34 Facts About Packard


Packard or Packard Motor Car Company was an American luxury automobile company located in Detroit, Michigan.

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Packard vehicles featured innovations, including the modern steering wheel, air-conditioning in a passenger car, and one of the first production 12-cylinder engines, adapted from developing the Liberty L-12 engine used during World War I to power warplanes.

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Packard merged with Studebaker in 1953 and formed the Studebaker-Packard Corporation.

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Packard moved operations to Detroit soon after, and Joy became general manager .

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From this beginning, through and beyond the 1930s, Packard-built vehicles were perceived as highly competitive among high-priced luxury American automobiles.

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Packard was commonly referred to as being one of the "Three Ps" of American motordom royalty, along with Pierce-Arrow of Buffalo, New York, and Peerless of Cleveland, Ohio.

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For most of its history, Packard was guided by its President and General Manager James Alvan Macauley, who served as President of the National Automobile Manufacturers Association.

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Packard Six was initially introduced as a senior-level luxury platform for three years starting in 1913, then upgraded to the Packard Twin Six starting in 1916.

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Also in 1931, Packard pioneered a system it called Ride Control, which made the hydraulic shock absorbers adjustable from within the car.

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Packard had one advantage that some other luxury automakers did not: a single production line.

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Packard did not change models as often as other manufacturers.

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Rather than introducing new models annually, Packard began using its own "Series" formula for differentiating its model changeovers in 1923 borrowing a strategy from GM called planned obsolescence.

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Packard was still the premier luxury automobile, even though the majority of cars being built were the Packard One-Twenty and Super Eight model ranges.

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The decision to introduce the "Packard Six", priced at around $1200, was in time for the 1938 recession.

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In 1939, Packard introduced Econo-Drive, a kind of overdrive, claimed able to reduce engine speed 27.

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Packard built 1350-, 1400-, and 1500-hp V-12 marine engines for American PT boats and some of Britain's patrol boats.

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Packard ranked 18th among United States corporations in the value of wartime production contracts.

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Packard caught up with the Ultramatic, offered on top models in 1949 and all models from 1950 onward, but its perceived market reputation now had it as a competitor to Buick.

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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.

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Packard's image was increasingly seen as dowdy and old-fashioned, unappealing to younger customers.

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One reason for the aged leadership of Packard was the company's lack of a pension plan for executives .

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Packard declared that Packard would cease producing midpriced cars and build only luxury models to compete with Cadillac.

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Furthermore, Packard's build quality began slipping during this period as employee morale decreased.

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Back in 1941, Packard had outsourced its bodies to Briggs Manufacturing Company.

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Packard was forced to move body production to an undersized plant on Connor Avenue in Detroit.

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Now the Packard-Clipper business model was a mirror to Lincoln-Mercury.

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Packard's sales slid in 1956 due to the fit and finish of the 1955 models, and mechanical issues relating to the new engineering features.

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The large Packard was effectively dead in an executive decision to kill "the car we could not afford to lose".

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In 1962, "Packard" was dropped off the corporation's name at a time when it was introducing the all-new Avanti, The Packard name had been considered for the Avanti, but a less anachronistic image was being sought for the new model.

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Packard offered a 12-cylinder engine—the "Twin Six"—as well as a low-compression straight-eight, but never a 16-cylinder engine.

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Packard developed two turbine aircraft engines for the US Air Force, the XJ41 and XJ49.

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Electrical connectors developed by Packard were used extensively by General Motors in its automobiles.

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The first series of connectors was the Packard 56, followed by the Weather Pack, and finally, the Metri Pack, which are still in common use today.

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Packard Proving Grounds of Shelby Township, MI USA is the remnants of the former proving Grounds owned by The Packard Motor Car Foundation.

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