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Packard vs Roamer
Home away from home
2014/6/21 15:28
From Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 393
How did Packard measure up against Roamer "the poor man's Rolls Royce"?

Posted on: 2019/10/21 18:27
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Re: Packard vs Roamer
Home away from home
2008/10/10 7:29
From grand rapids, mi, usa
Posts: 1090
not really direct competitors - Packard was much more expensive

Posted on: 2019/10/21 19:38
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Re: Packard vs Roamer
Home away from home
2007/11/18 9:02
From Dalton, NY
Posts: 2361

Roamer, to quote their adverting slogan was, “America’s Smartest Car”. “Smartest” in this case being , by Webster dictionary: “pert, saucy, neat, trim; stylish or elegant in dress or appearance, sophisticated, characteristic of or patronized by fashionable society’. The Standard Catalog of American Cars edited by Kimes and Clark noted “brochures quoted Oscar Wilde and used tony phrases such as ‘a certain insouciances’”. Not sure how a car acts with “a lighthearted unconcern, nonchalance”.

It was a direct competitor to both the Packard Six in the $2,500 plus all the way up the price ladder into the Eights has high as $4,700, solidly in the Roaring ’20’s luxury segment. It's Palladian-style, Rolls-Royce-imitation radiator, wire or disk wheels, cycle fenders and step plates projected a sporty stylish car image as intended. They were well-crafted, built in production numbers under 2000 units until the late ‘20’s when their star faded. Being a pretentious car, they were quite popular in the movie colony.

What was the drawback? They were an 'assembled' car from propriety components manufactured by other suppliers, plus a pricy one at that. As the 1920’s rolled on, any auto manufacturer who didn’t primarily build their own engines acquired a stigma as a car of less-worth-the-money. second-class reputation. What re-enforced this outlook was so many flash-in-the-pan, assembled makes came and went in that period from just prior to WWI until the late 1920’s that the public became wary of buying any car not seen as a first-class, full-fledged auto maker. Understand that all automakers bought major components such as frames, radiators, carburetors, brakes, transmissions, differentials, electrical systems, metal stamping and bodies from outside suppliers to one degree or another. The degree of engineering skill and quality of components made the difference whether a car was good or not. Some of the ‘assembled’ cars were as good as any major maker….but many weren’t.

Roamer initially sourced the Rochester-Duesenberg walking-beam four cylinder engine, one of the most powerful available. Yes, that Duesenberg, then in their racing car days before their first Model A production models. A number of similar high-priced exclusive sporty cars such as Argonne, Biddle, Meteor, Kenworthy, Revere and Richelieu were powered by that engine. Lower-priced Roamers had Continental engines, same as a Paige, Crawford, Case, then toward the end Lycoming engines shared with Auburn, Elcar, and Gardner. As you’ve no doubt noticed, the day of the ’assembled’ car came to a close by the end of the 1920’s. There was an exceptions: Dupont largely took up the niche Roamer occupied, using Hershell-Spillman, Wisconsin and Continental engines. The combination of the famous name and custom coachwork assisted that boutique maker to last as long as it did.

By the late 1920’s, Packards were universally recognized as the premium car of unwavering quality to own, readily custom-built to satisfy the most exacting taste. The smart (intelligent) money avoided the pretentious, fly-by-night ’assembled’ makes, brought a Packard four passenger Sport Model.

The Gilmore-CCCA Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan has a number of Roamers on display as they were built in nearby Kalamazoo.


Posted on: 2019/10/22 10:37
.....epigram time.....
Proud 1953 Clipper Deluxe owner.
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Re: Packard vs Roamer
Home away from home
2016/3/13 15:24
From Coalmont, B.C., Canada
Posts: 907
As always, a fine, well-scripted little history lesson, Steve. Thanks for posting. Chris

Posted on: 2019/10/22 16:18
'If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right!' Henry Ford

1939 Six, Model 1700
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Re: Packard vs Roamer
Forum Ambassador
2007/5/20 1:34
From Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
Posts: 10480
Visited the Gilmore Museum last year in my round-about trip from Hershey to a PPG Open Day. Found a couple of Roamers in residence there, pic's below.

Highly recommend a Gilmore Museum visit to everybody, well worth it! And, because it's HUGE, give yourself at least a full day so you can take everything in.

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Posted on: 2019/10/23 3:03

"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

'38 Eight Sedan 38's are great! (Sold July 2009)
'41 120 Club Coupe 41's the One! (Sold October 2017)
'48 2222 "Almost" Rolling Limo Chassis and Engine (Sold Sept 2019)
'50 Eight Touring Sedan(Sold Feb 2020)

Project Blogs:
'41 120 Club Coupe - Locked
Wade's Workshop - Locked
'50 Eight Touring Sedan

What's this? >>>>>> FAQ - Add your Packard to the Owners Registry
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Re: Packard vs Roamer
Home away from home
2013/5/7 13:42
From Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Posts: 581
Good Morning...I suspect Elephants are smaller than those machines! Ernie in Arizona

Posted on: 2019/10/23 10:12
Caretaker of the 1949-288 Deluxe Touring Sedan
'Miss Prudence' and the 1931 Model A Ford Tudor 'Miss Princess'
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