Rare Civil Defence Henney Found

Discussions on Henney and other makers of specialty Packard vehicles.
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Re: Rare Civil Defence Henney Found

Post by henney42 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:35 am

This, of course, is all just conjecture, but I would imagine there were probably local Civilian Defense offices that either reported to or were branches of the federal Civilian Defense office. Those local offices possibly may have been where the requests for new ambulances originated from, which were then approved or disapproved by the federal office. Those requests that got approved it would appear received ambulances that were all built to a common standard. In regards to the Chicago ambulance, it would seem possible that the American Legion was involved in fund raising efforts to acquire one.

As for what these may have sold for new, I'm afraid I have no idea. I don't have any information on what Henney's "normal" products sold for, so I don't even have a starting point from which to even guess as to what the CD ambulances may have retailed for.

With spring now here, I've begun talking to restoration shops about my ambulance project. As interested as I am in an authentic restoration, I am realizing there is an advantage to having a vehicle about which there is little knowledge and little documentation. It means that in cases where documentation is lacking, a decision can be made that as long as it looks correct, no one will be able to say whether its wrong or not!

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Re: Rare Civil Defence Henney Found

Post by PACKARDAPL » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:57 pm

Regarding wheel covers; Attached below are photos of the full size Packard 1942 cap (Super 8 & Custom)&
the Packard 1942 Clipper cap. Note the 3 black circles around the center hexigon. These are similar to the
caps used in postwar models esp. the 1948-1950. Some 1942 Clipper caps can be found in blackout or olive
drab paint--sometimes over chrome!
1942 Packard full wheel cover
1942 Packard Clipper wheel cover

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Re: Rare Civil Defence Henney Found

Post by henney42 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:03 pm

I was able to spend some time with my ambulance today. The hubcaps have a red hexagon surrounded by a thick black circle with the word PACKARD within the black circle.

I found some numbers while I was looking around, so I hope these mean something to someone.

The engine number appears to be either 867636 or 867635, I can't quite tell for sure whether the last digit was a 5 or a 6 due to corrosion.

The number stamped in the firewall appears to be 6592IO.

Then I found a plate screwed to the firewall with one number stamped in it. This was just a plain plate, no lettering or decoration, just a blank plate with a stamped number. The number is 200I-A-27I0.

If these numbers mean anything to anyone, I'd love to hear about it! :)

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Re: Rare Civil Defence Henney Found

Post by PACKARDAPL » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:38 pm

Patrick; very interesting numbers, These seem to be VERY high numbers for a 1942. What I can tell, It's mostly good news
I will defer to Dave--as he is the expert on the VIN numbers & probably has better explanations than I can offer. But...

Looking at the numbers I have and yours suggest a couple of thoughts.......

1.) I think you may have read the first digit of the motor number wrong--it might be a "3" instead of an "8" (a prefix letter?? too)
--which would make the motor number closer the original # range, but it's not exactly in the range the book gives for 1942s.
So maybe this might be a factory replacement motor--from the post-war era or there were other motor # ranges I don't have.

2.) That the bare metal plate is your Packard VIN plate that all the paint has disappeared from {Very lucky to find it!!}
It gives you the legal registration number (2001 (eight chassis) A (Commercial car) 2710 being the production # so--)
(2710-2001)=number 710 produced out of 804 Henney units. It might have the number "200HD" {the model #}
punched on it too.

3.) Your firewall number is a very high number also--higher than any I have seen. Makes a "blackout" unit more likely.

4.)More good news---It also definitely proves that your CD is NOT the same one as the photo'd one in Oregon from 1992--it
listed a different Henney number and motor number. IT still may be out there to be photoed for details.

5.) Those hubcaps sound like non-1942 style parts, but might still be what the Henney supplied.

Dave should be able to add more to this---- PackardAPL ; KEN CHAPMAN
Last edited by PACKARDAPL on Thu May 01, 2014 5:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dave Czirr
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Re: Rare Civil Defence Henney Found

Post by Dave Czirr » Thu May 01, 2014 5:08 am

Nice to have the numbers.

1. 2001A-2710 is Packard's vehicle number (VN). 2001A decodes to a 1942 "120" commercial chassis, the "120" being the so-called junior model with the smaller 8-cylinder engine. Numbering started with the first vehicle at 2001 so yours is the 710th 120 commercial chassis assembled.

2. The motor number is a curiousity and begs a closer look - it should have a alpha-character prefix. The range of motor numbers for the 1942 120 chassis were E300,000 to E319,359.

3. The theft-proof or large embossed firewall number is off in a range all by itself, probably the result of disrupted inventory control and interruption of production by the war; the resumption in 1946 with (presumably) leftover stamped cowl panels from before the war shows equally out of sequence numbers. Based ONLY of numbers I have been able to obtain by my own inspection or provided by owners, the range for 1942 has been up to this point <613668> to <655745>, and 1946 production began with <650994>. With a very few exceptions usually attributable to left-over cars renumbered for later sale, or an occasional custom-bodied car, the 1942-1946 era is the only one that shows disorder in the theft-proof numbers.

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Re: Rare Civil Defence Henney Found

Post by henney42 » Thu May 01, 2014 7:54 am

Thank you Dave and Ken for your insight. It is much appreciated! With what you both have said about the engine number, coupled with an email response I received from George Hamlin when I emailed my numbers to him, it would seem that what I thought was the engine number isn't the engine number at all. I found the number on top of the head at the forward end of the engine, and there were no letter prefixes or suffixes at all. George thinks that what I found was a part casting number, and told me to look for the actual engine number on the side of the block just below the head near the rear. Given this information, I'll have to look again for the engine number next time I'm over at where the car is stored.

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Re: Rare Civil Defence Henney Found

Post by PACKARDAPL » Fri May 02, 2014 7:40 am

Yes,the engine number is on the block-a flat spot on the side or sometimes on a raised boss. The top of the head
should have had its size (288 356 etc) in the center of the head in low relief.

I would be interested to know IF & What number was stamped on the top of the differential. It should be a month
& year (like 12-41). This would give a hint on the assembly date of the chassis. The bodies may have been batched
and stored to be finished up as other orders permit. Henney had an order at the first of the year for 100 military
ambulances (for US Navy?)and they had to deliver all at one time. Henney had ambulances stuck everywhere for
several months while they tried to complete this big order. Most of them have a panel instead of a window at the side.
My 42 APL has "1-42" in its rear axle so I know it couldn't have been assembled any sooner than FEB 1942.
Here is another hubcap photo for your information that might be of interest; The 1940 Packard Deluxe Cap.
It was used on most of the Packard's 1940 offerings (there was a smaller one for the 110-Six). Henney must
have a lot of them, as it used them on many of its 1942 constructions, except for the Custom Super 8s (180)
and other special custom cars.( which should have gotten the available 1942 types. )

Military models had the caps painted over--I would think that the black-outs would have been as well. OVER
whatever they had left--which could have been most anything.
1940 Packard Deluxe hubcap

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Re: Rare Civil Defence Henney Found

Post by henney42 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:34 pm

Finally found the elusive Henney builders plate in my 1942 Civilian Defense ambulance. For some reason I'm having difficulty finding the engine number on the engine itself, so at this point I'm unable to confirm whether or not the engine in the ambulance is original to the plate. Is it possible the number is hidden behind the manifold?

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Re: Rare Civil Defence Henney Found

Post by PACKARDAPL » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:24 pm

N E A T!!! I am glad that you found this valuable plate. The numbers in comparison to the CD from
Oregon confirms that they are indeed two different Packards. They compare:

Your Cd ---------------- Oregon Cd
Engine# AE317661D ---------------- AE318194D ---------------------------- E=1942 D=Cast iron pistons
Vin # 2001-A2710 ---------------- 2001-A2799
Henney Body# 13549 ---------------- 13552

So it appears that the bodies were "batched" and the chassis were added later. Both CD bodies were built only 4 apart.

While most anything is possible, the numbers were usually more visual. Accessories or add-on stuff (oil filter-coil)sometimes can obstruct
the number on the engine. Some numbers are Weak and might require some wire brushing to bring it up. You at least now now WHAT it
should be.

IF you need it, I will see if I can photo a couple of engine blocks showing the engine #.

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Re: Rare Civil Defence Henney Found

Post by Ozstatman » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:12 pm

The Packard Engine Serial Number Reference in the Packard Literature and Manuals Section on PackardInfo might help in locating the engine number.

Currently - '50 Packard Eight Touring Sedan
Previously - '41 120 Club Coupe(Sold October 2017) & '38 Eight Touring Sedan(Sold July 2009)
Bowral, Southern Highlands, NSW Australia

"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

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