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Re: 1955-57 What-If Line-Up
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Good point about the American market not embracing the "European Look" in the mid and late 1950's. The 1956 Mark II is still a clean design by today's standards while the 1958 version seems to be inspired by an aircraft carrier complete with fore and aft flight decks.

http://www.classiccar.com/photopost/showphoto.php/photo/161

http://www.carstyling.ru/en/car/1956_ ... ntal_mark_ii/images/5313/

Posted on: 2010/11/23 11:16
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Re: 1955-57 What-If Line-Up
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Posted on: 2010/11/23 12:51
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Re: 1955-57 What-If Line-Up
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Based off the 56 Predictor show car http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... yalbum/photo.php?lid=9112 , I believe it was done by Teague, Schmidt et all in the Packard styling dept. I wouldn't be surprised if there were not some kind of cross pollination though because so many cars had a similar theme then.

Posted on: 2010/11/23 13:20
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Re: 1955-57 What-If Line-Up
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Am not a Fifties Ford buff so don't what Ford's studio had on the drawing boards prior to the Predictor, which hit the auto show ciruit around January 1956. Didn't Schmidt come from Ford?

The 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser had a roof like Teague's '53 Balbo, and the 1958 Lincoln looked like a 4-door Predictor in the roof and overall boxiness and proportions.

Did the Predictor-based Packards have the chops to make it, had they been built? I don't know. They seem to be a mix of traditional Packard with some '58 Edsel and Lincoln mixed in. Then again, Cadillac and Chrylser were vying for the biggest fin prize in those days. Where was Detroit's sense of restraint in all this multi-curved windshield mayhem??!!

Posted on: 2010/11/23 13:40
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Re: 1955-57 What-If Line-Up
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Quote:

My impression is more Edsel. Not enough flight deck unless you have an STOL.

Posted on: 2010/11/23 17:49
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Re: 1955-57 What-If Line-Up
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I agree that Lincoln had the squared-off aircraft carrier styling before anyone else, and for my money the "C" pillar of the '58 is all Predictor. Also, the "A" pillar of many of the late 50's Ford products share this design as well, with the windshield's reward slant met by the forward slanting side glass.

If you look at the "C" pillar of a '55 Packard 2-door you can see the budding v-shape that eventually turned into the "reverse slant" window style. It's a look that I really don't like in the Predictor. Even when the rear window slopes the "correct" direction like it did on the Fords. It kind of reminds me of an old-fashioned carriage top. The all-new baby-buggy look for 1958?

Lincoln really touted the squared-off slab-sided design, compared with what they called the "old-fashioned" tail fins. There's an old Lincoln TV ad on you-tube where they show it next to an El Dorado, and even though the Lincoln is still wretched excess, you can see their point about how it makes the Eldo look tacky and over-done.

BTW, Lincoln held onto the high, flat beltline and low roofline well into the '70s. I could see Packard having stayed on that styling route, too, and fitting right in. Now, it's the Chrysler 300 and its ilk that have returned to the high beltline/low roofline design, which I think is quite successfully rendered-- and popular.

What goes around...

Posted on: 2010/11/23 21:29
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Lking for a '55 or '56 Packard or Clipper Hardtop: "Decent Driver"
FOUND a '54 Clipper Deluxe 3-speed OD with PS, PB, 327 "Thunderbolt" 81K on the clock. Very decent driver.
Still wouldn't mind a 2-door '55 or '56, but it might be a few years.

We had a 2-tone blue '55 Clipper Custom with Torsion Level in in my family beginning in 1955 when it was new (two years before I was born). The car was the regular family driver until 1969. You might say I grew up in a Packard!
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Re: 1955-57 What-If Line-Up
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Great observations!

Teague’s grill proposal perhaps ran the risk of presenting like an Edsel but I think it is a work of art that should have been tried on a Packard somewhere, somehow, and looks best with hidden headlights and no wrap around body appliqué. Perhaps Packard could have gone with a more Panther-like theme for most of the line-up and reserved Teague’s little jewel and hidden headlights for a super upscale series that otherwise shared the standard line’s bodies. It would have made for a very distinctive and mysterious flagship. Cadillac similarly tooled a unique rear for the Eldorado, most notably the ‘57/’58s. And there were also the Continental Mk II and Eldorado Brougham. This would have been Packard’s response and if it played well, could have been cascaded more broadly in future years.

Totally agree about both the return of the carriage look and also how it didn’t quite work with the Predictor theme. I really like the C-pillar Packard came up with for ‘55/’56 and wish they had kept it a part of the theme going forward. In fact, I wish the ’58 proposals were not quite so square or wide. Some of the Amerian cars of the late Fifties and Sixties are so low, wide and flat, I call them pancake cars. The front of ’68 Riviera is the flattest pancake of them all although I love the car anyway. Today cars are getting taller again for interior comfort.

Exner was really pushing for greater glass area as a percentage of total body area and Packard seemed to want this too because some of the renderings in Kimes book suggest a rather tall greenhouse. I think it’s too much glass.

As you mentioned, with some pondering one can begin to envision how Packard might have evolved through the Sixties and into the Seventies. I would hope they would have not gone overboard with lowness, wideness or boxiness and focused more on driving dynamics and good interior space utilization. Eventually they and Mercedes would have met in roughly the same place, albeit coming from different directions.

Posted on: 2010/11/24 7:19
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Re: 1955-57 What-If Line-Up
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Quote:

Mahoning63 wrote:

Teague’s grill proposal perhaps ran the risk of presenting like an Edsel but I think it is a work of art that should have been tried on a Packard somewhere, somehow,

The grille never totally went away, just got stretched beyond easy recognition over the entire width of the front end. It would've been hard to continue the small version like the 48-49-50 on cars that were being made in the mid to late 50's. Pontiac was successful in evolving their "schnoz" design from the 60's through the '70s, not without some ribbing from the public, but it didn't seem to hurt sales.

Quote:
reserved Teague’s little jewel and hidden headlights for a super
upscale series that otherwise shared the standard line’s bodies. It would have made for a very distinctive and mysterious flagship.

This is a great idea... why not make it a return to an exclusive "coach-built" Packard which all the old-timers (and of course many today) were crying for? The exclusivity of the Caribbean was not well publicized as a specially constructed Packard, and of course it really broke no new ground in styling compared with the other seniors.

Quote:
I really like the C-pillar Packard came up with for ‘55/’56 and wish they had kept it

Ditto. Hard to keep the look without the curved top, which had to go.

Quote:
Some of the Amerian cars of the late Fifties and Sixties are so low, wide and flat, I call them pancake cars.

We used to call them "sliders." I am also a big fan of the Rivs. You can thank the "CV" (constant velocity) u-joint and the resulting split driveshaft for that extremely low body. Not since Packard invented the bevel gear differential, back in the 20's, I believe, did any new design feature so dramatically affect the capability to drop bodies lower. And, of course, being that now it was possible to make cars lower, Detroit decided lower had to be better and slammed everything right to the ground. Even the huge '65 Buick Electra 225 I had back in the '70s was practically dragging the rockers. But those cars were COOL and I miss 'em.

Quote:
Eventually they and Mercedes would have met in roughly the same place, albeit coming from different directions.

And isn't it ironic that the last hurrah for S-P selling cars was the Mercedes-Benz deal?

Posted on: 2010/11/25 9:21
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Guy

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Lking for a '55 or '56 Packard or Clipper Hardtop: "Decent Driver"
FOUND a '54 Clipper Deluxe 3-speed OD with PS, PB, 327 "Thunderbolt" 81K on the clock. Very decent driver.
Still wouldn't mind a 2-door '55 or '56, but it might be a few years.

We had a 2-tone blue '55 Clipper Custom with Torsion Level in in my family beginning in 1955 when it was new (two years before I was born). The car was the regular family driver until 1969. You might say I grew up in a Packard!
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Re: 1955-57 What-If Line-Up
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There is a '57 Clipper on e-bay currently - which is a car I've never paid any attention to or looked at. I did flip through the pictures posted on this one and I have to give S-P a few points for trying. The hood ornament looks like the '55 Senior bird, the grill is a reasonable approximation of the '55 & '56. The tail lights are straight off the '56 Clipper and the instrument cluster looks like it's using the '55 & '56 Clipper cluster basics The upholstery gives a nod to the styling of the '56 Patrician seat covers and the trunk lining looks to be left over '56 material or a close approximation.
While I'm not going to call it a true Packard, they did make a stab at it.
Given it's '55 - '56 styling cues, they might as well as used the '55 bodies for another year but I suppose they didn't even have the money to do that.

Posted on: 2010/11/25 10:46
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Re: 1955-57 What-If Line-Up
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From all I remember reading, you are correct in all your observations. I think they envisioned several scenarios but believe ultimately the reason the 55-6 body could not be used was the production move to South Bend. The assembly lines there were too narrow for the wide Packard chassis and body. They elected to use the best or largest Studebaker sedan model and make it as much a continuation of Packard as feasible by utilizing design schemes and what existing parts were available.

One thing on that ebay car is no supercharger and a wrong air cleaner. Wonder if it had one and was removed or were superchargers an option on a car with dual exhausts. I thought that was one of the givens on the Packard version. Radio is aftermarket too for a low mileage original.

Posted on: 2010/11/25 10:58
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