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Old 02-10-2003, 11:14 AM   #16
Chris V
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Hey, I'm here, and I've now been called a newbie over in the "Cars in General" forum (in the "Cars I Hate" thread about Vipers being a disgrace).
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Old 02-10-2003, 03:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by tigermiata
I just finished reading a history of Packard I rceived as a Christmas gift. I particularly found it interesting as my grandfather drove this marque, including 1950, 1956 and 1958 models (I remember him driving the last two), all 2-doors.

One thing I found fascinating in the book was the contention that Nance intended to attempt a second merger, blending Studebaker-Packard into the fledgeling American Motors (Nash & Hudson); that would have indeed given us a Big Four instead of a Big three -- today the US car industry might look dramatically different had that happened.

What used to be the local Packard dealer around here is now a laundromat.:o
As Lee Iacocca once said, you never merge two losers. AMC was formed because Hudson and Nash couldn't go it alone. Studebaker absorbed Packard because Packard was having troubles. A combined AMC/S-P probably would have brought AMC to an end earlier.

But it's all speculation from this vantage point.
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Old 02-11-2003, 11:42 AM   #18
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As you said, it's all speculation at this point. What is interesting to note though, is that Studebaker bought Pierce Arrow in the late 20's, and they did a pretty good job of keeping out of things. But in the 30's with the depression and all, they did all but scuttle that great marque.

My point is that Studebaker had a sense of invincibility because they had been in business for almost 100 years by then. They probably thought that since they were so good at the coach business, the car business was nothing different.
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Old 02-09-2004, 04:49 PM   #19
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Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delamothe
As you said, it's all speculation at this point. What is interesting to note though, is that Studebaker bought Pierce Arrow in the late 20's, and they did a pretty good job of keeping out of things. But in the 30's with the depression and all, they did all but scuttle that great marque.

My point is that Studebaker had a sense of invincibility because they had been in business for almost 100 years by then. They probably thought that since they were so good at the coach business, the car business was nothing different.

My uncle (now close to 100) was a Tool & Die maker for Studebaker. He loved them and always drove either a Stude or Packard.
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Old 09-17-2004, 01:29 AM   #20
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Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delamothe
Packard was the quintessential automotive manufacturer for the first half of the twentieth century. They were one of the first car companies to focus on customer satisfaction, which is why Packard enjoyed a 90% loyalty from their customers. That is, whenever a Packard owner would trade or sell their car, chances were they would buy another Packard. There are many documented tales of Packards running in generations of families here and abroad.

This obsession with customer satisfaction is what started Packard in the first place. Mr. Packard had bought one of the first high end cars in the States, the Wynton. The only problem was that he would suffer a breakdown at least once every couple of weeks. So he would go to the Wynton factory (back then you could do that) to have the car repaired. One day he was fed up and talked with the owner, Alexander Wynton. He complained about the car's reliability and how some improvements could be made. Wynton got hot under the collar and told him; "If you think you can make a better car, then build it yourself!" And that's how Packard began around 1899.

Most Packard dealerships were outfitted with two sets of garages. One that had its regualr mechanics on duty, and the other was catered for customer / owners (more than likely the chaffeur) who were proficient at fixing things. You could drive into any Packard dealership in the USA in your Packard and fix something in it yourself. They even provided the tools for you, all you had to do was buy the parts.

Around the early 1910's, someone promoted the Packard as a high quality car, and said; "Just ask the man who owns one!" This became the catch phrase or slogan for Packard all the way to the last day.

The last Packard to roll out of the plant was in 1958. By then , it was just a Studebaker Hawk with funny looking add ons here and there. Studebaker bought Packard (and Pierce Arrow) during the depression, and they did a fine job of leaving the company alone (yet floating their boat). But after the war, the economy changed, and so did the philosophy of mass production. Even though Packard introduced the 120 in the thirties as an entry level car - and one to save the bottom line when money was tight - they had a very strict discipline on building and testing cars. One which was no longer cost effective after WWII.

By the mid 1950's the name of the game was volume mass production. Not hand crafting. This killed the Packard ideal.

There is an important lesson to be learned from all of this. The lesson is about arrogance getting the better of a business.
Pierce Arrow and Packard were too arrogant and proud to build an introductory car ( one that is more affordable for most)
and it hurt them in the end. (Pierce Arrow was divested by Studebaker in the mid 30's)
Studebaker had the arrogance of thinking that since they were the oldest manufacturer of vehicles in the US (They started by building the famous covered wagons in the 1840's) they knew how to do things.
Well, that's uhm, a "loose" history of Packard, but with one glaring exception, Studebaker bought Packard in 1954. Lots more went on to kill Studebaker-Packard, not the least of which of was the lousy Studebaker business practices and their inability to compete with the "Big Two". I don't think arrogance was a major factor in the demise, as Studebaker is still in business, they just divested themselves of the automobile manufacturing division. The last Detroit built Packard hit the roads in '56, the '57 and 58 Packards being simply extremely optioned Studebakers, (but very fine cars none the less).

Which brings up a VERY big point, where the hell are the Studebaker people? They don't even have a damn forum for them! We gotta change that!

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Old 09-17-2004, 01:53 AM   #21
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Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson
As Lee Iacocca once said, you never merge two losers. AMC was formed because Hudson and Nash couldn't go it alone. Studebaker absorbed Packard because Packard was having troubles. A combined AMC/S-P probably would have brought AMC to an end earlier.

But it's all speculation from this vantage point.
Packard had more money than Studebaker Hudson. They bought Studebaker, as they thought they were getting a good deal. BUT, Studebaker mislead them on the weight the company was staggering under. Packard was looking for a low-priced entry to do battle with Ford and GM.
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Old 09-17-2004, 01:56 AM   #22
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Re: Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 50bulletnoz
Studebaker bought Packard in 1954.
I have to correct myself here! PACKARD bought Studebaker in
'54.
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Old 02-20-2005, 05:21 PM   #23
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Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

In the 30's, mid-range Packards occupied the same upper-middle class position in American society that Mercedes has held for about 25 years.

If you want to see what a Packard looked like in its heyday, rent the movie Chinatown. Fay Dunaway drives (and gets shot in) a white convertible.
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Old 02-27-2005, 02:47 PM   #24
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Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

Anybody around here actually own a Packard besides me? Hello.....
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:49 PM   #25
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Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

Excuse me, enzo af, the first Packard with factory air was the 1940 model. The National Auto Museum in Reno (formerly Harrah's) has a beautiful 1940 WOODY with air.
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Old 07-21-2005, 08:34 PM   #26
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Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

Ah...but there WERE "enry-level" Packards in the late 1930's. The 110 series was a six cylinder Packard priced to compete with Buicks or Oldsmobiles. I happen to own a 1939 1700 series (110) Touring Sedan. And by-the-way, the first year for Packard air-conditioning was 1939, not 1931.
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:55 AM   #27
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Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

bump --- have some pics of my dads packards











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Old 05-02-2008, 07:15 PM   #28
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Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

Ahh those are some great Packard photos, what a classic! Love those classy 30's and 40's hood ornaments. That's a great shot of the rainy cormorant too; minus the background cars 'n all.

I just saw a '53 Packard Caribbean up for auction on ebay today - only 162k I think, for that price perhaps I'll get two.
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:46 AM   #29
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Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizard King
There were more than one Packard. They were around up until the 50s, I can't remember when they died. But they made perhaps the best cars in the world at their peak in the 20s and 30s.
i believe it was '59. maybe early '60. they started using Studebaker bodies in the late 50's. i had a '35 business coupe when i was 13. neighbor gave it to me. that was a car. didn't run but made you feel superior to any other 13 year old. very classy.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:04 PM   #30
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Re: Never heard of this car. What does it look like?

Yes, Packard purchased Studebaker.
1956 was the end of the lease for the Packard factory. Chrysler owned the facility.

Packard sold the tooling of the 1956 to the Russians. And a ZIL was produced in Russia that is an almost exact copy of the 1956 Packard.

Studebaker was plagued with huge debts, loans, and labor costs.

James J. Nance was the CEO of Packard that ultimately screwed things up.
Packard was profitable. But instead of investing in product - Nance provided dividends to stockholders - draining the coffers for future investment.

Not owning the factory assembly line was a crucial mistake made by Nance and the ultimate death of Packard.
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