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Odd coincidence, or missing link? 1952 Packard

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  • Odd coincidence, or missing link? 1952 Packard

    Today I went to the Auburn auction. I look forward to this every year and was somewhat surprised by the lack of Studebakers and Packards in attendance, but that's another story. However one of the Packards there really caught my attetion, a 1952 Pacifica concept car. This car is shocking similar to my '53 prototype. In the photo you can see that this car has a clear sunroof, just like what my '53 is supposed to have. The rear section also has the dramatic curve like a starlight coupe, also just like mine. The other thing that shocked me about this car is the year, 1952. If it was supposed to be new for '52 it would have been built in either late '51 or early '52; exactly the same time as my '53 (since mine was based on a '51 Commander). I've never seen this Packard before today. According to the auction tag it was restored in 2001. Now, I just have to wonder, was this car being built by Packard at the same time Studebaker was building a similar car (mine) just a really strance coincidence, or were both companies planning something? I know that these cars were built before the S-P merger, but they are so similar that I just can't help but wonder that somehow, in some weird way, they are connected... Take a look:

    On the roof there is a clear sunroof that has the same span as my '53.
    Chris Dresbach

  • #2
    To: Chris Dresbach,-----Although it may have been a different car, I recall seeing a Packard that looked like this concept car in Hyde Park, Massachusetts back in the late 80's. It was all black then....and there was a
    spotlight mounted dead center on the roof just above the windshield top edge...seems to Me though that the car I saw had heavy chrome/stainless brightwork on the lower portions of it's body. Owner of the Packard
    (at the time) told Me it was specially built for Packard's president.

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    • #3
      1954 Fords had the same sunroof. Coincidence.
      KURTRUK
      (read it backwards)




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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kurtruk View Post
        1954 Fords had the same sunroof. Coincidence.
        Ture, but that was built later. This Packard would have been built in 1951 or early '52. Even though I call my '53 a '53 because of the body style, it was actually built in 1951 or early '52 as well. The 1954 Ford would have been built two model years later and the soonest. It is possible that everybody got the same idea at the same time, but how did Studebaker and Packard get it FIRST before Ford? Did Ford see either of these other two cars?
        The other thing I'd like to know is if GM or any of the other independents had similar prototypes at this time between 1951 and before the model year of 1954?
        Chris Dresbach

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        • #5
          I too saw this at Auburn today. It will be interesting to see what it sells for. Definatly different.
          sigpic

          Packardbakerly,
          J.D.

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          • #6
            History of the car here..................
            http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19466/lot/347/
            "Burning Bridges...Lost Forevermore"......

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            • #7
              Thanx Dwain for providing the 'link' to this particular piece of fantasy .

              I don't care what anyone thinks , Packard was not keeping up with
              the "Standard of the World" all through the late Forties and through
              to the end of the '54 Models . Apart from a few legitimate 'Showcars'
              their output was very pedestrian and their styling way behind the
              competition . The only thing keeping them in the game was engineering.

              With the 'Merger' and 'new' models for 1955 and 1956 it was their
              engineering that let them down badly , whether we like it or not .

              And until that buy out Studebaker had nothing to do with Packard and
              vice versa . Really its like saying that Ford and Chevrolet were chummy.
              Us Studebaker people may have a soft spot for some Packard stuff built
              prior to 1955 but there was never any sharing of anything at that time.

              Obviously from the 1955 onwards , Packard was/is a part of Studebaker
              so there is nothing wrong about owning one of these Packards and being
              aligned with the Studebaker brand . Sort of like owning a 1928-33 Pierce
              Arrow and relating to Studebaker's involvement in that brand which was
              considerable . I really like mentioning to 'Packard People ' that in all like-
              lihood , the last Packard was probably a badge engineered Stude Truck !

              CRUISER
              Last edited by cruiser; 09-02-2012, 12:38 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cruiser View Post
                Thanx Dwain for providing the 'link' to this particular piece of fantasy .

                I don't care what anyone thinks , Packard was not keeping up with
                the "Standard of the World" all through the late Forties and through
                to the end of the '54 Models . Apart from a few legitimate 'Showcars'
                their output was very pedestrian and their styling way behind the
                competition. The only thing keeping them in the game was engineering.

                With the 'Merger' and 'new' models for 1955 and 1956 it was their
                engineering that let them down badly, whether we like it or not.

                And until that buy out Studebaker had nothing to do with Packard and
                vice versa. Really its like saying that Ford and Chevrolet were chummy.
                Us Studebaker people may have a soft spot for some Packard stuff built
                prior to 1955 but there was never any sharing of anything at that time.

                Obviously from the 1955 onwards, Packard was/is a part of Studebaker
                so there is nothing wrong about owning one of these Packards and being
                aligned with the Studebaker brand. Sort of like owning a 1928-33 Pierce
                Arrow and relating to Studebaker's involvement in that brand which was
                considerable. I really like mentioning to 'Packard People' that in all like-
                lihood, the last Packard was probably a badge engineered Stude Truck!

                CRUISER
                Bruce, I'll take exception to the styling remark vis-a-is the 1951 models. Reinhart's 1951 waistline proved too high, but the 1951s were otherwise light years ahead of the competition. Compare a 1951 Packard with a 1951 Buick, Oldsmobile, Mercury, or Chrysler. Then look at the fender lines of a 1954 Buick, when The General had caught up to the trend Packard started.

                The singular engineering problem for 1955 was under-engineering and inadequately testing the "new" Twin Ultramatic, which was not up to the task of handling the new V8's torque. The V8 oil pump design left something to be desired but was easily corrected; a teething issue typical of those that might be expected of any all-new engine that did not result in any catastrophic failure like other-make examples we could cite.

                Other than that, Packard's 1955/1956 problems may be laid at the feet of the manufacturing / production departments, not engineering. There was such promise for the 1955s; 'too bad so many problems were compounded that prevented well-built cars from being available when they should have been. BP
                We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                Ayn Rand:
                "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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                • #9
                  Good on you , Bob Palma , I kind of figured that you may have a considered opinion
                  on all of this . But when I used the 'Standard of the World' phrasing , I was comparing
                  Packard to Cadillac during this time period and clearly Cadillac won public acceptance.
                  So in the Luxury Class where Packard wanted to be , model year production was less
                  in 1951 than it had been in 1950 . Sure sales doesn't equate to style but by 1955 ,
                  Cadillac was making 90,000 more vehicles per year , but back in 1950 sales were 'equal'.

                  Manufacturing a car is a "package" deal and I used the word 'engineering' to cover what
                  was essentially a 'Management ' problem . There is so much wrong about Packard's
                  efforts to bring the '55's on line that it reminds me a lot of the Avanti launch . It was
                  a case of chasing major faults on the run as initially in both cases orders went unfilled .

                  Don't get me wrong , I have a secret liking for the 1955/56 Packards , and I wish that
                  they would have succeeded , but they didn't because the '55's were so flawed that the
                  better '56's didn't have a chance . And Bob , I think from memory that you have a '56
                  so you know just how good that these cars could be . Get out there and enjoy it !

                  CRUISER

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris_Dresbach View Post
                    The other thing I'd like to know is if GM or any of the other independents had similar prototypes at this time between 1951 and before the model year of 1954?
                    Chrysler did have the 'La Comtesse' show car for 1954 with a transparent roof panel. http://www.imperialclub.com/Yr/1954/...esse/index.htm . But I believe there may have been a Chrysler concept car with a smaller see-through panel a couple of years earlier.

                    Craig

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                    • #11
                      So this car isn't the custom Packard I recall seeing in Mass in the late '80's (see post#2). Does anyone else have memory of an all black custom Packard of the '51-'54 vintage looking similar to the car brought forth in this thread?
                      (Once again... All black with heavy chrome mouldings around it's lower perimeter, Three passenger business-like coupe with short roof and VERY long deck, Spotlight mounted dead center (forward) on roof, And supposedly
                      built by Packard for president of company?

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