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Hot Rods That Make Packard Folks Cry


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It's the little things that count. Forget the fact that the car in post #31 is a modified car, when you look at the lines you may say, Hmm, Packard could have made a decent looking convertible here - but when you look at the Flynn car, the windshield, "Darrin Dip (not sure he gets the credit for this one but it sure looks like it to me - supposedly he was involved with the clipper design as a whole, though.) and I think it had a 3 position top, you then say "Wow".

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Bleach,

No accounting for tastes. I'll give the OT subject one more shot. ;)

I think there are always questionable aspects of a car's styling, and although I credit this as a serious effort that succeeds in many ways, the shot you posted really accentuates the side "bulges" that in different lights and different angles look a bit better (though still "overdone" imo). I think it's an homage to the other brave upstart car model that actually resulted in a vehicle: interesting how "Tucker"-like they are.

Rather than eat up a lot of bandwidth with photos here, I'll just post a link to the web site so folks can look at some other angles and also get some of the technical features of this (so far) Quixotic effort to make a viable new Packard car.

Packard Motor Car Company :: Home

I don't think I can bring myself to disparage the effort, as it obviously took a lot of dedication, money, and knowhow to actually do this thing (that so many have talked about for so long)-- bring back, if not the Packard company itself, at least "a" Packard car with some legitimate ties to the marque's heritage, rather than a badge on a warmed-over late model sedan.

As of now the effort still seems to be playing itself out, so it's fun to keep watching its slow progression to... oblivion?

They might have a chance if they took a tip from Tucker and started to really market it. Perhaps advertise it in swanky "connoisseur" and high-end automotive magazines, to be built only for purchasers who have made a substantial down payment. ("First 50 buyers get 1000 shares of Packard Preferred Stock"--gratis!) Getting 15 or 20 of them out there could gain some legitimacy for the effort. But first, a facelift is due.

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Yes a facelift is due. The rest of the effort is very well done. It appears to be a totally custom built vehicle and not some 90's altered Crown Victoria as I've seen on Hemmings classifieds.

The styling reminds me of the 48-50 Packards which I was not too fond of but still respect them because they're still real Packards.

I've always admired Packards since their styling remained conservative through the 50's unlike Cadillacs, Lincolns and Chryslers of the same era. I hope the new Packard will continue in the true mission of the original Packards.

Now back on topic. Here's my submission.

art_car_central_LISA-INGRAM_with-1941-PACKARD-LUXURY-LIMO.jpg

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Packard Motor Car Company :: Home

I don't think I can bring myself to disparage the effort, as it obviously took a lot of dedication, money, and knowhow to actually do this thing (that so many have talked about for so long)-- bring back, if not the Packard company itself, at least "a" Packard car with some legitimate ties to the marque's heritage, rather than a badge on a warmed-over late model sedan.

As of now the effort still seems to be playing itself out, so it's fun to keep watching its slow progression to... oblivion?

They might have a chance if they took a tip from Tucker and started to really market it. Perhaps advertise it in swanky "connoisseur" and high-end automotive magazines, to be built only for purchasers who have made a substantial down payment. ("First 50 buyers get 1000 shares of Packard Preferred Stock"--gratis!) Getting 15 or 20 of them out there could gain some legitimacy for the effort. But first, a facelift is due.

I think this first showed up around 1997 or so, and they were hoping to have it in production by 1999 for Packards 100th. Nothing happened beyond this prototype as far as I know. I see the site has updated to 2011 but nothing else looks new. I doubt if it will be in production anytime soon since it hasn't happened in the past 14+ years.

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I doubt if it will be in production anytime soon since it hasn't happened in the past 14+ years.

RE: The "Packard Motor Car Co." prototype,

A limited edition run would be nice, but it would need serious investment up-front. The project lacks direction, other than the obvious direction of actually producing a prototype, which in itself is an achievement--but not always the first order of business for a serious company. I agree that it's nice to see an update of the website after all these years. I've been keeping an eye on the project since the early '00s, and it's been easy to track, since it's pretty much a stationary target! I wish someone involved with the project would take the time to post on some of the Packard message boards and websites. It's almost insulting that they don't.:(

Edited by 55PackardGuy
Continuity from previous page of thread. (see edit history)
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I have to say that the "new" Packard just isn't enough of a Packard to catch on. Their market should be the higher end of the food chain like celebs and such, but it doesn't say it the way it should. If Ford can make a new Mustang look old, GM the Camaro and Chrysler the Challenger, then there has to be designers out there to bring more Clipper into the look, and there's enough aftermarket engine stuff to nearly build your own power until such a time that an all new engine could be tooled up. It could work but it just doesn't.

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If Ford can make a new Mustang look old, GM the Camaro and Chrysler the Challenger, then there has to be designers out there to bring more Clipper into the look, and there's enough aftermarket engine stuff to nearly build your own power until such a time that an all new engine could be tooled up. It could work but it just doesn't.
]

Not to belabor the OT subject here, but that argument just doesn't wash... the Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, etc. were automotive icons within living memory of many mainstream car buyers of today-- many of whom "always wanted one" when they were being manufactured. Which is the reason these cars "caught on."

Which Packard model could you suggest for the "retro" treatment that would have such wide market appeal? Packard enthusiasts could argue about that all day long, but few if any of us are in the target demographic for an extremely high dollar specialty car.

Creating a modern "retro" '55 400 or '42 Clipper would be very satisfying for Packard fans to see, but it wouldn't have anywhere near the popular appeal of today's flashes from the past, nor would it be any more likely to be a viable entry into the exclusive car market.

Edited by 55PackardGuy (see edit history)
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]

Not to belabor the OT subject here, but that argument just doesn't wash... the Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, etc. were automotive icons within living memory of many mainstream car buyers of today-- many of whom "always wanted one" when they were being manufactured. Which is the reason these cars "caught on."

Which Packard model could you suggest for the "retro" treatment that would have such wide market appeal? Packard enthusiasts could argue about that all day long, but few if any of us are in the target demographic for an extremely high dollar specialty car.

Creating a modern "retro" '55 400 or '42 Clipper would be very satisfying for Packard fans to see, but it wouldn't have anywhere near the popular appeal of today's flashes from the past, nor would it be any more likely to be a viable entry into the exclusive car market.

The marketing would have to be right. We see Cummins heritage ads, Chevy heritage ads, and who can forget the latest Hemi blitz...all to educate the consumer. Their market? Not me, well yet anyway, but there's plenty of wealth in this nation to educate on the finer things in life, past and present.

Which model? I'd actually prefer a Clipper knock off. IMO it's the last of a breed with it's tall grille and hood treatment. Also being a unitized body (as in no separate fenders like a 30s car) it would be easy enough to crash test within the current standards without appearing overly "padded up" for safety. For a 50s look I prefer the 53 Carribean. Again, not too hard to crash and has a heritage of exclusivity. Sell enough of them they could do several models.

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Tall grille has been done before, by Lincoln with great success starting with the Mark III, which was timed when a lot of people who remember the Classic era were still buying new cars - not so today. I think it was Iacooca who suggested "putting a RR type grille on a T-bird" and wa'lah, another marketing triumph. those were attractive enough cars, although not really superior to other FOMOCA products of the era. Timing was on his side, though.

Styling aside no way can an independent start up company compete with legitimate luxury cars of today - limited production would not help, rather it would hurt by not providing enough economies of scale - most buyers won't compromise when spending "senior" Jag, MB, BMW whatever money which is where I imagine this would be competing in. These cars cost hundreds of millions to develop, and not unlike the cylinder wars of the Classic era, the one upsmanship in the engineering is relentless. How does an independent do that? This is exactly why RR and Bentley find themselves in the position they do today. IMHO from a styling perspective I don't think this car would attract that many buyers, either, maybe he should have taken is queue from some of the renderings in past Cormorants, or hired "Mahoning63" who I bet would do a better job then that. ;)

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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Styling aside no way can an independent start up company compete with legitimate luxury cars of today - limited production would not help, rather it would hurt by not providing enough economies of scale - most buyers won't compromise when spending "senior" Jag, MB, BMW whatever money which is where I imagine this would be competing in. These cars cost hundreds of millions to develop, and not unlike the cylinder wars of the Classic era, the one upsmanship in the engineering is relentless. How does an independent do that?

I think you're pretty much on the track there, Steve. There may be a couple of ways around the problem, though, to go forward from the initial revival of the Packard name on an actual automobile (which has already taken place) and on to something that could be produced.

The most essential thing to us regular Packard people, I think, would be to bring back the Packard name on a car that is esthetically and mechanically worthy of it, and actually get those cars in the hands of motorists, and on the road--whether those lucky enough to have them appreciate the heritage or not. To make the Packard name come to mean something to more people, and to ignite enthusiasm in the company's history and automobiles, would be satisfaction enough for me. That might only take several hundred cars or a few thousand built over several years.

To get to that point, one would need a very cool car with lots of panache, along with a good dose of PR hype and snob appeal.

Also helpful would be noteworthy buyers to associate with the name. For starters, general automobile enthusiasts and collectors like Jay Leno, and then on to some actual Packard enthusiasts among the glitterati-- one I've heard mentioned is Clint Eastwood-- and finally to those "conspicuous consumption" types attracted to the exclusivity of a high-priced "hand made" car, whether they appreciate the name or not.

I'm not saying this approach would be easy or even have any great likelihood of success, but it just might have some viability, unlike trying to go straight to a mass produced line, which I don't think would ever work, economies of scale or not.

The exclusive cars from the full Classic era were more or less hand-built one at a time, and their cost reflected that. The Packard name has history aplenty in the area of hand-built classics, and a legitimate claim to that niche in the present.

Edited by 55PackardGuy (see edit history)
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If previous attempts at bringing back the Packard name are any indication then I want nothing to do with a modern Packard. Every attempt at a new design that I have seen so far looks awfull. The Packard grill doesn't lend itself well to modern cars. This thread is about ugly hot rodded Packards right? Well, here's one (below) for your consideration. I'd still drive this before I'd step foot in that latest Packard recreation.

post-52604-143138744012_thumb.jpg

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tfee, "thanks" for putting us back on track here... :D

Just one more comment on a "Revival car" - as nice as the concept sounds, a revival just seems unlikely to me. Here is a thought, I had a few minutes to kill and as a result of this thread I was curious if the "Zimmer" was still being made, as a friend once worked for them in the 80s trying to sign dealers up. Well, they are, website is a riot, as it describes these as fine vehicles for discriminating tastes, etc. Then, those who are interested in the fine points of construction of one of these Mustang or Lincoln based vehicles, are redirected to "XYZ Autobody Shop" to see the conversion! I sure would hate to see a new line of "neoclassics" using the Packard name, and that is really where I would see something like this going.

Now, back to ugly hot rodded Packards, with tfee's post # 57 the one to beat, I think...

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nice looking dog, actually, Guy. Actually I think #59 may be the work of a prior poster here salvaging a Jr. chassis where the body had been damaged beyone repair, but I am not sure, he has not posted in some time. In any case, looks to be using a '28-'29 Model A body and it sure looks like a Packard drivetrain, maybe because it seems more akin to a "tradiitonal" hot rod but I kind of like that one.

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Yeah, I think that dog is a Weimaraner, and they're supposed to be smart.

The car is pretty well proportioned, but certainly the graphics on the visor, top and door should be done away with, and vertical bars on the grille would give it a much more "Packard" look. To each his own.

I completely agree that I'll give someone a lot more slack with a custom if they used donor cars that were beyond restoration.

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JD, I remember one of those came to town when my son was around 5, it was a lot of fun for the kids and adults. I think there are a handful of them in service at least there were in the mid 90s. :)

Just saw one last year at our local supermarket. I got a commemorative Christmas card from the two hotties that were piloting it across the country. :D

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That ones done nicely. I like everything except that V8 air cleaner I see under the hood.

Thought the same thing myself. Put it back to original power (or even marque-correct like a big ol' 374) and it sells itself. Except no shots of interior, which can be hideous hot-rod generic snap-on stuff. or worse.

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Maybe this one could still be brought back to original??

This one would be a great car but due to the mentioned v8 air cleaner, I bet its also sub-framed and other such monstrosities that go along with it. Under that skin its probably nothing more than a 70s Camaro or mustang 2. Good looking car though.

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That "boat-tail" is very cleanly done. Looks like a straight eight in it. More of a show car than a hotrod per se, I think. Have to admit, I like it a lot. The tears shed should be the owner's if it was restorable. He probably lowered the value by more than half and eliminated its appreciation potential. Depends on whether he just started with bits and pieces, though, and could not salvage much of the original car. Still...

Edited by 55PackardGuy (see edit history)
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the only Packard part on the car is the cowl and even it has been highly modified. Like his creation or not, the guy has talent.

Still think a Packard Straight Eight would've capped it off nicely. As I said, I think it's a very clean design. Good to know it wasn't cut up from a restorable car. Thanks for the links.

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