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The end of the Detroit-built Packards

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  • The end of the Detroit-built Packards

    Blogger “Disaffected Musings” recalls the sad end of the Detroit-built Packards:
    https://disaffectedmusings.com/2019/...e-aaca-museum/


    On my own blog, I post about a rare 1941 Graham Hollywood in a Studebaker dealer’s shop:
    https://56packardman.com/2019/06/25/...ham-hollywood/


  • #2
    You are a gifted writer, Thanks for the post

    Murray
    Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain !

    http://sites.google.com/site/intrigu...tivehistories/

    (/url) https://goo.gl/photos/ABBDQLgZk9DyJGgr5

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by stall View Post
      You are a gifted writer, Thanks for the post

      Murray
      Thank you for your kind words!

      Comment


      • #4
        More on THE LAST car here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...-Built-Packard

        Craig

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
          Excellent! Thank you for the link to Bob Palma’s 2007 post!

          Comment


          • #6
            Nance biggest mistake while running Packard was the buying of Studebaker. The biggest thing that brought Packard down was it trying to be defense contract and manufacturing automobiles at the same time. Packard didn't have the money to do both.

            John S.

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is my own remembrance of that day. I was 9 years old and my grandfather’s Packard 120 got an extra coat of wax that day:
              https://56packardman.com/2019/06/25/...uilt-packards/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Packard53 View Post
                Nance biggest mistake while running Packard was the buying of Studebaker. The biggest thing that brought Packard down was it trying to be defense contract and manufacturing automobiles at the same time. Packard didn't have the money to do both.

                John S.
                The story I have heard, but do not know whether it is true:

                At the time of the merger Packard was profitable and had enough cash and credit to continue. They made the deal with the larger Studebaker based on bogus financial reports which showed Studebaker to be solvent and profitable, which it was not. Studebaker's financial problems sank both.

                https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2018/0...ckard-to-fold/

                https://www.jacksonville.com/busines...med-from-start

                This story is out there. Maybe some of the more knowledgeable know more than that.
                Last edited by jnormanh; 06-25-2019, 04:53 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jnormanh View Post
                  The story I have heard, but do not know whether it is true:

                  At the time of the merger Packard was profitable and had enough cash and credit to continue. They agreed to the deal with the larger Studebaker based on bogus financial reports which showed Studebaker to be solvent and profitable, which it was not. Studebaker's financial problems sank both.
                  I agree with that.

                  The defence contracts were the result of the Eisenhower administration masterminding a merger of Curtis-Wright with Studebaker-Packard in late 1956 so the S-P ship wouldn't sink in election year.

                  Craig

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    On my bucket list is a 56 Packard 400 hardtop. I fell for one that was in the used car service department at Woodbridge Auto Sales (an Olds dealer) & tried my darndest to get my dad to buy it.At least I pestered him enough to go see it.
                    59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                    60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                    61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                    62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                    62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                    62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                    63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                    63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                    64 Zip Van
                    66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                    66 Cruiser V-8 auto

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The legacy of Packard and it's influence on the automotive industry continued long after the last Packard was produce and long after the Packard name was dropped from the corporate roster. All one has to do is look at the features and various innovations on their last show car the Packard Predictor and compare those to the products that followed form the big three automakers. If you look closely you can find these design element and features in their cars well into the 70's. Look at the grill on the Ford Edsel, the same low slung wide slab design on the Continentals and Lincolns. Look at the mid 60's Bonneville's with the wide track pronounced center grill/point, wide body molding and same low flat/wide shape. Move forward and you'll see the "T" tops introduced in General Motors cars in the 70's along with the swivel seats in the some select GM cars (Pontiac). Let's not forget to mention the opera window on the rear roof pillar or the slanted rear window that showed up in some later Mercury models. Of course those over head controls that later showed up in cars like the Avanti. Not surprising since many of the Packard designers and engineers went to Ford and GM.

                      The loss of the independent car makers left us with companies that lacked the need for innovation to survive and compete the results was the boring cars from the big three that we had in the 70's and 80's. Each of the independents left us with their legacy through innovations and designs that were revived or are considered standard today. Nash for unitized (unibody) construction. Hudson for the step down design, Packard for level ride systems, Studebaker for forward thinking designs (Lowery Coupe and Avanti) which were later emulated in the Generation 2 Camaro/Firebird. Studebaker for standard disk brakes. AMC for the modern integrated AC system and the fore runner to the all wheel drive SUV. I'm sure there are many other examples and opinions that can be discussed and noted but these are just a few that seem very obvious to me and have become more so with the passage of time.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JayBird View Post
                        The legacy of Packard and it's influence on the automotive industry continued long after the last Packard was produce and long after the Packard name was dropped from the corporate roster. All one has to do is look at the features and various innovations on their last show car the Packard Predictor and compare those to the products that followed form the big three automakers. If you look closely you can find these design element and features in their cars well into the 70's. Look at the grill on the Ford Edsel, the same low slung wide slab design on the Continentals and Lincolns. Look at the mid 60's Bonneville's with the wide track pronounced center grill/point, wide body molding and same low flat/wide shape. Move forward and you'll see the "T" tops introduced in General Motors cars in the 70's along with the swivel seats in the some select GM cars (Pontiac). Let's not forget to mention the opera window on the rear roof pillar or the slanted rear window that showed up in some later Mercury models. Of course those over head controls that later showed up in cars like the Avanti. Not surprising since many of the Packard designers and engineers went to Ford and GM.
                        Some of the design features you state appeared well before the 1970's. Chrysler offered swivelling front seats in 1959, and Alfa Romeo had their trademark center grille from the 1930's. The 1956/7 Thunderbird had porthole windows, and it was Corvette which had solid removable T-tops starting with the C3 model in 1968. The Predictor's were 'tambour doors' and slid into the roof center section.

                        Craig

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think (MHO only) that some of Packard's financial issues in the V8 years were related to warranty costs due to mechanical and fit-and-finish problems, which hurt image in that price class. I remember reading "The Rise and Fall of the Packard Motor Car Company" by James Ward which touched on some of these things. Also, for all the drubbing Studebaker gets in this time period, the fact that they recorded their single highest profit in 107 years in 1959, after Packard was gone, is pretty amazing I think.

                          The loss was $43 mil in '56; reduced 75% to $11 mil in '57 without a Detroit Packard in the lineup and a relatively unchanged Studebaker line.

                          All said, I could still really enjoy a white and Scottish Heather '56 Four-Hundred.
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This reminds me that a late Caribbean convertible (serial 5699-1258) was sold new by my small hometown dealer, Carl E. Filer Co., Greenville, PA.
                            This was eighteen cars from the last Packard convertible. Vivid color photo of the car on delivery day (July 13, 1956 IIRC) in front of the showroom--which survives--below:

                            http://theoldmotor.com/?p=171030

                            The car survives in beautiful restored condition in Denmark, now sitting on Packard wire wheels.

                            The man in the photo is misidentified by the site. It's Carl E. Filer, Sr. (1895-1963). His son, known as Ed, was a good friend of mine and passed in 2018 at age 89. Next Saturday (July 6), the huge Heritage Days Super Cruise car show in Greenville, PA will have an "Ed Filer Memorial Best Of Show" trophy to be awarded by Ed's son Ted (real name, Carl E. Filer III).
                            Last edited by Bill Pressler; 06-28-2019, 12:03 PM.
                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bill Pressler View Post
                              I think (MHO only) that some of Packard's financial issues in the V8 years were related to warranty costs due to mechanical and fit-and-finish problems, which hurt image in that price class. I remember reading "The Rise and Fall of the Packard Motor Car Company" by James Ward which touched on some of these things. Also, for all the drubbing Studebaker gets in this time period, the fact that they recorded their single highest profit in 107 years in 1959, after Packard was gone, is pretty amazing I think.

                              The loss was $43 mil in '56; reduced 75% to $11 mil in '57 without a Detroit Packard in the lineup and a relatively unchanged Studebaker line.

                              All said, I could still really enjoy a white and Scottish Heather '56 Four-Hundred.
                              Bill : I to have read the Ward book it more than just touched on the problems faced in 1955 and 1956 with warranty issues Packard had. The fact of the matter concerning 1959 profits of Studebaker they got lucky with the Lark for one year. The fact in that even with the Lark by 1963 they were selling about the same amount of cars they sold in 1957. All the Lark did was prolong with misery of Studebaker by a couple of years. In 1960 GM, Chrysler and Ford put the final nails in the coffin of Studebaker with the introduction of the Corvair, Falcon, Valiant, and Chevy II in 1962. Sales for the Corvair in 1960 came to about 180,000 units., Falcon sold over 300,000 units in 1960. Valiant sales for 1960 better than 175,000 units sold in 1960.

                              John F. Shireman

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