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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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2008/10/10 7:29
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another of your delightful what if's! On the Cosmo-based one: suggest making the front and rear bumpers the same height and then "connecting" them with lower stainless strips as was done on the 22nd series seniors. The Cosmo styling is in many ways like the 22nd - 23rd series, but without the compromises coming from reusing the Clipper tooling. The Cosmo front always seemed awkward, but Packard could have stayed away from that

I don't think the Nash-based 8 would have worked because the fastback popularity was fading, especially on a sedan.

Posted on: 3/19 6:28:23
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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Thanks and great suggestion! Have lowered the rear bumper and added side trim, now looking more Packard-like. Skirts are slightly lower as a result. Note that this and earlier version use shortened rear bumpers compared to Lincoln's forward extending version.

Looking at the situation at a higher level it seems that maybe Packard needed to strike several deals. On the high end with Lincoln, the end result being that Packard might have gotten out of body making completely unless it could have convinced FoMoCo to let it make the Cosmopolitan. Maybe it was the case that the only way for Packard and Lincoln to make a serious assault on Cadillac would have been to join forces. Such a strategy might have served both well for many years but... you just know that Ford would at some point want to gobble Packard up.

FoMoCo didn't need scale at the low end but Nash could have used it. Their fastback served them well from '49-51 and they sold quite a few of them. By 1952 a notchback was needed so they made the switch. I think there was opportunity for Packard during all these years. Mason saw it, that's why he approached Alvan Macauley in 1946 and again in 1947 that culminated in a proposal to the Board in February 1948. But like Ford, Mason was inherently a gobbler. Packard would have needed to keep an arm's length from all would-be turkeys.

Attach file:



jpg  49 Cosmopolitan side 127 wb Packard lowered rear bumper side trim.jpg (86.16 KB)
2060_5e73814344ae7.jpg 1017X561 px

Posted on: 3/19 7:30:19
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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Direct comparison between Super Eights shows the difference a new body would have made.

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jpg  1949 Packard 127 Sedan vs 127 Cosmopolitan body.jpg (77.73 KB)
2060_5e73901320cb9.jpg 1412X377 px

Posted on: 3/19 8:26:37
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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Love it! A contemporary design that looks upmarket.

While a Lincoln-Packard alliance would have some complementary strengths (Ford's cost position and body, and Packard's engineering. Think of the Packard 356 vs the Continental's V12), I agree Ford would swallow up Packard so the deal would need to be more arm's length purchase of bodies.

I can imagine a common body for the Capri and Clipper.

Posted on: 3/19 8:48:18
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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The concept is a very attractive car. Were the same forces and people present in that immediate postwar timeframe as powerful as they were in 1956 when Ford would not sell Packard the Lincoln body?

Posted on: 3/19 8:48:27
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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The Whiz Kids were new to the industry at that early stage having joined in 1946. My impression is that the rest of the company had devolved into a neanderthal state. It had always been run by one person, so how powerful could any of the wanna be's have become? And the Lincoln and Mercury programs had their share of convulsions, ultimately ending up something less than originally envisioned. This suggests that the program financials were a problem. So enter Packard, a still reputable concern that wants to help raise all ships.

I don't know. It would have been an odd alliance to say the least, might have only lasted one product cycle before Ford began to bully. Packard would have needed to figure out how to always make Ford feel there was something important and special in it for them. But even then... let's just say we know what happened to Ferrari when his Dearborn suitor was left humiliated at the alter.

Posted on: 3/19 9:30:53
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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I think the key would be whether Ford viewed most Packard sales as coming at Lincoln's or Cadillac's expense.

Posted on: 3/19 9:38:39
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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That's a good point. Perhaps the Packard would have needed to be a Custom only, Super Eight Deluxe competing a bit too closely with Cosmopolitan. Here are 1949 prices from NADA. With Packard in the mix to help spread amortization, Cosmopolitan might have come down in price to Cadillac 62 level:

$3,238 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

$2,633 Packard Super Eight
$2,919 Packard Super Eight Deluxe
$3,975 Packard Custom Eight

$3,050 Cadillac 62 Sedan
$3,828 Cadillac 60 Special

Posted on: 3/19 9:54:15
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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Ah, just realized the one carrot Packard had that Ford needed: Ultramatic.


"I can imagine a common body for the Capri and Clipper."

Yes. For 1952 a Lincoln-based Packard Custom sedan would need to use a lengthened Capri hardtop roof to better compete with Cadillac, styling becoming paramount.

Posted on: 3/19 10:08:21
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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Lincoln bought Hydramatics from GM in 1949. This cannot have set entirely well at Ford, but it also shows Ford was willing to do business with a competitor. I think it also shows how little Lincoln worried GM.

Posted on: 3/19 10:36:16
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