Category: Packard

City begins demolition of dangerous portion of Packard Plant threatening nearby residents, neighboring business | City of Detroit (detroitmi.gov)

City begins demolition of dangerous portion of Packard Plant threatening nearby residents, neighboring business | City of Detroit (detroitmi.gov)

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City begins demolition of dangerous portion of Packard Plant threatening nearby residents, neighboring business

  • Demolition Department overseeing removal of rapidly deteriorating 315,000-square-foot privately-owned portion of the plant
  • Crumbling building is connected to and causing damage to occupied Display Group building
  • City’s Building Safety Director declared emergency condition in April
  • Homrich begins work this week; completion expected in December

DETROIT – The City of Detroit is moving forward with demolition of a major portion of the Packard Plant, its largest and most notorious remaining abandoned auto factory. 

In April, the city’s director of building safety declared 6199 Concord an immediate hazard and ordered an emergency demolition. The move came after the complaints of falling masonry from residents along Concord, as well as the Display Group, which is located in a renovated portion of the former plant attached to this particular parcel. Since that time, the city has selected the contractor through the city’s competitive bidding process and worked with them on their plans to safely remove this dangerous structure.

Until earlier this year, the property had been owned by Fernando Palazuelo-controlled Arte Express, which for nearly a decade had owned more than 1 million square feet of the sprawling plant. Palazuelo had accrued more than $1.5M in unpaid taxes, water drainage costs and blight tickets before losing most of his portions of the plant to Wayne County due to the unpaid taxes. 

Pre-demolition work at the 315,000-square-foot portion at 6199 Concord began today, including the installation of a barrier to protect The Display Group from falling masonry.  This work will begin to safely remove the structure without causing further damage to the Display Group’s building.  The contracted cost of the demolition is $1.7 million.

“The deterioration of this building has been a problem for the Display Group and poses an immediate threat to safety, so we will be taking it down as quickly as possible,” said Detroit Demolition Director LaJuan Counts. “Removing this portion of the plant will be a great relief to residents on this block, as well as to the neighboring business.”

During his State of the City Address on March 9, Mayor Mike Duggan said addressing the Packard Plant was a top priority for his administration. Duggan pointed out that the city has undertaken or announced plans to remove or renovate nearly all the city’s most infamous vacant buildings, including the former Michigan Central train station, Lee Plaza, Cadillac Stamping Plant, AMC Headquarters and Fisher Body 21 – and the that the Packard Plant was next on the list. The Packard tops a list of 100 vacant commercial structures Duggan said he plans to have addressed either through redevelopment or demolition during his third term in office.

“The Packard Plant has been our city’s most iconic ruin. It’s been a drain on this neighborhood and it’s time for it to go,” said Mayor Duggan. “As we identify funding we will take down additional portions of the plant until it’s gone and use every legal option at our disposal to hold the previous owner accountable to the judge’s order that compelled him to demolish the plant at his own cost.

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This dilapidated 1935 Packard 120 isn’t played out; it just needs a new life in keeping with its appearance. Here’s how I’d build it. – David Conwill

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It’s lived a rough life. Are parts-car status or an expensive back-to-stock restoration the only prospects for this 1935 Packard 120?

The Packard 120 series was a direct response to Packard’s falling fortunes in the 1930s and they were great cars. As the Great Depression wore on, the traditional luxury market softened to the point where it couldn’t support a company of Packard’s size. Competitors like Peerless and Pierce-Arrow had the same problem and soon disappeared. Cadillac, meanwhile, had La Salle and the entirety of the General Motors operation to make up for slow sales of its prestige machines.

Rather than introduce a new volume line to complement its traditional offerings (as it would later try to do in the ‘50s with the Clipper name), Packard instead introduced the 120 with Packard badging but a price that started $1,405 below the least-expensive standard Eight. A fairer comparison might be this $1,095 five-passenger Touring Sedan (the trunk-back body no. 892, with rear quarter windows; rather than the no. 893 flat-back Sedan or the 896 Club Sedan with its blind quarters) with the standard Eight five-passenger Sedan, which was priced at $2,385 on a 127-inch wheelbase or $2,585 on a 134-inch wheelbase.

The 1930s middle-class demeanor of the Touring Sedan is fine, but the forest-seasoned example for sale would be fun with a treatment that’s a cross between a Volvo Sugga and a Yellowstone bus.

That meant a 120 Touring Sedan like this one undercut not only the pricier Packards, but also the $1,295 LaSalle four-door sedan; the $1,190 Buick Series 50; the $1,165 Nash Advanced Eight; and the $1,127 Hudson Custom Eight Touring Sedan. Pricing was essentially on par with eight-cylinder Auburn models and was even cheap enough it might have stolen away some prospective Chrysler customers.

Possibly working to the 120’s advantage was not just the Packard badge, but the state-of-the-art engineering that had gone into developing the new line. Big Packards in 1935 still used solid front axles and mechanical brakes, but the 120 has an independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes. The 120 also used Packard’s traditional straight-eight powerplant, but in a scaled-down version utilizing a one-piece cylinder block and crankcase. The 256-cu.in. flathead engine made 110 hp at 3,850 RPM: Compare that with the 320-cu.in. engine in the standard Eight putting out 130 hp at 3,200 rpm and bolted into a chassis weighing at least 1,200 pounds more than the 120 and it’s easy to see why the new, budget-minded Packard sold like hotcakes in its first year. Production of 24,995 One Twenties eclipsed the fewer than 7,000 other Packards built for 1935.

The White Model 706 was a capable intercity and transit bus that made its mark on history through an open-top version used in the national parks.

What all that means for this car is that if you want a 120 to recreate that 1935 experience, you might be better off to look elsewhere. Despite the 120’s great history and Packard build quality, fully restored, this would be not quite a $40,000 car; and it would be easy to spend that or more bringing it back to Day One condition.

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Is This the End (Again) for Detroit’s Packard Plant? – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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Stop us if you’ve heard this one: The Packard plant—that forever-crumbling bastion of ruin porn on Detroit’s East Grand Boulevard that perennially seems on the cusp of rebirth or decimation—is in danger of facing the wrecking ball.

Again.

This time, it’s Detroit’s mayor who has the plant in his sights.”My mother… she said to me, ‘When are you going to finally get rid of it?'” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan told the Detroit Free Press last week after winning a third term in office. “I told her, ‘Mom, I’m going to get it done this term.

Though parts of the plant remained occupied after Packard ceased production in 1954, other areas have fallen into disrepair due to squatters, scrappers, vandals, and exposure to the elements. Hopes for the plant’s revitalization ran high after Peru-based developer Fernando Palazuelo bought much of the plant at a foreclosure auction for $405,000 in December 2013 and promised to turn it into a complex of nightclubs, apartments, restaurants, breweries, and art galleries. The plans also included a go-kart track and an automobile museum as a nod to the factory’s history.

Palazuelo intended to spend as much as half a billion dollars on the project over 15 years, and for a while, it looked as though he might just follow through. He negotiated tax breaks and other incentives to help fund the project. His company, Arte Express, hired crews to secure and clean out the main administration building, then hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in 2017. He hired Albert Kahn Associates, the architecture firm named for the man who originally designed this reinforced-concrete building in 1903, to oversee the restoration of certain aspects of the plant. On at least a couple of occasions, architects and designers emboldened by Palazuelo’s efforts made their own pitches for how the Packard Plant could be reused or reimagined. The media followed the project and posted profile after profile of the developer.

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Seventy Years On, the Packard 200 is Still Affordably Priced – David Conwill @Hemmings

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One of the more controversial things Packard Motor Car Company ever did was start building less-expensive cars. In the 1920s, there was no such thing as an affordable Packard. If you owned one, it meant you were somebody of wealth and taste.

Come the Great Depression, however, fewer folks with taste had wealth. Moreover, those with wealth often didn’t wish to flaunt it on the streets they shared with those without. Packard’s answer was a high-quality, six-cylinder car aimed at upper-middle-class buyers. After the Depression and World War II were over, the economy recovered, but Packard continued to build more affordable cars alongside its luxury models

.In 1951, the entry-level range was restyled and renamed the 200 model. Priced like a Buick Super, Chrysler Windsor, or base-model Lincoln, the 200 rode on a 122-inch wheelbase, powered by a 288-cu.in., 135-hp straight-eight backed up with a column-shifted three-speed manual, an over-drive, or Packard’s torque-convertor automatic, the Ultramatic.

The 200 came in standard or Deluxe trim, the primary difference being a toothy grille on the Deluxe. Initially, the standard 200 could be had as a business coupe, two-door Club Sedan, or a four-door sedan. No Deluxe business coupe was offered and for 1952, the business coupe was dropped entirely. A two-door Mayfair hardtop and a convertible were offered on the 122-inch wheelbase, but with a 150-hp, 327-cu.in. straight-eight. The Mayfair and convertible were grouped as the more-expensive 250 model and while they are a part of the “junior series” Packards, they are not included in this evaluation. The 200 sold well enough during its two years of production and served as the basis for the Clipper models that followed. For 1951, counting all body styles, over 70,000 200s were built, about 2⁄3 of which were Deluxes. That number dropped to under 47,000 for 1952, in part because of material restrictions caused by the Korean War. Only about 15 percent of 1952s were built with Deluxe trim. Attrition has been hard on the Deluxe cars, too, as some of them have wound up as parts cars to restore more valuable 250 models.

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Which one of these four business coupes would you choose for your dream garage? – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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There was a time when making a living for a mass-market business involved a door-to-door regional beat from the comfort of your vehicle. The catch was that the roving salesman – who either purveyed immediately usable items, or carried with him “salesman samplers” to demonstrate – needed storage. A common, everyday trunk wasn’t satisfactory enough, while a half-ton truck was ill-suited for cruising endless miles of the countryside several days on end. Detroit’s solution: the business coupe. These two-door cars had all the creature comfort of the ordinary family ride, but without a conventional rear seat (or none at all) for added capacity. In our latest edition of This or That, we’re tipping a hat to the nearly forgotten profession by taking a closer look at just four examples from the immediate prewar era, each of which is currently available in the Hemmings classifieds.

Let’s begin this niche market round-up with this attractive 1939 Plymouth. By the start of the model year, Plymouth had a decade of business coupe history to tout, and during the year the model was available in both the entry-level P7 Road King series, or the P8 Deluxe series, as seen here. Affordability was the name of the game, and the P8 version started at $725 (or $13,489 today). Standard equipment included an 82-hp, 201.3-cu.in. six-cylinder engine, backed by a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission, supported by a 114-inch-wheelbase chassis. It was a banner year for Plymouth’s business coupe production, which jumped from a combined 1938 output of 43,113 units to 64,461. Of those, 41,924 were P8 examples. According to the seller of this one:

Part of a private collection, absolutely gorgeous, black with gray interior. AACA Senior winner in 2007 with multiple repeat preservation awards, the latest from the May 2014 AACA meet in Buffalo NY. Car has an Inline 6 motor with a three-speed transmission on the column. I purchased this car from a man who had owned it since 1962, I had intentions of keeping it for myself, but my plans have changed and am offering it for sale after owning it for seven years. I have put about 600 miles on it in the last two years, it runs, drives, starts and stops excellently and I would not hesitate to drive it anywhere. All of the gauges work properly as do the speedometer and odometer. The horn works and all of the lights in both high and low beam work excellently. The Plymouth has seatbelts and a third taillight added for safety, done to AACA acceptable standards.

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Pick of the Day: 1931 Packard 833 phaeton ready to drive – Tom Stahler @ClassicCars.com

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“Ask the man who owns one,” rang the famous advertising slogan for Packard, in testament to their value and reliability.  Cherished by many collectors today, Packard reminds us of simpler times and automotive amenities for those who truly appreciated them.

The Pick of the Day is a 1931 Packard 833 phaeton advertised by a dealer in Macedonia, Ohio, on ClassicCars.com. The car appears to be a lovely tourer, and as the seller declares, “this is a car to drive, not to show.” I have always believed cars were meant to be driven, and this ancient example from Detroit’s golden age would be quite fun.

In the 2000s, when I still lived in the northern suburbs of Chicago, I was privileged to meet and get to know a local guy who had amassed quite a car collection. Packard people know him well. His name is Paul TerHorst. He inspired my appreciation for Packard and other prewar cars. He too liked to drive and he gave me the opportunity to drive some of his fabulous cars, including a completely original (patina and all) 1957 Corvette, an unrestored 1932 Auburn phaeton and numerous Packards.

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Last to Bear the Name: The 1958 Packard Hawk – @Mac’s Motor City Garage

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Purists will say the 1958 Hawk isn’t truly a Packard. That may be so, but it’s certainly an interesting car.     

In gearhead lore, the 1958 Packard Hawk was created almost by accident. Roy Hurley, the Curtiss-Wright CEO who was in charge at Studebaker-Packard in the final days of the Packard brand, asked chief designer Duncan McRae to create a customized vehicle for his personal use. As this single custom car was completed, somehow the decision was made to add it to Packard’s meager production lineup for 1958. As a result of this unusual provenance, the Packard Hawk is sometimes referred to by S-P enthusiasts as the Hurley Hawk. (For more on the final Studebaker-based Packards of 1957-58, see our feature, The Packardbakers.)

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Canadian effort to reboot Packard was a bust Bill Vance @TimesColonist

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Whenever we hear of the iconic American automaker Packard, we tend to think of beautifully crafted and technologically advanced cars from the first half of the previous century, before the Detroit brand merged with Studebaker in 1954, with the name being dropped altogether in 1958. This 1999 Packard Twelve Prototype that will soon go up for auction, doesn’t exactly fit the bill of what we expect from a car bearing the famous nameplate

Read the story here

Sources – CarScoops

1927 Packard Found in Abandoned Philadelphia Factory Sitting for Over 40 Years – IronTrap Garage

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In this episode Matt, Mike, and the team from Cabin Fever Auction Company travel to Northwest Philadelphia to help rescue a 1927 Packard sitting in a closed down Machine shop / Factory since the 1970’s and off the road since the 1950’s. John Paul’s Father has owned this building since the 1970’s and bought the Packard in approximately the 1940’s. The property is being sold and the family wanted help relocating the car to a proper garage so they can attempt to get it road worthy again. We tagged along to document removing the old Packard from it’s tomb.

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