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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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2009/11/17 7:51
From Detroit, MI
Posts: 819
Ford was weak at this time, good opportunity to cut deals with them.

Here's suggested '49 Custom Eight backlight and taillights, '51 Cosmopolitan being the starting point. These Cosmo studies demonstrate the opportunity that Packard had to do an in-house design as much as it does a Lincoln share. We get back to Steve's initial thesis about the drivers that kept the lid on Packard reaching it's full potential.

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jpg  1949 Packard rear based on 1951 Cosmopolitan.jpg (54.28 KB)
2060_5e73d80677dce.jpg 584X385 px

Posted on: 3/19 13:43:23
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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2015/1/16 9:43
From sw, pa
Posts: 1124
A lot of the independents bought the GM Hydramatic transmission. Nash, Hudson, Kaiser, Willys.
Lincoln I believe used the GM transmission thru 1955 before using their own.

Posted on: 3/19 15:51:52
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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2009/11/17 7:51
From Detroit, MI
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Steve's analysis of Ed Maucaley's Phantom design explorations spurred me to take a closer look at that idea car. There is something very intriguing about its circa 1944 "mouth organ" grill and quad lights. What if Packard had chosen to do an all-new bathtub for 1949 after concluding that it was the best use of funds, and sought only to refresh Clipper using Phantom for ideas? Tooling two new hoods would have been expensive so let's assume these would have been carried over. The '46 Clipper grill appears to already have been influenced by Phanton though its center section is separate from the carried over lower horizontal elements. A minimalist rendition of the mouth organ needing only new front fenders and quad lights, see middle image ('46 Clipper is at left). A more extensive refresh could have redesigned the entire grill to be fully unified, which would have made the vertical portion wider. Along with that change could have been removal of the integrated running boards. See image on right.

Phantom images:

http://theoldmotor.com/?p=156813

EDIT: Correction on image at right. Vertical portion of grill would not have been wider. Phantom transitions the vertical to horizontal grill sections with a radius, see updated image.

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jpg  1946 Clipper sedan and two Brown Bomber alternatives v2 75 percent.jpg (157.13 KB)
2060_5e778ae7224ce.jpg 1688X704 px

Posted on: 3/20 12:10:02
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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2015/7/22 16:17
From Minden,Nevada
Posts: 76
Actually, I do not mind the 48-50 Packard outward styling.
But in my opinion, I feel the dashboard styling is dated, and plain, and doesn't live up to a luxury car. The rest of the interior, upholstery materials and seating position, were better than both Lincoln and Cadillac.

Posted on: 3/20 13:31:24
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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2007/10/28 7:49
Posts: 2345
That's not what the automotive press thought at the time: "... it really is luxurious ..." is what one critic said about the Packard dashboard.

Posted on: 3/20 15:53:55
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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2015/1/16 9:43
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Seems to me Packard won a few awards for the 1948-50 body style.

Posted on: 3/20 16:20:11
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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2009/11/17 7:51
From Detroit, MI
Posts: 819
The 48's smooth exterior lines must have been a revelation at the time, very modern and elegant. Seems the design was a stand-out initially in both the press and public's eye, benefiting greatly from Cadillac having a very late launch of its all new post-war design and Nash and Lincoln not appearing until '49. Once all those cars hit the road Packard's shortcomings became apparent. It was comparatively tall and still had a pre-war windshield with split flat glass. And the 4 door sedan didn't have much bustle in the rear, which had been fine with the original Clipper because its body pinch-in gave the wide rear a visual mass that balanced better with the trimmer front.

My biggest beef with the '48 is its front appearance. There are effectively two different grills stacked on top of each other. This is where Macauley's Phantom could have helped, its two grill areas seamlessly unified. Am starting to wonder if such a modified '48 front could have been married to the '46 Clipper body to create a '47-48 refresh called Phantom.

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jpg  23rd Series Super Eight and Phantom inspired mod.jpg (107.91 KB)
2060_5e7933ccda39b.jpg 1500X596 px

Posted on: 3/23 7:00:34
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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2007/3/30 7:53
From Kansas City, MO
Posts: 1594
No big deal, but the grill you are using for comparison is the unique grill used only on the 23rd Series Super Eight.

Posted on: 3/23 9:27:20
_________________
JD
1941 180 Limousine
1949 Custom Sedan (22nd Series)
1950 Custom Sedan
And... when they're runnin'... I drive 'em!
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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2008/10/10 7:29
From grand rapids, mi, usa
Posts: 1076
I think the 22nd series' wrap around is a better look. What if only the center section is cross-hatched (like a senior) but all the way down?

While I think the 22nd fuselage body was very current, Kaiser-Fraser and Hudson got there independently too.

Posted on: 3/23 10:50:04
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Re: Synopsis of forces and events leading to '48-'50 styling
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2007/11/18 9:02
From Dalton, NY
Posts: 2340
Hi

Thanks for all the considered and thoughtful responses. RE: The interesting alternatives:

“Too bad Packard couldn't strike a deal with FoMoCo, the '49 Ford with longer axle-dash would have made a good Eight while Cosmo would have led to a wonderful Custom.”…”Ford was weak at this time, good opportunity to cut deals with them.”

Ford might have allowed the Cosmopolitan and perhaps the ‘49 Mercury and Lincoln platforms on which Packard would base their new postwar cars but the ‘49 Ford was definitely hands off. FoMoCo was in dire straits then, the ‘49 was a make or break proposition without anyone else stealing some its thunder. Body sharing within Big Three makes was totally acceptable but whether an extra-company sharing would be accepted is unknown. To be avoided at all cost was Packard being perceived as sharing Lincoln’s hand-me-down suits.

"...key would be whether Ford viewed most Packard sales as coming at Lincoln's or Cadillac's expense.”

That would be the major sticking point whether Ford perceived their own makes would benefit more from the cost-sharing than what sales might be lost to Packards in the same or near price segments. Other than the fact that Ford already had Mercury and for that matter Lincoln to fill out their market coverage, both were of very secondary and tertiary concern at the time. The new Mercury held more promise, sold extremely well and kept dealers afloat. Lincoln, although the Cosmopolitan sold better than expected, there was little upper management enthusiasm for the car. The Mercury-bodied ‘49-‘51 Lincolns were the price gap filler that helped keep the make alive. Had Lincoln not been their late father Edsel’s baby and refuge from tyrannical Old Henry, it might well have been scuttled then.

“What if Packard had chosen to do an all-new bathtub for 1949 after concluding that it was the best use of funds, and sought only to refresh Clipper using Phantom for ideas?”

Given the massive pent-up demand awaiting in 1946, a moderate refreshing of the Clipper styling was all that was necessary. Styling as a purchase consideration wasn’t a major factor until late 1948/early 1949 when the supply was catching up to demand. The mass of left-over 22nd Series 1949 models was the ‘canary-in-the-coal-mine’ that the seller’s market was over. Incorporating some of the Phantom features into the Clipper without major retooling, much as Chrysler did to fade the front fenders into the doors on the Chryslers, DeSotos and Dodges plus new grilles, would have been enough. The tri-panel transition Paul created shows what was enough to give the Clipper a fresh look. Maybe they could have changed the rear fender tooling to accept flush-fitting fender skirts, different taillights from the pre-war models. Wraparound bumpers were coming into style, that would be an easy change to affect. Other than the tooling necessary to add the convertible, the remainder of the millions spent for the major restyle were largely wasted in a demand situation where it was largely unnecessary producing little additional benefit.

Downside reality was until George Christopher got his Clipper tooling amortized, he wasn’t about to let it go. Forcing the issue with his ouster was the only way they could move onto the much needed new body.

“Seems to me Packard won a few awards for the 1948-50 body style.”

Whether such awards persuaded anyone to buy a Packard over other makes is questionable. If one placed great credibility on the aesthetic judgment of the Fashion Academy of New York greater than performance, durability, price, features and a trusted dealer relationship then maybe it tipped the deal to Packard.

Steve

Posted on: 3/23 13:40:31
_________________
.....epigram time.....
Proud 1953 Clipper Deluxe owner.
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