Packard Classic Cars for Sale
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Packard was an American automobile brand manufactured between 1899 and 1958 by Packard Motor Car Company and, towards the end, the Studebaker-Packard Corporation.
Adapting to a Changing Market Place
The original Packard Company was the conception of two brothers, James Ward and William Doud Packard, and George Lewis Weiss, their partner. Between 1899 and 1903 at their Packard factory in Ohio, 400 models were produced. Domestically and worldwide, their brand of luxury cars gained a following, including from wealthy investor Henry Bourne Joy, who, impressed by the Packard’s reliability, invested in the company in 1902. In the 1930s, the stock market crash and resulting Great Depression enticed Packard to produce greater luxury. At the time, their Packard Eight model was their best-seller, but the Twin Six was introduced to bolster their luxury line. Despite this, the company dipped in to the more affordable market in 1935 with the introduction of the Packard One-Twenty, a move that boosted their sales going into 1936. By 1937, they had released the Packard 115C in an effort to make further ground on the mid-range market.
Supporting the War Efforts
During the Second World War, production on Packard automobiles halted as the company pooled their resources towards producing airplane and marine engines for the military. As one of the most prolific producers of wartime machinery, they licensed the Merlin engine, as well as a range of marine engine-types such as the 1500 hp V-12.
A Changing Identity and Boardroom Shakeups
As of 1945, Packard resumed normal production with the introduction of 1946 models, which were slightly updated from their 1942 designs. Despite healthy post-war sales, the recognisability of the luxury Packard models diminished due to their similarity with the mid-range models. In 1948, many automakers were producing new models at a time when Packard was unable to. To get round this, Packard updated their cars with sheet metal, shaping existing cars into a much-maligned bathtub shape. Packard eventually relinquished their luxury market share, with Cadillac dominating most of it. In 1950, the company only sold 42,000 vehicles, but they were finally able to redesign their cars in 1951. As a result, sales improved to just over 100,000. Owing to a shake-up in personnel at the top of the company, there was a change in strategy in 1953 and the luxury market was the aim once again. However, a lack of funds and outsourcing problems meant that by 1957, the famous Clipper model disappeared and production of Packard’s in Detroit ceased. The Packard nameplate was removed from the market by Strudebaker-Packard in 1959. The name “Packard” survived in the company’s name until 1962, before being dropped.