Tag: Packard

A Brief History of Packard

A Brief History of Packard


The Packard Motor Car Company was an American automobile manufacturer that operated from 1899 to 1958.

James Ward Packard and William Doud Packard

The company was founded in 1899 by James Ward Packard, his brother William, and a partner named George Weiss. The Packard brothers had previously built their own car and were looking to start a business manufacturing automobiles.

1916 Packard Twin Six Touring (1-35)By Lars-Göran Lindgren Sweden – Own work

Packard quickly gained a reputation for producing high-quality luxury cars, and by the 1920s, it was one of the leading luxury car manufacturers in the world. The company’s cars were known for their elegant styling, advanced engineering, and smooth performance.

1927 Packard Fourth Series Six Model 426 Runabout Roadster (Wikipedia)

During World War II, Packard produced aircraft engines and other military equipment.

Packard Merlin V-1650-7 (Wikipedia)

After the war, the company returned to producing automobiles and introduced several popular models, including the Packard Clipper and the Packard Caribbean.

1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible – By Mr.choppers – Own Work

However, by the 1950s, Packard was facing increased competition from larger automakers and struggling financially. In 1954, the company merged with Studebaker, another struggling automobile manufacturer, in an attempt to stay afloat.

Packard Executive Hardtop Modell 5677 (1956) (Wikipedia)

The merger was unsuccessful, and Packard ceased production of automobiles in 1958. The Studebaker-Packard Corporation continued to produce Studebaker cars until 1966.

Today, Packard is remembered as one of the great luxury car manufacturers of the early 20th century, known for its beautiful designs, advanced engineering, and commitment to quality. The company’s legacy continues through Packard clubs and enthusiasts, who keep the memory of these iconic cars alive.

The National Packard Museum opened on July 4, 1999. Our 23,000 square foot complex is located next to the W.D. Packard Music Hall and Packard Park in Warren, Ohio’s historic district. The museum houses a rotating display of original and restored Packard automobiles as well as original documents, photographs, artifacts, and interpretive materials that chronicle the illustrious history of the Packard family, the Packard Motor Car Company, and the Packard Electric Company.

A Brief History of Studebaker


The Studebaker Corporation was an American automobile manufacturer that operated from 1852 to 1967. Here’s a brief history of the company:

The Studebaker brothers, Henry and Clement, founded the company in South Bend, Indiana in 1852 as a wagon and carriage manufacturer. The company grew rapidly in the late 19th century, and by the turn of the 20th century, it was the largest wagon manufacturer in the world.

In the early 1900s, Studebaker began producing automobiles, starting with electric cars and later adding gasoline-powered models. The company quickly gained a reputation for innovation and quality, and in 1912, it merged with several other automobile manufacturers to form the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers, which established industry standards for design and quality.

Studebaker Electric Omni Bus

During World War II, Studebaker produced military vehicles and played a significant role in the war effort.

By Pibwl – Own Work

After the war, the company returned to producing civilian cars and introduced several popular models, including the Starlight Coupe and the Hawk.

By Rhonda from Denver, Colorado
1957 Studebaker Silver Hawk – Source http://www.conceptcarz.com

However, by the 1960s, Studebaker was facing increased competition from larger automakers and struggling financially. In 1963, the company merged with the Packard Motor Car Company in an attempt to stay afloat, but the merger was unsuccessful, and Studebaker ceased production of automobiles in 1966.

1966 Studebaker Daytona – Source Hemmings

Today, Studebaker is remembered as an innovative and influential automobile manufacturer, known for its stylish designs and engineering advancements. The company’s legacy continues through Studebaker clubs and enthusiasts, who keep the memory of these iconic cars alive.

The Studebaker National Museum

The Studebaker National Museum is a museum in South Bend, Indiana, United States that displays a variety of automobiles, wagons, carriages, and military vehicles related to the Studebaker Corporation and other aspects of American history.

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

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


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.


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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Open or closed? It’s Hard to Choose Between Ragtops and Wagons – Jim Richardson @Hemmings


About 20 years ago I bought what I considered the ultimate classic, or at least, the ultimate classic that I could afford, and that was a 1939 Packard 120 convertible coupe. I had always loved the neoclassical Packard styling, and had always wanted an open model. And I must say, I still love it and very much enjoy slow Sunday drives in it.

But there are some downsides to an open car that I hadn’t reckoned on when I obtained it. For example, I purchased it about 400 miles from where I live in Southern California, and proceeded to drive it home with the top down and no hat. Big mistake. I felt fine while I was doing it, and loved the experience, but when I got home I was chapped and burned to a reddish purple from the neck up. Yes, I know. I was an idiot. Don’t rub it in.

You see, convertibles have their limitations. As elegant as my Packard is, it only accommodates two people comfortably, and it rattles due to all the top hardware. And with the top up, visibility is marginal. It is heavier and slower than a closed model, too. It was after that I wised up. My next purchase was a 1955 Chevrolet Beauville station wagon. It was in good shape with very little rust, but it needed some restoration.

I wanted a comfortable, roomy family driver in which we could do some long-distance touring, and the Chevy wagon seemed like the ideal solution. I got it for a fair price, which was about a quarter of what the convertible set me back, and it was essentially just what I was looking for. The Beauville was the Bel Air version of the station wagon, and this one had all the goodies, such as a push-button radio, windshield washer, and the rare original Saginaw three-speed standard transmission with Borg Warner overdrive. That is ideal because it allowed me to cruise at freeway speeds with the engine loafing along, and it gave me the control of a manual shift.

But best of all, it had plenty of room for five passengers to cruise in quiet comfort, and it had a fold-down rear seat that turned into a cargo bay big enough for even the luggage my wife insists on taking along. By today’s standards, it is huge. That’s because the car was built when Americans were moving to the suburbs in the 1950s, and buying ranchettes. Those were nice spacious ranch houses with big yards in which you could have gardens, and live a semi-rural life.

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


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


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


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


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

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Sources – CarScoops

This 1930 Packard 734 Speedster Runabout is a boat-tailed, 100-mph, Depression-era halo car – Graham Kozak @Autoweek


These days, it’s common for automakers to build road-legal tributes to their race cars; whether these have any extra performance to go with the extra carbon-fiber and graphics packages or whether they’re largely cosmetic affairs, they’re another way for automakers to capitalize on their ongoing investment — or at least their heritage — in motorsports.

Depending on how you look at it, that’s what the 1930 Packard 734 Speedster Runabout would have been … if Packard actually had a factory race effort at the time. Despite taking great pride in the engineering and performance of its engines, and despite its marine motors being used to great effect by the likes of Gar Wood, Packard brass never saw much value in competition. Packard people did not have anything to prove, so why would they bother to race? Or so I imagine went the official line.

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