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Old 07-08-2018, 04:43 PM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default The 1952 Packard Pan American #1

Rob ~ Robert C. McLellan, gave me some interesting information regarding a car that I have never heard of before, and perhaps many of you have not either. It is the Packard Pan American 1 Show Car and there were 6 of them reportedly made. 3 are accounted for, and 1 was sent to Europe on tour, and supposedly remains there in an auto museum, but no one knows where. No one knows for sure where the remaining 2 are, but there are rumors regarding them. Here is what Rob had to say.

"Hello Ray, On Saturday, we had a very enjoyable local AACA luncheon meet and the Thunderbird preformed beautifully. Although the weather looked grim, we had no rain until we got back to the house. About a hundred attended but we had only 10 cars of which four were prewar. The big star was a 1930 Cadillac, with air conditioning!

Back to wire wheels, did you see the Hemmings blog today? This is a 1952 Packard show car. Another wheel company with a wire wheel problem.

Pan American #1 factory issued photo taken shortly after completion. Note smooth center caps on hand-built wheels with long spokes laced to outer edge of rims. Factory wire wheels made by Motor Wheel Company (not Kelsey-Hayes are typically believed) had shorter spokes laced inward on rim.

Note that wheels are now changed to factory-type wire spoke wheels made by Motor Wheel Company. Caps now have “Packard” names and hallmark red hexagon logo made of reflective Scotchlite material.

While the history of Pan Am #1 is fairly well known, even it is mired in mystery since this poor car underwent so many changes. The first changes took place when it was featured in the world famous Pasadena Rose Parade. A staffer with Earle C. Anthony, Inc. (West Coast Packard Distributor and huge dealership) once told me they discovered the hand-built wheels looked nice for show, but simply were not very roadworthy. During prepping for the Rose Parade, it was discovered that Pan American #1 was “all over the road” with shakes and shimmies. Factory Packard wire wheels (made by Motor Wheel Company) were installed to correct the problem.

Here is the link to the Hemmings blog. It is an interesting read.

Best wishes, Rob"

Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:09 AM
DKheld DKheld is offline
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Hummm - similar lines to one of mine (but twice the size )

Very nice looking car and interesting article.

Thanks for the info Rob and for posting Ray.

Hopefully I'll find the lost one in a barn around here (or maybe I'll win the lottery - same chances I'd say).
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