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There were flawless trailer queens that would satisfy the effete sensibilities of any blue- blooded aficionado, but there were as many and more drivers parked next to them in the parking lot across from the Lexington Hyatt.
Both of them had driven their Model As down.
Chuck, who served as my Virgil and was willing to answer a lot of my stupid questions, had a brown Coupe. Walking up and down the rows of Model As I observed acknowledgement of reality: A wire framed cup holder accessory that mounted to the dash was one of the most popular. Most of the cars were still being stopped by drum brakes all around, although there were a few front disc conversions mixed in.
Not that there is really much you can do to improve the safety rating on an eighty year- old car. Not for the damage that time could do to the cars. Time was doing a number on the enthusiasts themselves. You need time and money to fiddle with old cars, neither of which is a luxury that a young person can afford.
Attend any car show and the demographics always skew towards AARP membership instead of nursery school. I understand what motoring in that era meant because I experienced it dozens of times as a child.
If I had thought about it for half a second I would have known better. While most automakers were able to come out with new vehicles for —49, Packard could not until These new designs hid their relationship to the Clipper. Even that name was dropped—for a while. The design chosen was a "bathtub" type. While this was considered futuristic during the war and the concept was taken further with the Nash —and survived for decades in the Saab in Europe—the — Packard styling was polarizing.1936 Packard Street Rod
To some it was sleek and blended classic with modern; others nicknamed it the "pregnant elephant". Despite a few detractors, most seemed to like the design.
Packard - Wikipedia
It won fashion and elegance awards, and more importantly for the company, it was very popular. Packard sold 92, vehicles for andof the models leading the prestige class. During this time, Cadillac was among the earliest U.
Designed and built by Packard, the Ultramatic featured a lockup torque converter with two speeds. Early Ultramatics normally operated only in "high", with "low" having to be selected manually. Beginning in lateit could be set to operate only in "high" or to start in "low" and automatically shift into "high". The Ultramatic, the only automatic transmission developed by an independent car maker, was smoother than the GM Hydramatic.
However, while the Ultramatic was competitive, Packard was not able to immediately respond to Cadillac's introduction of a powerful overhead valve V8 in Also, when a new body style was added in addition to standard sedans, coupes, and convertibles, Packard introduced a station wagon instead of a two-door hardtop in response to Cadillac's Coupe DeVille. The Station Sedan, a wagon-like body that was mostly steel, with good deal of decorative wood in the back; only 3, were sold over its three years of production.
Although the Packards of the late s and early s were built in its old tradition with craftsmanship and the best materials, all was not well. The combination of the lower priced Packards leading sales and impacting the prestige of their higher end brethren and some questionable marketing decisions, Packard's crown as "king" of the luxury car market was at risk — and it would eventually be stolen by a rising Cadillac.
Insales dropped to 42, cars for the model year. When Packard's president George T. Christopher set course for an evolutionary styling approach with a facelift forothers wanted a radical new design. In the end, Christopher resigned and Packard treasurer Hugh Ferry became president - he demanded a new direction.
Designer John Reinhart introduced a high-waisted, more squared-off profile fitting the contemporary styling trends — very different from the traditional flowing design of the immediate postwar era. New styling features included a one-piece windshield, a wrap-around rear window, small tailfins on the long-wheelbase models, a full-width grill replacing the traditional Packard upright designand blunt "guideline fenders" with the hood and front fenders at the same height.
The series models were again low-end models and now included a business coupe. The Patrician was now the top-shelf Packard, replacing the Custom Eight line. While the smaller powerplant offered nearly equal performance in the new Packards to that of thethe move was seen by some as further denigrating Packard's image as a luxury car.
Since was a quiet year with little new from the other auto manufacturers, Packard's redesigned lineup sold nearlycars. The Packards were a quirky mixture of the modern the automatic transmissions and aging still using flathead inline eights when OHV V8 engines were rapidly becoming the norm. No domestic car lines had OHV V8s inbut byevery car line offered a version.
The Packard inline eight, despite being an older design that lacked the power of Cadillac's engines, was very smooth. When combined with an Ultramatic transmission, the drivetrain made for a nearly quiet and smooth experience on the road.
However, it struggled to keep pace with the horsepower race. Nance worked to snag Korean War military contracts and turn around Packard's badly diluted image.
He declared that from now on, Packard would cease producing midpriced cars and build only luxury models to compete with Cadillac. As part of this strategy, Nance unveiled a low-production only made glamour model forthe Caribbean convertible. Competing directly with the other novelty ragtops of that year Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Fiesta, and Cadillac Eldoradoit was equally well received, and outsold its competition.
However, overall sales declined in While the limited edition luxury models as the Caribbean convertible and the Patrician Sedan, and the Derham custom formal sedan brought back some of the lost prestige from better days, the "high pocket" styling that had looked new two years earlier was no longer bringing people into the showrooms for the bread and butter Packards.
InKaiser merged with Willys to become Kaiser-Willys. The strategy for these mergers included cutting costs and strengthening their sales organizations to meet the intense competition from the Big Three. While this had little effect on either company, it gravely damaged the independent automakers.
Nash president George W. Mason held informal discussions with Nance to outline his strategic visionand an agreement was reached for AMC to buy Packard's Ultramatic transmissions and V8 engines. They were used in Hudsons and Nashes.
Packard's last major development was the Bill Allison—invented Torsion-Level suspensionan electronically controlled four-wheel torsion-bar suspension that balanced the car's height front to rear and side to side, having electric motors to compensate each spring independently.
Contemporary American competitors had serious difficulties with this suspension concept, trying to accomplish the same with air-bag springs before dropping the idea. Studebaker-Packard Corporation As of October 1, Packard Motor Car Company bought the failing Studebaker Corporation to form the US's fourth largest automobile company but without full knowledge of their circumstances or consideration of the financial implications.
Romneyannounced "there are no mergers under way either directly or indirectly". Moreover, Packard's engines and transmissions were comparatively expensive, so AMC began development of its own V8 engineand replaced the outsourced unit by mid The S-P marriage really a Packard buyout proved to be a crippling mistake. Although Packard was still in fair financial shape, Studebaker was not, struggling with high overhead and production costs and needing the impossible figure ofcars a year to break even.
Due diligence was placed behind "merger fever", and the deal was rushed. It became clear after the merger that Studebaker's deteriorating financial situation put Packard's survival at risk.
RM Sotheby's - Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster | St. John's
Nance had hoped for a total redesign inbut the necessary time and money were lacking. Packard that year total production 89, comprised the bread-and-butter Clipper line the series was droppedMayfair hardtop coupes and convertibles, and a new entry level long-wheelbase sedan named Cavalier. Among the Clippers was a novelty pillared coupe, the Sportster, styled to resemble a hardtop. With time and money again lacking, styling was unchanged except for modified headlights and taillights, essentially trim items.
A new hardtop named Pacific was added to the flagship Patrician series and all higher-end Packards sported a bored-out cid engine. Air conditioning became available for the first time since Packard had introduced air conditioning in the s. Packard stylist Richard A. Teague was called upon by Nance to design the line, and to Teague's credit, the Packard was indeed a sensation when it appeared. Not only was the body completely updated and modernized, but the suspension also was totally new, with torsion bars front and rear, along with an electric control that kept the car level regardless of load or road conditions.
In addition, Packard offered a variety of power, comfort, and convenience features, such as power steering and brakes as well as electric window lifts. But air conditioning was an anomaly. Although available on all makes by the mid-fifties, it was installed on only a handful of cars in and despite Packard's status as a luxury car. Model year sales only climbed back to 55, units inincluding Clipper, in what was a very strong year across the industry.
As the models went into production, an old problem flared up. Back inPackard had outsourced its bodies to Briggs Manufacturing Company. In DecemberBriggs was sold to Chrysler, which notified Packard that they would need to find a new body supplier after the model year ended.
Packard then leased a building on Conner Street and East Warren Avenue from Chrysler, and moved its body-making and final assembly there. The facility proved too small and caused endless tie-ups and quality problems. Now the Packard-Clipper business model was a mirror to Lincoln-Mercury.
Patrician was used for the four-door top of the line sedans, Four Hundred for the hardtop coupes, and Caribbean for the convertible and vinyl-roof two-door hardtop. In the spring ofthe Executive was introduced. Coming in a four-door sedan and a two-door hardtop, the Executive was aimed at the buyer who wanted a luxury car but could not justify Packard's pricing. It was an intermediate model using the Packard name and the Senior models' front end, but using the Clipper platform and rear fenders.
- 1935 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster
This was to some confusing and went against what James Nance had been attempting for several years to accomplish, the separation of the Clipper line from Packard. However, as late as the cars' introduction to the market, was there was reasoning for in this car was to be continued. It then became a baseline Packard on the all-new Senior shell. Clippers would share bodies with Studebaker from Reliability problems with the automatic transmission and all electrical accessories further eroded the public's opinion of Packard.
Sales were good for compared to