January  2018...................

The New Pruchase for this year, a 1941 Packard Henny WW2 Ambulance. which is in good condition considering it's only 77 years old now.

I've been looking and thinking about this Ambulance for a while now when I saw it for sale on Ebay before Christmas. 

I've been looking for sothing like this car all last year, well something I can replace the old 1932 Ford Coal Truck with as it's now getting to difficult for me to drive to and from 1940' events

I collected this car from Stamford in Linclonshire and drove it back the 110 miles down the Motorway back to my workshop in Lye on New Years Eve, the following day I powerwashed the whole Ambulance off including under the wheelarches to get all the salt off and out of the car.

One of the main reason's I bought this car was it is nice and easy to drive !

Originaly this Ambulance worked in the 1940's/50's /60's and 70's at "MURCO BASE AIRPORT" in California USA. 

I used to have a straight 8 cylinder petrol engine and stick shift manual gearbox fitted as standard. but sometime after the 1970's the car was abandend up a corner of an Aircraft Hanger with NO engine or Gearbox fitted. Later on sombody bought the Ambulance and stripped the body off the chassis, shot blasted the chassis and powder coated it.

Then fitted a Small Block V8 305ci Chevy (5.7 ltr) petrol engine with a 700R 4-speed Automatic Gearbox and a 9" Rear Axle, New leaf springs on the rear, coil springs on the front with shock absorbers all around, disc brakes fitted on the front, drums on the rear with Servo power. Then Power Steering was fitted and radial tyres for better road holding.

It drive's like a dream !

History on this Ambulance .............. Built in 1941 to serve on Muroc Army Air Force Base (Later to become "Edwards Air Force Base") Muroc was famouse for when in 1947 Chuck Yeager broke the SPEED OF SOUND in a Jet Powered Plane the Bell X1.  When the base later changed it's name to Edwards Air Foce Base, where many Military Aircraft take off and land......but the most famouse Aircraft was the SHUTTLE that went up to Space and retured back to Earth, this base had one of the longest runways in the U.S. so the Shuttle could land safely.  The Ambulance was Chrissend "SHERMAN" By the Men who worked there. The dashboard was extensivly worked on with over 400 hours of airbrush work for "Kaiser Darrin". Sherman has been to a few shows in the U.S. Around the L.A. Area and was shipped over to England sometime in 2014 where Steve Read Bought the Vehicle, Steve did a lot of intria work to the Ambulance by fitting a new roof lining, new door panels and re-carpeting throughout, plus fitting a Church Pew in the back for passingers to sit. 

Muroc Army Air Force Base taken in the 1940's.................

This Ambulance is 21 ft long.......I had no choice but to take the side out of my office, to rearange things, between Christmas and New Year to make enough room to get this beast in my workshop. By the way, this beast was named "SHERMAN" by the Men at the Airforce base. There are some cosmetic jobs that need doing to SHERMAN plus some electrical jobs, but I'm pushing on with those jobs now.......I'm also looking to fit the inside out with some old Ambulance equipment of how it was when is worked on the Airbase.

During this last two weeks I've started by making a list of jobs that need doing  to this Packard. I started by jacking the whole Ambulance up as high as I could getting it on  some decent axle stands then removing all 4 wheels to check the tyres, I did find a flat spot on the tread of the n/s rear which what causing a viabration through the car at speed. so that needs a new tyre.

Then checking all the brakes, I found the rear shoes low, and will need replacing, plus I found free play in the N/S Front King Pin

which feels to me like the lower bush that is worn ?

I stripped it all down, the King Pin looks good, but due to lack of a grease nipple this bush had worn badly !

I have Malcolm from over the road making me a new lower bush, plus I need to drill the stub axle to put a grease nipple to keep the bush lubricated.

Whilst waiting for the bush to be done, I cleaned all the caked up mud out that was in the the inside of the wheel arches, then wax oiled the inside of the fenders, later, I made up some rubber inner mud flaps to keep the mud out.

In the meantime I pulled out the disc pads to check them as I could feel some brake judder at speed, I found the pads were low and the N/S were starting to brack up !!!.

 I was not sure what these disc brakes were off , as the original Packard had Drum Brakes fitted, these were fitted when the V8 and autobox was all fitted in the Packard.

I took a photo of the pads and sent the detailes over to Dave at "Stateside Autoparts" at Atherstone to see if they could regonise them ?

Dave came back to me within and hour ot say they are off a big G.M Truck, which they stock on the shelf and they can post to me within 24hrs !

WOW I THOUGHT....That's good service.

On Wednesday 17th January

Dave Perks came around to line out my Chevy Truck.

I've been waiting for Dave to come around all last year as he's been busy painting Narrowboats. Anyhow now the weather's is horrible at the moment Dave is looking for inside work now.

January 20th The Chevy stepside at Dudley Collage Advance Workshop.

 

Saurday 20th January Clive Dawe  Invited me around with the Chevy Truck to the New Dudley Advance Collage for this Open Day they had.

 

I was put in this magificant workshop with the truck on show with other vehcles. They have a wonderfull  Machine Shop as well plus welding and tube bending machines not forgetting the plazma cutter. I was very impressed with it all.

 

A steady amount of students came to visit during the day, they all seemed interested in my truck which I gave them a little talk on.

 

But as the day was going on, I could see out of the very large windows in there SNOW......Lot's of SNOW coming down ! The whole place was going white over in no time.

I had never driven this truck in the snow before, but with no heater in the truck, it was a bit Burrrrrr !