'38 Packard Super Six - Overdrive?

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yyc2yeg
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'38 Packard Super Six - Overdrive?

Post by yyc2yeg » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:02 am

I am the proud owner of a 1938 Packard Super Six https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0wG6XBubLLUWG

When I bought it, the owner gave me some indication that it had overdrive. However, I don't believe the car has it. I have the Shop Manual and it indicates that overdrive has a switch that is activated by depressing the accelerator all the way to the floor board. When I look, there is no such switch, nor a wire coming from the ignition coil to switch somewhere.

So, was the Overdrive an option? and did not ship with all cars? Or is there some mechanical overdrive or overdrive like feature for an early 38 model? I'm just confused because reading the shop manual and looking at the car, I do not believe that it has any overdrive capabilities.

Dave Czirr
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Re: '38 Packard Super Six - Overdrive?

Post by Dave Czirr » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:34 am

For all the years that overdrive was available, it was an extra-cost option. I'm wondering what shop manual you are looking as my recollection is that 1939 was the first year overdrive was offered. If you think it may have been added to your car, and it could have been retro-fitted, easy way to confirm is to look under the car, the overdrive unit would appear as a separate unit added to the rear of the transmission.

The proper name for the 1938 6-cylinder model is the "Six", not Super Six.

yyc2yeg
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Re: '38 Packard Six - Overdrive?

Post by yyc2yeg » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:10 pm

Thanks Dave, I am looking at a 1938-1939 shop manual, so it has both years. It could very well be that 39 was the year it was introduced, since the manual doesn't specify that. I am pretty sure that this car does not have overdrive, but I will take a closer look at the rear of the transmission. I would be interested in purchasing overdrive if there was a seller out there that had some overdrive rotting in their back 40. Might as well put it to some use.

Dave Czirr
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Re: '38 Packard Super Six - Overdrive?

Post by Dave Czirr » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:02 pm

Well, they are out there to purchase though they are desireable and won't be inexpensive. In addition to the unit itself you'll need the electrical components and associated wiring, mechanical components like the control cable and a shortened driveshaft. And to do a completely proper installation though many don't do it, you should also regear the differential. I don't recall, there may also be some frame modification needed as well. It will certainly add to the driveability of the car if a steady diet of high speed highway driving is planned.

flackmaster
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Re: '38 Packard Super Six - Overdrive?

Post by flackmaster » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:02 am

Very interesting car. First, it is an early 1939, Canadian Build with a Floor Shift. Very unusual. Later motor can be excused, no harm or foul there. Cannot tell from photos whether it has overdrive or not...if so, will be immediately apparent from a quick glance underneath...
All in all, nice car...let us know how we can help, and if at all possible, welcome you to the Church of the Holy Overdrive.

DAF

Dave Czirr
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Re: '38 Packard Super Six - Overdrive?

Post by Dave Czirr » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:00 am

DAF, maybe I missed some detail you saw but based on the vehicle number the vehicle is a 1938, not 1939. Were you perhaps questioning the metal patent plate? Unlike Detroit production, Packard-Canada stayed with a metal plate for 1938.

flackmaster
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Re: '38 Packard Super Six - Overdrive?

Post by flackmaster » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:45 pm

Well, I think we are both right. While the data plate certainly reflects a '38 vin, I think it was early '39 based on the dash, tail lights and a few more other details. Being a Windsor assembled car, well....if cars could talk...the transmission is clearly a mystery, or carryover of a '38 unit, and the engine is of no help...

Dave Czirr
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Re: '38 Packard Super Six - Overdrive?

Post by Dave Czirr » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:13 pm

Theft-proof number is squarely in the range for 1938. That plus the VN is conclusive for me that it's a 1938. Fact is however that we just don't know enough about the Windsor cars.

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