Made a new car guy connection when discussing the Packard

Posted By on August 29, 2020

58PackardHawkRear160518On Friday afternoon I stopped in to talk with Rick Benhase, the guy looking at the Packard transmission for me. He is a truly old car nut and can’t seem to get rid of his “fleet” once he buys or fixes them. This applies to more than just cars, too (read below if you must know).

Unfortunately our small car repair talk lead to more of a connection than I expected. After mentioning a few other cars including the MGB, his eyes lit up and off we went into his storage warehouse. He started to show me “his” British car collection including a couple of his daily drivers, some on racks, some covered and some in various states of repair ..  and then admitted that he has too many but just can workinghandsseem to part with them(according to him, he lost count at 60 cars and project cars .. plus nine more at home). Oh my … I don’t feel so bad having a couple extra cars.

One thing led to another and I “mistakenly mentioned woodworking” as a hobby. Off we went to an other section of his large warehouse housing older industrial woodworking machines, piles of plywood and stacks of hardwood; it seems prior to working on old cars, he was in the cabinet making business and built cabinets for Holiday Inn and others. It was raining and we walked around a few leaks (storms just peeled back a section of his flat roof) and told me the insurance quote came in at $400K for the roof this morning! I’m glad I don’t still own my flat roofed building in Cuyahoga Falls!

So after my hour long tour, he asked what business I was in … and after mentioning “printing” his 70 year old eyes lit up again. Before he started his first job in advertising, he worked running a letterpress for his uncle. Small world as we are both luddites who are attracted to work that leaves our hands caused, dirty or stained by grease or ink.


Back to the Packard discussion. His transmission guy has been off this week so he apologized for not being able to dig into it (no rush on my part). But since I had him as a captured audience, I asked him if there was anything else that he noticed that I should be looking and mentioned the newDeluxe Kit master cylinder that I have in order to fix the brakes.

We talked a bit more about brakes and thought it sounded reasonable wanting make sure the car could “stop” when needed. Ha!

So I’m planning to see if there are any conversion kits to switch from drum to disc for the Packard or if the Studebaker Hawk kits might fit? I’m planning to connect with Turner Brakes in Noblesville Indiana as they “might” make a bolt on upgrade kit that will double the braking power – convert the front brakes to disc brakes AND a dual rather than stock single master cylinder (photos above) I think I’ll at least look into that before re-doing my stock brakes?


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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