Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Packard's In 1953
The Packard Automobile Company was founded in 1899 and remained in business until 1958. It was founded by James Ward Packard, his brother William Doud Packard and their partner, George Lewis Weiss, in the city of Warren, Ohio.
The company would produce memorable and inspiring vehicles in the pre-World War II era. After the Second World War, Packard emerged in excellent financial condition. They resumed civilian car production in late 1945 as 1946 models by updating their 1942 models. The postwar Packard's sold well, though they were not without their problems. One complaint was that it was hard to distinguish expensive models from lower-priced models, and from sixes or eights. Packard was focusing on selling toward the middle and lower priced market instead of more expensive - and more profitable - models. They even tried to enter the taxi cab and fleet car market. The reality was that Packard was just not big enough to challenge the Big Three. As a result, Packard's image as a luxury brand was further diluted. Packard began losing buyers and could not find enough prospects for the lesser models to compensate.
For 1953, Packard offered a range of models in a variety of body styles, but not a station wagon. This 1953 Packard Woody Station Wagon is the only one in existence and was built based on an original styling model from Briggs Body Manufacturers. The car has been on display at the Packard Museum in Dayton, Ohio.
In 2013, the car was offered for sale at Russo and; Steele's Scottsdale, Arizona auction. It would leave the auction unsold.
The second Packard show car to appear in 1953 also featured a special roof, or rather, part of one. The Monte Carlo was based, not on the limited-production Caribbean, but on Packard's popular 2-door hardtop, the Mayfair. Two examples were built by the Henney Motor Company, with Packard being charged the sum of $9,095.36 for each. The Mayfair's roof was cut-off over the front seat, which necessitated the installation of a solid 'B' pillar and much structural bracing. A continental kit was installed and the special interior featured dual fold-down armrests in the rear. Once completed, the two Monte Carlos, (one painted red and white and the other two-tone blue) were sent out on the car show circuit, as well as on a tour of various Packard dealerships. Both cars ended up in the hands of private owners and both are currently owned by Mr. Marano.