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1941 Packard 160 Army Staff General Car Questions
Just popping in
Joined:
2008/10/20 16:36
From Jacksonville, NC
Posts: 6
I received a 1941 Packard 160 from my late grandfather in 1999. I have been trying to do some research on it in order to start the restoration. Here is what I know. My Grandfather purchased the car in a military sale in Texas in the mid 1950's. It was painted olive drab with the white star. Later during a restoration my grandfather had the car repainted Packard Blue. However they did not sand off the paint but just painted over the original paint. I know this because upon removing the headlights, the olive drab paint was still present were it was covered.

The main questions I have are:

The location on the upper firewall under the diver side hood where the Patent Plate should be is a plain black plate with numbers stamped on it? I originally thought maybe someone just painted over the original plate with black paint but there was nothing under the paint.

How many Packards were used stateside for the military?

Is there a way to carefully remove the top coat of laquer paint with out messing up the underlying paint?

Where would the military serial number be located?

How would I be able to track down the military history of the car?

Thank you for your help.

Posted on: 2008/10/21 13:12
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Re: 1941 Packard 160 Army Staff General Car Questions
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Joined:
2007/5/20 1:34
From Bowral in the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
Posts: 7349
Quote:
terrellda wrote: I received a 1941 Packard 160 from my late grandfather in 1999..........


G'day terrellda,

Sorry can't help with your specific questions, but welcome to the Site. Pic's of the plate in question and the numbers on it would prove helpful to others who may be able to help. And if you haven't already done so, could you please add your '41 160 to the Owner Registry together with a pic, and it's known history?

Again -

Posted on: 2008/10/21 13:54
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What's this? >>>>>> FAQ - Add your Packard to the Owners Registry
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Re: 1941 Packard 160 Army Staff General Car Questions
Just popping in
Joined:
2008/10/20 16:36
From Jacksonville, NC
Posts: 6
I am in the Marine Corps and currently deployed to Iraq. But I will ask my wife to send me a picture of the Plate and of the car.

Thanks.

Posted on: 2008/10/21 14:33
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Re: 1941 Packard 160 Army Staff General Car Questions
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Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 10936
I don't really know much about this topic but can offer some thoughts for further comment. How many Packards in government service stateside? Probably impossible to answer but remember, the government took over many of the unsold 1942 cars for government service, Packards included. And the White House and the various Cabinet offices had their share even before the war broke out. There were also a fair number overseas at the various embassies.

Packard provided Clipper-style staff cars to some (?) army generals and navy admirals perhaps, don't know how many, I've heard that there were 6 or 7 but that's just gossip. They were perhaps left-over unsold 1942 models reworked to adapt to government requirements. I suppose it's quite unlikely they were new production after the cessation of manufacture. Of course the MacArthur one has been to many Packard events over the years and is pretty well documented; I believe when MacArthur was coming home from Japan he gave it to his chauffeur and somewhere I've seen copies of that documentation, perhaps in an old PAC Cormorant magazine article on the staff cars. There are also a couple of perhaps bogus staff cars floating around.

Good topic, it will be interesting to see what comes forward.

Posted on: 2008/10/21 15:27
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Re: 1941 Packard 160 Army Staff General Car Questions
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2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 10343
Don't remember where but am pretty sure I remember reading some mfgs (Packard, Cadillac, Buick & 1 or 2 others) were instructed to build a few dozen well equipped cars each before production stopped and equipment removed. They were to be delivered and stored by the govt for allotment to military and civilian use as determined by Sec of War. After all, they had to get those limos for the big boys somewhere. The mere mortals would have had to do with lower end Fords and Plymouth type staff cars. In addition to the leftovers, am sure some of those would have found their way into olive drab.

Posted on: 2008/10/21 15:52
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Re: 1941 Packard 160 Army Staff General Car Questions
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Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 10936
I just browsed the article in The Cormorant on the MacArthur car, it's Spring 1975 issue. It doesn't cover the staff cars as a group, just this particular car. So it's a bit off the topic, but let me continue and paraphrase a bit:

The car, a 1942 Clipper 120, serial 1512-5747 had been ordered by General MacArthur as a personal car. Attached to his letter to Packard was his personal check for the car, which was returned to him with an expression of gratitude for his confidence in the product and with their best wishes for his use along with the his military duties.

The car was a 2011 120 Clipper with factory A/C, electromatic clutch, radio, heater/defroster, fender skirts, and a cormorant ornament. It was factory painted in olive drab with the usual white star and other military markings. External military equipemnt included adjustable louvered shutters fitted over the headlights, 2 driving lights, a black-out light, siren, canvas covers and snaps to cover the windshields, and flag mounts. None of the exterior trim was chrome plated but rather painted olive drab.

At the time of the article, the car was owned by Don MacLellan of Texas.

Hopefully The Packard Club will forgive me for including their cover photo of the car.

Attach file:



jpg  MacArthurs 42.jpg (143.55 KB)
177_48fe632b398fe.jpg 1280X874 px

Posted on: 2008/10/21 16:18
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Re: 1941 Packard 160 Army Staff General Car Questions
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2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 10343
I remember that article. It's a Packard all right, but IMHO an ugly one, olive drab not being it's best color. I'll show my ignorance also by asking what the purpose of the canvas window coverings are--glare maybe. Those on WS almost look see thru but the side windows?.

Posted on: 2008/10/21 16:30
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Re: 1941 Packard 160 Army Staff General Car Questions
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Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 10936
Should have mentioned, it also had curtains on the rear compartment windows. The article also had a number of detail pictures, interior and exterior. I agree it's homely, but I think to the military that wasn't a high priority.

Posted on: 2008/10/21 16:52
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Re: 1941 Packard 160 Army Staff General Car Questions
Just popping in
Joined:
2008/10/20 16:36
From Jacksonville, NC
Posts: 6
The car I have is a 1941 Packard 160, dual side mounts, heater, and radio. The car is a 138 in wheelbase. Not a limo. Not a Clipper. I am positive the car was military as my father always said "it's a shame your grandfather painted over that olive drab car with the star" I also know that he bought the car in a military auction in the mid 50's.

The main question I have is how were these cars identified? As I have previously said the location where the Patent Plate would normally be is a plain black plate with numbers stamped on it. My wife back home is going to take pictures of it and forward them to me here in Iraq. Once I get them I will post them.

Posted on: 2008/10/21 22:17
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Re: 1941 Packard 160 Army Staff General Car Questions
Home away from home
Joined:
2006/6/15 7:12
From Woodridge, ILLINOIS
Posts: 497
terrellda,

I can't help you on tracking your car's history. But it is nice to read that you are trying to bring the car back to it's original state and keeping up on the history of it.

And one more thing thank you to you for serving our country. Please be safe out there.

Posted on: 2008/10/22 3:44
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