1956 Patrician SPECIAL RACING CAR

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1956 Patrician SPECIAL RACING CAR

Postby Leeedy » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:55 pm

PanAmRacePack001.jpg
Side view of this Patrician modified for serious racing. Note the shortened turn signals, radiused wheel opening, etc.
A long time back I made a response to a fellow on the internet who insisted that there could not possibly have been any serious racing efforts with 1955-56 Packards. His claim was that no one was racing these cars and went on to say that no racing equipment was available. When I said he was mistaken on both points, I got a rather nasty response posted stating that I must be "blowing smoke". Ahhhhh the internet.

Somewhere I still have an old magazine article entitled, "Beware This Clipper!" or some similar title. About a dual-quad V-8 car that was what we used to call in the 1950s "souped up". But with today's multiple terminologies that muddy the waters about what everything is, I'm not sure what the modern translation term would be now.

Anyway, I was going through some photos recently and remembered these pics I took of a retired 1956 Patrician race car that ended up at the old Packard Doctor ranch in the SoCal desert back in the 1970s. This car was lightened, and while it is VERY difficult to see unless you study it, the entire front end was narrowed about seven inches in the width between the headlights (less wind resistance). A long v-shape was sectioned down the middle of the hood to subtly narrow it. And the front fenders were shortened and wheel openings radiused. The inner fenders were completely removed and skinned in aluminum. But every effort was made to keep a semblance of stock appearance to this Patrician.

I certainly don't know for sure, but I
PanAmRacePack003.jpg
THe normal '56 headlight trim was deleted and thick rings were run on the headlights. Also notice the "Swiss cheese" lightening of the lower bumper. The rusty line down the center of the hood is where they narrowed it to cheat wind resistance...
was told that this car was campaigned in Pan American races and Baja races during the 1950s. There were other cars I once knew of that were raced or "souped up" way back when... so I hope these photos will vindicate at least SOME of those memories!
Attachments
PanAmRacePack002.jpg
Extensively modified engine compartment of the racing Patrician. Note the use of aluminum inner fender sections.
Leeedy
 

Re: 1956 Patrician SPECIAL RACING CAR

Postby Leeedy » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:24 am

Someone asked me how they managed to shorten the width of the front bumper on this Patrician while retaining the same look. As I recall, the top section of the bumper was cut under the sections where the Dagmars fit. The lower valence section was cut, re-welded, drilled for lightness and either replated or painted silver (I think the latter if memory serves). Overall, somebody went to some pretty extreme and expensive efforts to set this car up for racing. Notice how they sections and shortened the front turn signal/parking light assemblies!). And this was done in the 1950s. Remember, I took these photos in the early 1970s when stuff like "tub"-ing was not common and would have been very expensive to do.
Leeedy
 

Re: 1956 Patrician SPECIAL RACING CAR

Postby Randy Berger » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:30 pm

There was a 56 Clipper that tore up the drag race circuit in Oregon.
That car is still alive and kicking.
It was at Gettysburg and it has been restored.
It has a nasty sound and can still make lesser vehicles quake.
Randy Berger
 
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Re: 1956 Patrician SPECIAL RACING CAR

Postby Packardbarry » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:22 am

Arent those 120+ holes in the lower bumper NON STANDARD ?
Packardbarry
 
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Re: 1956 Patrician SPECIAL RACING CAR

Postby Leeedy » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:40 am

LOL. Of course they're not standard. As I said earlier, the whole car was lightened. What they did to the lower bumper back then was called "Swiss cheesing"...and–to some extent–you'll find this technique still being used today. I remember several years ago when we were working on development of a sports car for the company I where I worked for many years, we took several components... weighed them, then drilled the daylights out of them as far as possible. This was done in ways so as to lighten without compromising strength. As for the particular 1956 Patrician race car I picture in this posting, think of it as one of the original and early "funny cars."
Leeedy
 


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