Packard Motor Cars from 1899 to 1958
Packard was a luxury automobile marque built in America by the
Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit, Michigan, and later manufactured by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation in South Bend, Indiana. The first Packards were manufactured in 1899 and the last built in 1958. Packard was created by brothers James Ward Packard, William, and their partner, George Lewis Weiss, located in Warren, Ohio, where 400 Packards were built at the factory on Dana Street Northeast, from the years 1899 thru 1903. James Packard, a mechanical engineer believed they could manufacture a better horseless carriage than Winton cars which were owned by Weiss, an important Winton stockholder. Packard subsequently complained to Alexander Winton and suggested improvements, which were ignored; The first Packard was built in Warren, Ohio, on November 6, 1899.
The Ohio Automobile Company was created in September of 1900 to manufacture Packard automobiles. These quickly acquired an excellent reputation and on October 13, 1902, was renamed the
Packard Motor Car Company.
Every Packard featured a one-cylinder engine until 1903. From the beginning, Packard featured unique innovations, including the
contemporary steering wheel and, many years later, the very first production 12-cylinder motor and also air-conditioning in a passenger vehicle. Packard manufactured the "Twin Six" series of 12-cylinder automobiles from 1915 to 1923. The last Packard luxury auto with the broadly confounding motto "Ask the Man Who Owns One"–rolled off the assembly line at Packard's Detroit Michigan plant on June 25, 1956.
1925 Packard Sport Phaeton
1935 Packard Phaeton
1936 Packard Super 8 Sedan
1939 Packard Touring Sedan
1939 Packard Touring Sedan
1940 Packard Coupe
1941 Packard 180
1941 Packard Convertable
By the beginning of the 1942 model year, Packard had completed a new line of One Sixty and One Eighty models styled after the
Clipper. The previous One Ten and One Twenty were redesigned with new 120-inch wheelbase Clippers, with the exception of where
specialized tooling was needed for convertibles, taxis, and commercial vehicles.
Accordingly, for 1942 the extended Clipper line used every engine built by Packard: 245.3-cubic-inch L-head six, producing for 105 horses; 288-cubic-inch straight eight delivering 125 horses; and the 356-cubic-inch straight eight that delivered 165 horses.
The latter was America's most powerful engine in production for 1941-1947 (tantamount by Buick in 1941-1942); it had 15 more horses than Cadillac's V-8.
1942 Packard Clipper
1947 Custom Super Clipper
While most automakers could manufacture new vehicles for 1948–49, Packard couldn't until 1951. They hence updated by adding sheet metal to the current body (which added 200 lbs of curb weight). Six-cylinder vehicles were discontinued while a convertible was added. These new designs concealed their relationship to the Clipper. Indeed, even that name was dropped—for some time.
A "bathtub" style was chosen. While this was viewed as cutting edge amid the war and the idea was further facilitated with the 1949 Nash—and made due for decades in Europe with the Saab 92-96—the styling of the 1948–1950 Packard was polarizing. To some it was smooth and mixed classic with modern;
although it was nicknamed it the "pregnant elephant" by others. However, during this period, demand for any vehicle was high, and Packard produced 92,000 units for 1948 and 116,000 for the 1949 models
1948 Packard Deluxe
1949 Packard 2 Door
1949 Packard 2 Door
1949 Packard Bayliff Roadster
The 1951 Packards were totally updated. Designer John Reinhart presented a high-waisted, more square profile that fit the contemporary styling patterns of the time—altogether different from the 1948–50 design. New styling highlights incorporated a one-piece windshield, a wrap-around back window, small tailfins on the long-wheelbase versions, a full-width grill with "guideline fenders" and the hood and front fenders were the same height
1951 Packard 300
1952 Packard Parisian Fastback
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertable
1958 Packard Hawk
Studebaker-Packard discontinued Packard in 1959. It kept the name until 1962 when "Packard" was removed from the corporation name during a time when it introduced the all new Avanti, and a less dated image was being sought, thus completing the story of the great American Packard company. Ironically, it was thought that the Packard name might somehow be incorporated for the new fiberglass sports model, as well as Pierce-Arrow, the brand Studebaker controlled through the late 1920s and into the early 1930s. During the late 1950s, enthusiasts approached Studebaker-Packard to reintroduce the French car maker Facel-Vega's suicide-door, four-door hardtop as a 'Packard' to be sold in North America, using regular Packard V8s, and identifying trim to include red hexagonal wheel covers,
cormorant hood ornament, and classic vertical ox-yoke grille.
The proposition was axed when Daimler-Benz threatened to withdraw its 1957 distribution and marketing agreement, would have cost Studebaker-Packard more in receipts than they might have earned from rebadge-engineering. Daimler-Benz had very few of its own dealer networks at the time and thus used this agreement to enter and become established in the American market using SPC's established dealer network, and perceived this car was an endangerment to their models. By caving in, SPC did no favors to themselves and perhaps accelerated their exit from the automobile business, and Mercedes-Benz protecting their own empire, helped ensure their future.