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The 56 Packard: Great Car Or Not?

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  • The 56 Packard: Great Car Or Not?

    Nice photo feature on a Clipper Sedan in April edition of Collectible Automobile magazine and a not so complimentary value guide recommendation a few pages later. One of my 50's car books raves about the 56, especially for its ride and handling. How do forum members feel about this car?

    Tim-53 Studebird in Yuma, AZ
    Tim-'53 Starlight Commander Custom and '63 Avanti in Yuma, AZ
    https://www.jimsrodshop.com/project/53-resurrection https://www.jimsrodshop.com/project/always-ahead

  • #2
    All I can say is that maybe you'd better

    "Ask the Man that owns one" [:0] [)]

    StudeDave
    [8D]

    StudeDave [8D]
    V/P San Diego County SDC
    San Diego, Ca

    www.studebakersandiego.com

    '54 Commander Regal 4dr 'Ruby'
    '57 Commander DeLuxe 2dr 'Baby'
    '57 Champion Custom 2dr 'Jewel'
    '57 Parkview (she's a 2dr wagon...) 'Betsy'
    '58 Packard sedan 'Cleo'
    '65 Cruiser 'Sweet Pea'
    StudeDave '57
    US Navy (retired)

    3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
    SDC Member since 1985

    past President
    Whatcom County Chapter SDC
    San Diego Chapter SDC

    past Vice President
    San Diego Chapter SDC
    North Florida Chapter SDC

    Comment


    • #3
      All I can say is that maybe you'd better

      "Ask the Man that owns one" [:0] [)]

      StudeDave
      [8D]

      StudeDave [8D]
      V/P San Diego County SDC
      San Diego, Ca

      www.studebakersandiego.com

      '54 Commander Regal 4dr 'Ruby'
      '57 Commander DeLuxe 2dr 'Baby'
      '57 Champion Custom 2dr 'Jewel'
      '57 Parkview (she's a 2dr wagon...) 'Betsy'
      '58 Packard sedan 'Cleo'
      '65 Cruiser 'Sweet Pea'
      StudeDave '57
      US Navy (retired)

      3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
      SDC Member since 1985

      past President
      Whatcom County Chapter SDC
      San Diego Chapter SDC

      past Vice President
      San Diego Chapter SDC
      North Florida Chapter SDC

      Comment


      • #4
        Any of us that "hung out" at Studebaker Packard Dealers much in the '60's knows that those were really GREAT cars when they worked!
        The quality of the materials, like interior were unsurpassed by Cadillac, Lincoln, Chrysler or any car of the year.

        The problems were never with the engine or body, but the push button controls on the trans, sometimes the trans, and especially the Torsion Level Suspension system were a constant repair nightmare, most of the failures seemed to be in the electrical switches etc. but they were definitely high maintenance cars.

        StudeRich
        Studebakers Northwest
        Ferndale, WA
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          Any of us that "hung out" at Studebaker Packard Dealers much in the '60's knows that those were really GREAT cars when they worked!
          The quality of the materials, like interior were unsurpassed by Cadillac, Lincoln, Chrysler or any car of the year.

          The problems were never with the engine or body, but the push button controls on the trans, sometimes the trans, and especially the Torsion Level Suspension system were a constant repair nightmare, most of the failures seemed to be in the electrical switches etc. but they were definitely high maintenance cars.

          StudeRich
          Studebakers Northwest
          Ferndale, WA
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

          Comment


          • #6
            StudeRich, I think you might be forgetting the Packard V-8s infamous oil-pump/windshield-vacuum motor, oil-aerating engineering problem.

            Comment


            • #7
              StudeRich, I think you might be forgetting the Packard V-8s infamous oil-pump/windshield-vacuum motor, oil-aerating engineering problem.

              Comment


              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by StudeRich

                The problems were never with the engine or body, but the push button controls on the trans, sometimes the trans, and especially the Torsion Level Suspension system were a constant repair nightmare, most of the failures seemed to be in the electrical switches etc. but they were definitely high maintenance cars.
                I'd bet that with current technology, the switches could be swapped out for something that works. I think the '56 models were the best looking cars in the luxury class. I'd love a 400 hardtop.

                ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Tom - Valrico, FL

                1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $1755.45)

                Tom - Bradenton, FL

                1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
                1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:Originally posted by StudeRich

                  The problems were never with the engine or body, but the push button controls on the trans, sometimes the trans, and especially the Torsion Level Suspension system were a constant repair nightmare, most of the failures seemed to be in the electrical switches etc. but they were definitely high maintenance cars.
                  I'd bet that with current technology, the switches could be swapped out for something that works. I think the '56 models were the best looking cars in the luxury class. I'd love a 400 hardtop.

                  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Tom - Valrico, FL

                  1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $1755.45)

                  Tom - Bradenton, FL

                  1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
                  1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Having owned and enjoyed my 1956 Clipper Super hardtop for 15 years, now, I'll chime in. They are wonderful cars as designed and when everything is working as advertised, I don't think there's a more comfortable 1956 automobile to be had. Sure, they had problems, probably more than they should have, but our collector eyes focus on the positives for the most part. [^]

                    Circa 1995-1996, our Clipper spent the winter on display at The Packard Museum in Dayton Ohio, about 100 miles east of us. We decided to pick it up the weekend of the annual Perrysburg OH spring Packard meet. The plan was to drive to Dayton, pick up the Clipper, and continue northeast to Perrysburg. [:I]

                    At the time, my Dad had a 1990 rear-wheel drive Cadillac Sedan DeVille. I drove the Cadillac to Dayton and then drove the Clipper on to Perrysburg, with Dad following in the Cadillac.

                    When we arrived at Dayton in the Cadillac, I couldn't wait to get out and stretch my legs. But when I arrived in Perrysburg, having just driven the 1956 Clipper a like distance as I had driven the 1990 Cadillac earlier in the day, I felt no desire to get out and stretch my legs! [:0] I could have just kept on going like the Energizer Bunny, the Clipper was so comfortable due to the higher seating position...and the Torsion-Level ride really was smoother than what General Motors had been able to accomplish with an additional 34 years of ride development. [8D] BP
                    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                    Ayn Rand:
                    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Having owned and enjoyed my 1956 Clipper Super hardtop for 15 years, now, I'll chime in. They are wonderful cars as designed and when everything is working as advertised, I don't think there's a more comfortable 1956 automobile to be had. Sure, they had problems, probably more than they should have, but our collector eyes focus on the positives for the most part. [^]

                      Circa 1995-1996, our Clipper spent the winter on display at The Packard Museum in Dayton Ohio, about 100 miles east of us. We decided to pick it up the weekend of the annual Perrysburg OH spring Packard meet. The plan was to drive to Dayton, pick up the Clipper, and continue northeast to Perrysburg. [:I]

                      At the time, my Dad had a 1990 rear-wheel drive Cadillac Sedan DeVille. I drove the Cadillac to Dayton and then drove the Clipper on to Perrysburg, with Dad following in the Cadillac.

                      When we arrived at Dayton in the Cadillac, I couldn't wait to get out and stretch my legs. But when I arrived in Perrysburg, having just driven the 1956 Clipper a like distance as I had driven the 1990 Cadillac earlier in the day, I felt no desire to get out and stretch my legs! [:0] I could have just kept on going like the Energizer Bunny, the Clipper was so comfortable due to the higher seating position...and the Torsion-Level ride really was smoother than what General Motors had been able to accomplish with an additional 34 years of ride development. [8D] BP
                      We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                      Ayn Rand:
                      "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                      G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                      Comment

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