I wasn’t going to post today, but here I am. As I awoke before 5 AM for the second consecutive day and since I cannot use the treadmill because my wonderful wife is still asleep, here I am. Once again, OCD is a bitch even if it’s OCD-lite.


I have been reading Packard: A History of the Motorcar and Company edited by Beverly Rae Kimes. She was, perhaps, the finest chronicler of American automotive history. The book is enormous at 800 pages and with my other wonderful trait, ADD, sometimes I just can’t wade through all of the details about the engineering, the interiors, etc. However, I am enjoying the book.

Would you buy a car without a working master cylinder?



From this Hemmings listing a picture of a 1956 Packard Executive without a functioning master cylinder. No, I am not going to buy this or any other car anytime soon, but as I have written before my brain is pestering me with the idea of buying a car that was built before I was born and is not too expensive. The seller is asking $8,000.

This was the last model year for the “real” Packard manufactured in Detroit. It was also the only year such cars featured a negative ground, 12-volt electrical system, the standard for cars built in the last 60 years. Of course, that is changing as some manufacturers have moved to a 48-volt system.

While this car will not end up in my Ultimate Garage 2.0 another Packard might. Speaking of Ultimate Garages I am still hoping more of you will send me yours. Not that I can’t post yours after I reveal mine, of course, but some of you might not want to wait until then. I will probably start before Memorial Day.






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12 thoughts on “Compulsion

  1. I wonder why more people haven’t offered up their Ultimate Garage picks. It’s free, it’s fantasy, and there’s no “right” answer. Most people are not car people. My wife struggled buying her latest car because she is not a big car person, yet there are at least three cars in her UG in my mind: Porsche 911 4SC cabriolet; Infinity G35 convertible; Volvo S60 turbo-ultimate purchase.

    On the other hand, there are people like me who only go to two car shows a year because there are only two in my area. I read three-four car magazines a month thanks to Texture app. I have car models in my office. And while not your cup of tea, I could see having at least seven different Porsches in my fleet-air and water cooled 911s, 928, 944 turbo, Panamera, Cayenne, 356. And that’s just the Porsche’s. I could see a bunch of SUVs-Cayenne, Bentayga, Landcruiser, and CR-V. And at least several sedans and convertibles.
    Maybe most people would see this as gluttonous, but many people have things they do collect/would collect if they could. One tv pundit recently told of his dad who has over one hundred watches in the age of cell phone timepieces. (Shout out to Mr. Kalvan in his wife beater working on his watch).
    Hopefully, more people will share their choices in a safe space among like minded people.


    1. Great question, sir. I have to assume that the proportion of car fans reading this blog is significantly higher than in the population at large. Still, as is the case with virtually all, if not all, Internet efforts almost all people are content to just read and not to contribute.

      Please consider submitting your Ultimate Garage. As David Banner points out there are no right (or wrong) answers. Thanks.


  2. Regarding that Packard Executive – the Executive was introduced in the Spring of 1956. The Clipper Custom was discontinued when the Executive came to market. It sold well – but only about 2,800 of them (split almost equally between the 4 door sedan and the 2 door hardtop) – but it came too late to really help Packard. It was also a step backward from Nance’s strategy of taking the Packard name upmarket and building the Clipper line as the volume and price leader. This move undercut Nance and Packard’s establishing Clipper as a separate make and took the top of the Clipper line away from those dealers. The introduction of the Executive thus reflected the chaos at Packard in those days – grasping at straws to stay afloat. • I don’t understand the thinking of the seller of that Executive – if he hopes to sell it, why doesn’t he fix the master cylinder?!?!


    1. 56packardman! As always, a pleasure to bask in your expertise. Yes, I read today in the Kimes tome about the Executive’s “place” in the Packard lineup in 1956. Although it will always be a reminder of the chaos AND, perhaps, of what might have been, I think the car has a grand look. Somewhere down the road when I inevitably succumb to the siren song imploring me to acquire a low-cost car made before my birth, a better-kept example of a ’56 Executive might be that car.


  3. As a child, I dreamed of the Citroën DS and Porsche 911… I guess these still could be in my Ultimate Garage, along side the Honda SUV of about a decade and a half ago. But in real life I don’t think I would like to drive any of them…


      1. Well, at least two of them wouldn’t have power steering, would they? Or air conditioning… Around these parts of the world, both would be a must-have 🙂


      2. I believe that starting in 1989 the Porsche 911 had power steering. Although I have decided how to handle this issue—you readers will just have to wait to find out how—I also struggled with whether or not I should include cars with manual transmissions in my Ultimate Garage because I have not driven a vehicle with a manual in 40+ years.


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