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Thread: Current status of the Packard proving ground

  1. #1
    President Member Chris_Dresbach's Avatar
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    Question Current status of the Packard proving ground

    I got a chance to drive around the Studebaker proving ground test track last Sunday and one of the club members (Who also works for Bosch) and I got talking. He is one of the few people who has driven over 100 mph on BOTH the Studebaker test track, and the Packard test track up in Michigan. I know the Studebaker side of things is currently owned by Bosch, and when he got to drive the Packard track Ford owned it at the time. What's currently going on at the Packard proving ground, if anything?
    Chris Dresbach. South Bend, IND.

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    You can read about the Proving Grounds here.

    http://www.packardmotorfdn.org/

    Gary Sanders
    Nixa, MO
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    Silver Hawk Member StudeDave57's Avatar
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    It is now mostly a housing development. Only about 100 yards of the high speed oval are left. They were able to save the main enterance and garages & Guard House. When my son, Geoff & I were there in August of 2007 a lot of work had been done to bring back what is left. See link below - I'll see if I can find photos from our trip.
    http://www.packardmotorfdn.org/
    Soon there will be little left of the manufacturing facilities of Studebaker-Packard. When we were looking for the main enterance, we passed by the manufacturing plant that had been built in 55 by Packard for machining but could not find the proving ground enterance - stopped twice to ask and no one knew anything about Packard, till a young truck driver told us where to go --- less than a 1/4 mile away. Fords care of this facility was one of total neglect.
    It is interesting to see how far ahead Studebaker & Packard were in building these facilities. Both built in the late 20's while Ford & Chrysler didn't really get first class facilities till the mid 50's.

  5. #5
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    I ran across this at TTAC:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/201...track-w-video/

    which gives a pretty good description of the present status of the old Packard proving ground.

    There are a number of great pictures and 3D YouTube videos (although you can turn off the 3D).
    Last edited by JimK; 05-11-2011 at 12:00 AM.
    Jim K.
    63 Hawk

  6. #6
    President Member 4961Studebaker's Avatar
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    I'd like to take a picture of that Packard Proving ground water tower.

    I photograph towers where ever I go.

    Little odd wouldn't you say?

    61 Lark

  7. #7
    Speedster Member crashnzuk's Avatar
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    If you have it, type in packard proving grounds into google earth. You can clearly see that there is only a short piece of track left, but you can look at the historical imagery to see the whole track as recently as 2003. By the 2005 picture, the track is gone and there are houses.
    Travis..
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  8. #8
    President Member Chris_Dresbach's Avatar
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    I just looked it up on Google maps. Odd place. You can still see where the track used to go. It's a shame it's not still there.
    Chris Dresbach. South Bend, IND.

    1940 Champion two door sedan "Ely"
    1952 Model N prototype in pieces
    1963 "Turtle" prototype
    1953 Sunroof prototype (Recovered from the proving ground graveyard in 1969)
    1960 Lark 2dr sedan
    Michiana Chapter Secretary
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    President Member 4961Studebaker's Avatar
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    I have a neat brass plaque presented at that Detroit proving ground for the Classic Car Club of America back in 1955 co sponsored by Studebaker & Packard.

    \"QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER\"
    MELBOURNE.

  11. #11
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4961Studebaker View Post
    Interesting view, Kevin; thanks.

    Time marches on. As sad as are many of us to see Studebaker's manufacturing facilities come tumbling down, at least the fate of The Packard Proving Ground probably isn't in the cards for the former Studebaker Proving Ground.

    Studebaker's Proving Ground is so far from developing metropolitan South Bend (or any other locale, for that matter), that many of us -indeed, most of us- won't live to see Studebaker's Proving Ground endure this ignobility. BP

  12. #12
    Silver Hawk Member barnlark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4961Studebaker View Post
    I'd like to take a picture of that Packard Proving ground water tower.


    I just like that they preserved it with donations and didn't argue about whether Grounds had an s on the end of it or not! That's an interesting photo hobby, Kevin. Inanimate objects retaining water are probably a much more receptive subject that the usual ones.

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    We are very, very lucky that Studebaker's Administration Building remains intact and largely unchanged since Studebaker days, and same with the Proving Ground and Proving Ground Mansion. Packard folks really can't say much of the same about either.

    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    (formerly Greenville, PA)
    1966 Daytona Sports Sedan V8

  14. #14
    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4961Studebaker View Post
    I photograph towers where ever I go.
    How about this one which is currently enjoying an afterlife as a restaurant & bar? http://www.journalofcommerce.com/article/id37736

    Craig

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4961Studebaker View Post
    How come the streets aren't named Patrician, Clipper, Hawk, and One-eighty?
    KURTRUK
    (read it backwards)




    Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

  16. #16
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    Probably because Ford did the development and they are still upset that the last ride of Henry Ford was in a Packard Hearse.

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