Thanks for setting the record straight that Packard bikes were NOT (a) manufactured and/or sold by the Packard Company, (b) a give-away with the purchase of a Packard, or (c) strategy to sell bikes to the children of buyers of Packards (aka) up-selling.
The guys on American Pickers have dispensed that erroneous info on more than one occasion.
You are most welcome! I've been collecting this stuff intensely since the 1950s, so I'm happy to share the knowledge with others. But there seems to be no end to the wild stories made up to go with these bicycles. And no silliness or conglomeration of parts that won't be put together and presented as if it is accurate and historical. As one museum said, "..we don't care if it's not accurate... .we never let the facts get in the way of a good story"... they actually said this.
Unlike with automobiles (which still suffer from skewed histories but have better documentation and known histories) the bicycles suffer wildly. Anybody can say anything-and they often do about vintage bicycles-even in so-called "books."
And anybody can assemble a bunch of parts from heaven knows where or why and call it a "Packard bicycle"... and then add the stories about how PMCC gave them away "to sweeten deals"... and voila! Sounds great to the uninformed and may even look great if you don't know what you're seeing. But otherwise this is a very tortured and twisted history.
Some day when I get the energy, perhaps I'll try to tackle the absurdities of the "history" of neon-such as it is... and how it relates to Packard. I did this for the Packard club in their magazine, but the internet and neon people didn't read it and apparently don't care. But for now, here's another Packard myth that people ought not believe. Nobody knows what Earle C. Anthony and Packard did with neon signs and lighting better than I do. But the internet and books and museums will take you on a merry ride to fantasy land where facts are challenged, but myths accepted without question! Another story for another day.
As for the TV show... I don't watch television, but I occasionally will watch (especially when I'm traveling) the pickers show (as fake as it is) and others like it. Including some of the ones where they think "restoration" means a wild paint job, a modern crate engine and a set of big, shiny wheels. Always interesting to see some of the things they show but the factoids are usually pure internet stuff-some good, some awful. TV shows have converted the entire concept of collecting old things into a buy-low-sell-high phenomenon having nothing at all to do with passion, history or desire to preserve old things. Cha-ching!
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