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adding available accessories to a car

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:01 am
by turpentyne

I'm just curious what everyone's opinion is on adding accessories to a car, when those accessories were available, but not on this specific car. For example, a car I'm working on, only came with Power brakes. No A/C, no washer in the windshield wiper, seat warmers, or anything like that. I'm toying with the idea of adding a couple of those items, where feasible.

This will not be a full Showroom award-winning car when done, but I'm toying with the idea of adding things I know were available, but weren't on this car as it came from the factory. Is that the sort of thing that makes collectors skin crawl?

Re: adding available accessories to a car

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:20 am
by Dave Czirr
It will be interesting to see what other opinions come along. I say, go for it for those accessories that you like and are useful to you; certainly the lower end cars were rarely accessorized as much as the higher end, but as long as they're authentic, no one should really have an issue. A little restraint might be considered, my personal taste is that accessorizing to the max tends to make a car a bit gaudy.

PS - just an add-on thought after reading HH's thoughtful response. Some dealers would install non-Packard accessories; an example often seen is outside rear view mirrors that weren't of the Packard approved style, and mounted in locations other than Packard advised. I'd try to steer clear of such items.

Re: adding available accessories to a car

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:28 am
by Howard56
Just my opinion and I'm as guilty as anyone of doing it, but since so many accessories were sold and installed by dealers without going thru the factory order, if it was available as an accessory for the year and not something that could only be added at the factory it is fair game. Unless you are lucky enough to have a build slip, no one is even going to be able to say positively something coming from a parts car & only added at the factory is wrong -- and some items were mostly dealer installed so without a sales contract, very hard to document.

To go one step farther, some options were introduced for perhaps the following year but could be retrofitted per factory documentation. The power brakes intro'd in 52 but with factory documentation on how to install on a 51 is a good example. R11 OD's in an originally equipped R9 car is another. There are others -- windshield washers was something Packard promoted as a safety item for dealers to sell to good customers owning an earlier car.

Another can or worms is even though a later something might not have been "correct" for a year, I doubt many dealers would turn down a sale if a customer wanted to add and it would fit on an earlier car. It it was on that "original" car sitting untouched in the garage for the last 50 years what would you do -- take it off?? Anyway, my two cents.

I'm sure there will be others with different two cents so this topic might become interesting.

Re: adding available accessories to a car

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:30 am
by dmdelavan
These comments make sense. I would only add that if you are going for a show car they would add nothing for judging and if improper or imperfect would certainly cost you.
Don Gutting

Re: adding available accessories to a car

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:03 pm
by turpentyne
Funny enough, I think my car may be an example of exactly what Dave mentioned, with outside mirrors added and the cab top painted white.

So far, I'm just planning on seatbelts and windshield washer. I'd love to add A/C, as I'm in the boiling desert of Arizona, but that's a bit more involved than I care to tackle just yet.

Re: adding available accessories to a car

Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:07 am
by Packards1
If you are going to add accessories be sure to only use ones from Packard. J C Whitney stuff stands out like a sore thumb. Also just use a few, as the car can get gaudy quickly. Seat belts are a different issue, put them on your car regardless of who made them.