You searched for: Packard
If you’re roughly my age—let’s say five decades into this whole life process—you’ve seen a fair number of automobile brands fade into the sunset.
I was probably most impacted by the demise of Pontiac, but I remember feeling a twinge of sadness at the deaths of AMC, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, and—no kidding—Checker.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the June 2016 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Packard’s policy of gradual styling changes helped it to maintain a gold standard of resale value and allowed owners to keep their cars longer without looking dated. This linear styling policy served Packard well until the Forties. By then, though, American car design was changing at an incredible rate. Packard’s unhurried design evolution couldn’t keep up with the pace, and by ’41, its cars looked old fashioned.
There’s no question that Packard is out of business, but there is some disagreement as to when the company really wrapped things up. Though the Packard brand officially died after 1958, some purists consider 1956 to be the marque’s final year, as that was the last time the automaker built its own cars based on its own designs and technology.
Note: This article is reprinted from the February 2013 issue of Collectible Automobile.
Longtime Collectible Automobile readers may recall the 1952 Packard Pan American from an October 1986 story and from an October 1992 Personality Profile on its designer, Richard Arbib. So why this encore? Well, aside from the pleasure of seeing an old friend still hale and hearty, this Pan American is the first of only six built—and the only one built without its intended folding top.
The year 1956 marked the last hurrah for the “real” Packard. After that, Studebaker tried (somewhat successfully) to turn a Studebaker President into a Packard, but it was too little (literally!) too late.
If you’re a diehard fan of vintage American performance cars and race cars, it would behoove you to make it to Rosemont, Illinois the weekend before Thanksgiving. That’s when the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals takes over the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, filling the main show floor with a dizzying array of muscle cars, race cars, Corvettes, street machines, and auto-oriented collectibles and memorabilia.
Though American automobile industry was fully established–and thriving–by the time the 1920s rolled around, the auto business was still relatively young when the Great Depression settled upon the nation at the tail end of that free-wheeling decade. After an extended period of economic growth and prosperity, carmakers found themselves needing to retool their carefully crafted advertising to cope with the new realities of severe economic turmoil.
By Frank Peiler
It was early 1952 when Mercedes-Benz was in the midst of developing the 300SL sports car. The skeletal frame, drivetrain and suspension were beautifully engineered masterpieces. However, the original form-follows-function body looked like a half-used bar of soap with a cap stuck on top. Let’s say that in this post-WWII era of rebuilding, there wasn’t much of a design department at Mercedes-Benz that the company could turn to.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the February 2012 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine
By Don Sikora II
When it comes to collecting just about anything, rare is usually good. When it comes to cars, few are rarer than factory-built prototypes. Count among them the one-of-a-kind factory-built 1954 Hudson Jet-Liner convertible prototype owned by well-known Hudson collector Edward Souers of Woodburn, Indiana.
by Don Sikora II
Note: The following story was excerpted from the August 2018 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
When Ford redesigned the Escort subcompact for 1997, there was no longer a two-door version. That changed for the 1998 model year with the addition of the Escort ZX2, a new coupe variant with a sportier attitude than its four-door sedan and wagon siblings.