Re: Are 57 and 58 Packards really Packards
Posted by John Clements On 2009/8/1 6:30:53
Both yes and no, Yes as they were built by the corporate entity created when Packard purchased the Studebaker Corporation in 1954, No in the sense the last "true" Packards ie Detroit built cars (and Canada I guess too) descendants of the Packard Motor Company founded in 1899 (hope I got the year correct) ended with the closure of the Conner Avenue plant in Detroit in June 1956 on the orders of Roy Hurley of Curtiss-Wright Corporation, who had a management agreement with S-P at the time.
To be fair, Packard sales were small in 1956, Studebaker sales were greater so it was Packard that shut. One could speculate that S-P may have kept it going had no management agreement existed. The other difficulty was the size of Studebaker's South Bend factory which could not cater for cars as wide as the Packard.
They did what they could and, had people accepted the 1957-58 cars as perhaps a stopgap until a unique Packard could once again be funded maybe we'd still have Studebakers and Packards today.
History records otherwise, Studebaker dealers and the Canadian plant in Hamilton were the ones really "shafted" as they were led to believe the closure of South Bend meant continued Automobile production, whilst the Board of Directors had already decided to stop their production and continued primarily to avoid dealer lawsuits.
It seems to me that S-P was in reality (not in name) the Packard Motor Car Company, until the closure of the Hamilton plant in 1966 and the creation of the new Studebaker-Worthington Corporation.
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