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Interesting (and encouraging) 1963 photo

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  • Interesting (and encouraging) 1963 photo

    'Ran across this late-September 1963 photograph today while reading an article on the 50th Anniversary of the Birmingham AL 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four young black girls in their church home. The tragedy occured September 15, 1963.



    The photograph is interesting to us in Studebaker-Packard land because of the stately, what appears to be black 1956 Packard Patrician parked in front of the church, obviously participating in the funerals. Also seen in the photo is a new 1963 Chevrolet Nova 4-door and what appears to be a 1962 Cadillac Series 62 six-window 4-door hardtop.

    The Nova and Cadillac would indicate that the Packard was still being respected for its formality and appropriate, stately demeanor when it was seven years old; very significant, in my opinion.

    Of course, being in the south helped protect it from the ravages of northern salt, but not from the realities of its Twin Ultramatic probably acting up long before this picture was taken and, if so equipped, the electric shifter controls also available in 1956 having possibly needed attention long after Birmingham's Packard dealer had undoubtedly closed.

    As tragic as was the incident that led to this photograph having been taken, it is heart-warming to see a formal, senior-series Packard appearing in such a setting, right where it belongs, in my never-so-humble opinion, even though it is seven years old at a time when anything over three or four years old was considered passe. 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.

  • #2
    Agreed, Bob. That Packard looks so stately still in '63. By then it was probably a reasonably-priced used car, and who knows, with the Ultramatic issues, service may still have been available through a nearby Studebaker dealer, if they had sold Packards in '55-56 as well.

    The '55-56 Packards were sure a successful (IMHO) facelift of the '51 body, and as has been well-discussed here before, the Torsion-Level suspension was a definite selling advantage.
    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    (formerly Greenville, PA)
    Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
    Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
    1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
    1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
    All are in Australia now

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    • #3
      Thanks, Bill; agreed.

      The more I look at that photo, the more I like it and what it represents from a Packard standpoint in terms of Packard's traditional formality and "properness," if you will.

      I can't help but long to know about the car's background and ownership; who cared for it for the seven years since it was built, and kept it so nice that it was deemed appropriate for this solemn occasion?

      'Prolly never know. 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.

      Comment


      • #4
        I remember as a kid being mesmerized at the sight of typical funeral homes fleets being mainly Packards and Cadillacs My first introduction to Packards. cheers jimmijim
        sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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        • #5
          In the 70s, Packard hearses were being converted to gear haulers by up and coming rock bands. And this was before "Ghostbusters" came out.
          Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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