For decades Packard cars were a status symbol par excellence, and the marque against which all others were measured. These distinctive automobiles were famous for innovative design and superior engineering. Yet, the last of these luxury cars was produced in 1958, and in 1962 Studebaker officially dropped Packard from its corporate title.
Nathaniel T. Dawes has written a definitive history of the Packard company, and the cars it produced, covering the period from the early years of World War II to the firm's demise. With a probing eye he has researched company records, and interviewed company executives to produce an inside story of the formation of Studebaker-Packard Corporation, the management contract with Curtiss-Wright, and the eventual cessation of operations.
Dawes's story includes a chapter on Packard's war production, complete with illustrations of the various boats and aircraft that were powered by the advanced Packard engines. Particular attention is given to the design breakthroughs that marked the 1940s and early 1950s. These include the streamline design of the Clipper, the flush contour styling of the 1948-50 models, and the trendsetting design of the 1951 models, copied by the rest of the industry in 1955.
Many Packard innovations were controversial when they were introduced and the author describes in detail the much-discussed features of such outstanding models as the Caribbean, the luxury convertible; the 200, 300 and 400 Series; the limousines and hearses; and the speciality cars such as the Request and the Grey Wolf II.
The text includes sparkling anecdotes and items of interest. You will learn which Packard president was nicknames Pinch-Penny, and why. What was Macauley's Folly? How did women influence the Packard's design? These are only a few examples of the dozens of items covered in the book.
The text is complemented by over 200 illustrations, including many Packard factory photos never before published, and some from the personal files of former president Alvan Macauley. In addition, there is a colour section composed entirely of photos of the Packards as they exist today. Finally, there is large appendix containing specifications for each production year.
This magnificent oversized volume will be welcomed by everyone who ever owned a Packard, or wished he owned one, by car enthusiasts everywhere, and by all those who appreciate the quality and style that were synonymous with the Packard name.
Book is in god condition. Some foxing to fore-edge and the dust jacket has some damage. The pages remain clean and the binding is tight. Wrapped in protective plastic.