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.
Packard was an American luxury automobile marque built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, United States. The first Packard automobiles were produced in 1899, and the last Detroit-built Packard in 1956, when they built the Packard Predictor, their last concept car.
Packard bought Studebaker in 1953 and formed the Studebaker-Packard Corporation of South Bend, Indiana. The 1957 and 1958 Packards were actually badge engineered Studebakers, built in South Bend.
Packard Twin Six (1906–1930)
1906 Packard Model S Touring
1910 Packard Model 30
1920 Packard Twin Six Roadster
1925 Packard Sport Phaeton
From this beginning, through and beyond the 1930s, Packard-built vehicles were perceived as highly competitive among high-priced luxury American automobiles. The company was commonly referred to as being one of the "Three Ps" of American motordom royalty, along with Pierce-Arrow of Buffalo, New York, and Peerless of Cleveland, Ohio. For most of its history, Packard was guided by its President and General Manager James Alvan Macauley, who also served as President of the National Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Full Size Packards
Packard Light Eight (1931–1936)
1932 Packard Light Eight Roadster
1933 Packard Light Eight Roadster
1934 Packard Twelve Model 1107
1935 Packard Phaeton
1936 Packard Super 8 Sedan
Entering the 1930s, Packard attempted to beat the stock market crash and subsequent Great Depression by manufacturing ever more opulent and expensive cars than it had prior to October 1929. While the Eight five-seater sedan had been the company's top-seller for years, the Twin Six, designed by Vincent, was introduced for 1932, with prices starting at $3,650 (equal to $67,026 today) at the factory gate; in 1933, it would be renamed the Packard Twelve, a name it retained for the remainder of its run (through 1939). Also in 1931, Packard pioneered a system it called Ride Control, which made the hydraulic shock absorbers adjustable from within the car. For one year only, 1932, Packard fielded an upper-medium-priced car, the Light Eight, at a base price of $1,750, or $735 less than the standard Eight.
Packard 120 (1937–1941)
1937 Packard 120 4 Door Sedan
1939 Packard Touring Sedan
1939 Packard Touring Sedan
1940 Packard Coupe
1941 Packard 180
1941 Packard 160 Deluxe Convertible
Packard was still the premier luxury automobile, even though the majority of cars being built were the 120 and Super Eight model ranges. Hoping to catch still more of the market, Packard decided to issue the Packard 115C in 1937, which was powered by Packard's first six-cylinder engine since the Fifth Series cars in 1928. The decision to introduce the "Packard Six", priced at around $1200, was in time for the 1938 recession. This model also tagged Packards as something less exclusive than they had been in the public's mind and in the long-run hurt Packard's reputation of building some of America's finest luxury cars. The Six, redesignated 110 in 1940–41, continued for three years after the war.
Packard 120, 1935-1941
Packard Clipper (1941-1947)(1953-1957)
1941 Packard Clipper
1942 Packard Clipper
1946 Packard Clipper
1947 Custom Super Clipper
1953 Packard Clipper
1954 Packard Clipper Panama Hardtop Coupe
1955 Packard Clipper Hardtop Sport Coupe
1955 Packard Clipper Panama Hardtop Coupe
1956 Packard Clipper
1957 Packard Clipper
1958 Packard Clipper
The Packard Clipper was built by Packard (and by the later Studebaker-Packard Corporation) for models years 1941–1942, 1946–1947 and 1953–1957. For 1956 only, Clipper was classified as a stand-alone marque. The Clipper was introduced in April, 1941, as a mid-model year entry. It was available only as a four-door sedan. The Clipper name was reintroduced in 1953, for the automaker's lowest-priced lineup. By 1955, the Clipper models were seen as diluting Packard's marketing as a luxury automobile marque. It was named for a type of sailing ship, called a clipper.
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.
Packard Eight (1946–1950)
1946 Packard Eight Deluxe
1947 Packard Custom Super Clipper 7-Passenger Sedan
1948 Packard Deluxe
1948 Packard 2 Door
1949 Packard 2 Door
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
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
Packard Patrician (1951-1956)
1951 Packard Patrician
1956 Packard Patrician
The Packard Patrician was built by Packard Motor Car Company from model years 1951 through the 1956. During its six years in production, the Patrician was built in Packard's Detroit facilities on East Grand Boulevard. The word "patrician" is Latin for a ruling class in Ancient Rome.
Packard 200 (1951-1952)
1951 Packard 200 Deluxe Sedan
1952 Packard 200 Deluxe Sedan
The Packard 200 was an automobile model produced by Packard during model years 1951 and 1952. Models in the 200 designation represented the least expensive Packard model range, on the firm's shortest wheelbase, and least powerful 288 cu in (4.7 L) 8-cylinder in-line engine. It replaced the Packard One-Twenty and the Packard One-Ten, and was renamed the Packard Clipper.
Concurrently, the company also produced the Packard 250, which shared the same basic body and wheelbase as the 200, but was equipped with Packard's larger 327 cu in (5.4 L) 8-cylinder in-line engine and stylized with more upscale exterior detailing. The 250 model line consisted of the convertible and the Mayfair hardtop.
Packard 300 (1951-1952)
1951 Packard 300
1952 Packard 300
The Packard 300 was built and sold by Packard for model years 1951 and 1952. The 300 represented the upper mid-range Packard model and provided better appointments than the Packard 200 or the Packard 250 models. The premier Packard offered during these years was the Packard Patrician 400.
Packard Cavalier (1953-1954)
1953 Packard Cavalier
1953 Packard Cavalier Convertible
1954 Packard Cavalier
The Packard Cavalier is an automobile produced by Packard during 1953 and 1954. Produced only as a sedan, the Cavalier took the place of the Packard 300 model which was fielded in 1951 and 1952 as Packard’s mid-range priced vehicle.
The 1953 Cavalier was easily identified from other Packards by its unique chrome side spear trim.
Packard 400 (1955-1956)
1955 Packard 400
1956 Packard 400
The Packard Four Hundred was an automobile built by the Studebaker-Packard during model years 1955 and 1956. During its two years in production, the Four Hundred was built in Packard’s Detroit facilities, and considered part of Packard's senior model range.
Between 1951 and the time the final Detroit-built Packard rolled off the line in 1956, Packard’s marketing strategy and model naming convention was in a constant state of flux as the automaker struggled to redefine itself as a producer of luxury automobiles, and separate itself from its volume selling Packard models which it designated the Packard Clipper. As a result, Packard fielded several models which existed for a single year during this period.
Packard Bayliff Roadster (1949)
1949 Packard Bayliff Roadster
The Packard Bayliff Roadster is the only one of its kind to exist, constructed at great expense as a prototype for a limited-production run that never began. Under the sleek neo-classic handcrafted body of the revival Bayliff Roadster is a modern powertrain and suspension sourced from the Lincoln division
Packard Parisian Fastback (1952)
1952 Packard Parisian Fastback
The Packard Parisian is one of three Packard custom cars built by Carl Schneider and Peter Portugal of Eureka, California. The three vehicles were inspired by design study drawings that were done in the early 1950's by Packard, but were never put into production or even made into official dream cars.
Packard Caribbean (1953-1956)
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertable
1956 Packard Caribbean Convertable
The Packard Caribbean was a personal luxury car produced by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, during model years 1953 through 1956. Some of the Caribbean's styling was derived from the Pan American Packard show car of the previous year. It was produced only as a convertible from 1953 to 1955, but a hardtop model was added in its final year of 1956.
Packard Hawk (1958)
1958 Packard Hawk"
1958 Packard Hawk"
The styling was definitely controversial, often described as 'vacuum-cleaner' or 'catfish' by detractors. The styling has come to be appreciated more today than in its debut. Only 588 were sold, with Packard's impending demise a likely contributing factor. Most were equipped with the Borg-Warner three-speed automatic transmission. Approximately 28 were produced with the B-W T85 3-speed w/overdrive manual transmission. Studebaker-Packard was the first manufacturer to popularize the limited slip differential, which they termed Twin-Traction. Most Packard Hawks came with TT. It was certainly the fastest Packard ever sold, since it shared the majority of its components with Studebaker's Golden Hawk.
1940 Packard Woodie
1940 Packard 120 Woodie
1941 Packard Woodie
1948 Packard Station Sedan Woodie
1949 Packard Station Sedan Woodie
1951 Packard El Paso Woodie
The Packard Super Eight is the classic pre-WWII American car, with a fantastic straight eight engine and plenty of luxury. One can only imagine what it must've
been like pulling up in the woody version. More Woodies
Packard Pickups (1905-1923)
1937 Packard 120 Pickup
1956 Packard Clipper Pickup
Packard discontinued making trucks shortly after the First World War. The ones seen are either new creations, or perhaps more
than likely were built by dealers for their service work from low value returns, crashed cars, and
such. Dealers of the 30s and 40s often had service trucks, especially wreckers made from old Pierce Arrows, Lincolns, Packards had very strong chassis and very numerically high rear axle ratios. The half-dozen Packard pickup-style trucks I've seen
over the last few years are all new creations.
Packard discontinued in 1959
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.
Keep Your Car Looking New
Packard Motor Cars Through the Years
Reviewed by Gene Wright on