Re: 1955 packard history
Posted by Mike Grimes on 2017/12/7 20:27:12
On six occasions I have been able to identify the original owner.
In one case (1953 Caribbean) I was able to secure some clues from an owner who had the car in the 1990's. He knew where the car was garaged when sold new. He thought it belonged to the owner of a Ford dealership. While the dealership had changed hands, they provided the owner's children and their contact info. The Packard was a wedding gift from the bride's parents. Her husband owned the local Ford dealership! The children told me wonder stories of the many divorce threats that revolved around the Packard and the jokes at husband's expense. "Your wife is too good to drive a Ford". "Who runs your house?" I'm sure you all can imagine the strain on the relationship. Their Mom drove the 1953 Caribbean everyday until her death in the early 1980's. This is a variant of O-D's idea.
In another case (1955 Caribbean) the person who sold the Packard to me knew the name of the dealership that sold the car new. A small town in Nebraska where I thought a new 1955 Caribbean would have been the talk of the town. I contacted the local library for newspaper articles of the period. They instead referred me to the town historical society which happened to be led by the head librarian. With the offer of a gift to the historical society, within 3 weeks I had the name of the original owner and the Packard's story. This time the Packard was a custom order for the 50th birthday of the wife of a local physician. With that info came the contact info of their only daughter, who learned to drive in the family's 1953 Caribbean. Both Caribbean's were sold back to local Packard dealership's owner in the 1980's when the family members were no longer able to operate their Packards.
On other occasions I have used info from contributors of this website, info from the Studebaker-Packard National Museum (1956 and very late 1955 only), service records and papers left in the cars, and of course the internet.
It takes a lot of effort and does not happen overnight. However, the former owners who knew the history of their Packards and their family members are not getting any younger. Memories fade and people leaving the scene.
This note is to provide you some encouragement. It is a noble cause.
I hope you enjoyed the history of these two Packards and that you discover the history of yours.
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