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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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2015/1/16 9:43
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I always thought the wrap around windshield was okay. But it was only used from 53 to the early 60's or so then never used again on cars.
I think the 55 Lincoln didn't use a wrap around windshield on their cars, not sure about 56.

Posted on: 3/28 20:19:26
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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2009/11/17 7:51
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Lincoln limped along in '55 with same windshield they had been offering. 1956 saw an all-new body with wrapped windshield and stand-out styling, turned Lincoln's fortunes around and beat Cadillac and Imperial redesigns by one year. This was Packard's timing opportunity too.


"...suggest the trailing edge of the front doors be extended to eliminate the double gap..."

I left the body insert between front and rear doors alone, assumption being that it would have been too expensive to redesign. Might have been doable but would have involved tear-up to many parts. Most cost-effective approach arguably would have been to save the money for the next full redesign, 1956 the suggested year. That theoretical car, btw, would have probably included several design cues that we see on the '55 Seniors including cathedral taillights and hooded headlights. The cars would have been longer, lower and wider, and probably with straight-through sides.

This would have been the year to cut a deal with AMC: they make the Clipper based on Rambler, Packard makes the Hornet and Ambassador based on new Packard. Love without marriage, all ships rise with the improved economies of scale and all kings remain ruler of their kingdom.

I may have shown this before but here is example of '56 Clipper sourced from AMC. Has 9 inch longer axle-dash per '58 Ambassador. Would run with AMC's biggest OHV Six and possibly Packard's smallest V8 as option. Roll down rear backlight per Rambler prototype except with a slightly wider C-pillar to package it so that heads would not hit it in a rear-ender. Clipper boomerang rear fenders and side trim. Packard's dealers would have needed such a volume car, assuming it sold well. '58 Ambassador was middling in sales but it only came with a V8. I suspect that the compact market, even for near luxury appointments, was after a reasonable level of economy.

Attach file:



jpg  1957 Clipper 117 wb.jpg (25.80 KB)
2060_5e801f5a4d3b4.jpg 628X347 px

Posted on: 3/28 21:14:16
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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2008/10/10 7:29
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Really interesting thought on a different way to differentiate Clipper from Packard. The Clipper becomes a premium version of a lower end car (sort of a Lexus ES) instead of a cheaper Packard.Hiring an interior design person for a really nice trim level would be a good idea. I think Packard would then need two lines in their group, "Packard" (Patrician, 400)and "Caribbean" becoming a full line more like Fleetwood. This may leave a market gap between Mercury/DeSoto/Olds/Clipper and Packard/Cadillac 62. Maybe Executive is designated the Buick fighter, but based on what platform?

Posted on: 3/29 7:14:31
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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Well if Nash and Hudson get a Metropolitan, then Packard needs one too. A Clipper Metropolitan....? LOL

Posted on: 3/29 9:25:19
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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2008/2/16 15:39
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Mahoning63, I enjoy your what-if styling exercises. I have often wondered what a re-badged mid- to late-50s Mercedes with Packard styling features - grill and tail lights - would have looked like. Although the M-B styling was dated for what was being done here, the cars presented a conservative classic and sophisticated look. This may have helped Packard in the luxury segment harking back to its halcyon days with modern features. Hint, hint... Thanks.

Posted on: 3/29 9:33:12
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We move toward and make happen what occupies our mind. (W. Scherer)
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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"I think Packard would then need two lines in their group, "Packard" (Patrician, 400)and "Caribbean" becoming a full line more like Fleetwood."

Was thinking the same, with Patrician designated as the more conservative version, which by the late 50's would have meant fixed B-pillar, full door construction with integral window frame, and a taller roof. Caribbean would cover the low-roof 2 and 4-door hardtops and convertible.


"This may leave a market gap between Mercury/DeSoto/Olds/Clipper and Packard/Cadillac 62. Maybe Executive is designated the Buick fighter, but based on what platform?"

The factory needed volume for efficiency and didn't care too much which dealers and under which brands the cars were sold. This is where AMC could have helped, sourcing Packard for its middle market Hornet and/or Ambassador. AMC would pay for the design and tooling of its unique sheet metal and would be required to always come in measurably below Packard in content, specs and MSRP. Packard would build the cars and supply the engines, transmission and chassis.

Packard dealers wanted a mix of luxury and volume cars but when push came to shove they invariably chose volume, which is why the company sometimes needed to pressure them to pull their weight with the Seniors. I think Packard, historically, invited cannibalism of its Seniors by its Juniors when it did't dial in enough daylight between the two.

By the mid-50's would rather have seen the mid-market Packard-built car sold by a different dealer network under a different brand, and source AMC for Packard's 1956 Clipper. Unlike 1953-5 when the Clippers were clearly Packards and customers howled when the Packard name was removed, the year 1956 in this alternate scenario would have been the perfect time for Nance to create Clipper as a stand-alone brand. Like Packard, Clipper would come to be known for quality - but now executed in a breezy, more carefree way... for common folks who aspired to something unique and advanced but still financially accessible. Sell these people a Packard-built large car approaching this price and they would no doubt get a bigger car, but the interior would be cheap and there would be no bells, no whistles and no "taste of luxury." Such a car would only remind them of how poor they were compared to "real" Packard owners.

Posted on: 3/29 12:31:50
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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"I have often wondered what a re-badged mid- to late-50s Mercedes with Packard styling features - grill and tail lights - would have looked like."

Thanks for your kind remarks. I could give it a try but turns out someone was thinking just like you, way back in 1952! Carl Evers did a much better job than I could ever do, see image and story here:

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108951099/

During the V8's development Nance asked Engineering why Packard couldn't have overhead cams like Mercedes. I wonder how things might have turned out had Packard cancelled its Utica plan and instead chose a low-cost upgrade of the 359 to OHCs, saving something approaching $20M. Mercedes raced an inline-8 with OHCs up until that disastrous crash in 1955.

As to whether an M-B turned into a Packard would have been successful, hard to say. M-B objected to a luxury Packard being sold alongside it during negotiations with Studebaker. Americans were buying imported European luxury cars in small but slowly growing numbers at that time. The cars were strong on handling, comparatively weak on comfort and convenience. Rolls-Royce was much more luxury oriented. Hmm, need to ponder your idea...

Posted on: 3/29 12:54:25
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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From Detroit, MI
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Given that Packard shared its door uppers between its 122 and 127 sedans, realized an opportunity enabled by the Caribbean Sport Sedan's new side glass: a 122 Clipper 4-door sport sedan.

The challenge would have been the roof and backlight because cost pressures might have forced use of exiting 122 hardtop coupe's roof, which tapers inward where the new side glass/frames would intersect. To connect roof to frames the solution would have needed to be a rain channel that got wider as it went rearward, which might have looked a bit odd.

The other hurdle would have been the backlight. The supplier for the hardtop backlight would have needed to provide Packard with a second, notched version that somehow used the same tooling as the first. Packard would have needed to tell the supplier to "make it happen" and see if they could answer the challenge.

Have labeled the car Sportster to catch the wind of what would have been the outgoing 2-door model. The new car would have needed to be priced similar to what Panama had been or even lower. Because of the structural B-pillar there would have been no reason for it and the Caribbean sedan to add the weight and cost that the hardtop coupe did to strengthen its chassis.

In this new model Packard would have had a hip volume car to take on the new 1954 Oldsmobiles and Buicks. One of the reasons the company got creamed that year is because it didn't.

Attach file:



jpg  1954 Packard 122 Clipper Sportster.jpg (31.00 KB)
2060_5e82242b6e370.jpg 755X357 px

Posted on: 3/30 5:55:41
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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2008/2/16 15:39
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Quote:

Mahoning63 wrote:
"I have often wondered what a re-badged mid- to late-50s Mercedes with Packard styling features - grill and tail lights - would have looked like."

Thanks for your kind remarks. I could give it a try but turns out someone was thinking just like you, way back in 1952! Carl Evers did a much better job than I could ever do, see image and story here:

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108951099/



Thanks for the link. I have a series of prints for the post-Clipper Packards by Evers. I posted them here several years ago. They are interesting ideas with varying body styling ideas. While the Carl Evers illustrations are very well done, I find your work using post-processed photos to give a much better idea of how these ideas might have worked.

Posted on: 3/30 9:50:02
_________________
Packards Owned -
37 Six (115C) Convertible Coupe (1089) - Now in Belgium
47 Clipper Custom Super Touring Sedan (2122) - Now in Virginia
55 Cipper Super Sedan (5542) - Now in Maryland

We move toward and make happen what occupies our mind. (W. Scherer)
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Re: 1953/4 Caribbean 4-door hardtop sedan exploration
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2009/11/17 7:51
From Detroit, MI
Posts: 819
OK let's take a look at a front view, the Request grill being a great place to start. Mount a Cormorant on top and we get a decent idea of how it might have come together. First thing that strikes me is that the Packard grill wants to be more slender than M-B, also more straight-edged and these lines would have flowed up along hood to base of windshield. It always worked on the 30's cars even as the rest of the car was of rounded form like this Mercedes. For some reason on the 50's cars it is more of a challenge. The Contour hood suggested an edge that disappeared as it flowed down to the grill.

Attach file:



jpg  1958 Mercedes 300d and Request grill and cormorant.jpg (46.48 KB)
2060_5e822f3b0dcce.jpg 980X327 px

Posted on: 3/30 10:46:43
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