on it.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  14. #14
    President Member junior's Avatar
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    Like the way you're thinking... the '53 is going to be a sweet driver! About that Ferrari and the moaners...do tell, sounds like fun to me! Remember Bill Harrah's Jerrari(s)...loved them, especially the '77. cheers, junior

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerrari

    1954 C5 Hamilton car.

  15. #15
    Golden Hawk Member
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    I had to look at where you live when I saw what you called "big rust holes". Those little spots/holes look like a three year old Lark from this area.

    Hopefully, someone will want the entire body, even without the engine and with a bad interior. I can see a nice restomod made from that. No, I do not have another one in me. You need a young person with the desire and time, but lacking in major funds.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  16. #16
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    You are of course, correct Rich. I was just counting the large ones. I did not look closely at the little pieces. There are 14.

    Windshield is ALMOST a winner. Has one star chip that has not spread.

    Radio is still there, as are all the gauges. Car has power steering and power brakes. Hoping (may be too much to ask) that is has a TT rear!
    Driver's window won't quite go all the way to the top, so water intrusion has cratered the front floor on the driver's side.

  17. #17
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    Looks like a neat project Please post pics as work progresses.

  18. #18
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    Unrelated (sort-of) comment. 20 yrs ago I bought a 58 Packard for $300 for parts. I started thinking maybe it wasn't so bad. Pulled engine and got it running. Cleaned the gravel out of the transmission. Scounged up enough brake parts to get them working and did a little body work.We still have and we LOVE that ugly old car. Too bad about 57; they are a nice and very attractive car.

  19. #19
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    Please contact me at vuktica@gmail.com with a phone # to call, and I'll discuss purchasing parts with you. You can also just give me your e-mail address and I'll respond by giving you my phone #.

  20. #20
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    It isn't that I hate the look of the 57. It just doesn't do much for me. While this car COULD be saved, one would be WAY underwater before it is done. I believe its best use at this point is giving its life to make 10 or more other projects better.

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