Re: Show and Concept Cars

Posted by BH On 2007/2/21 19:14:33
Big Kev -

Though my interest is focused mainly on the V8s, I became captivated by these concept cars from my readings of Packard history. I generally don't like Macauley's personal one-offs, but prefer the concepts cars that were executed in the 1950s. Packard did one heckuva job in that regard, with at least one striking show car resulting in each year from 1952-1956.

I will continue to look into pix of the Panthers, but one concept car that I have never found a pic of is the 1952 Monte Carlo. I have seen, however, and more than once, a pic of a '53 Caribbean referred to as the Monte Carlo, but that is just plain wrong.

Sandwiched in between the debut of the Pan American and Balboa, the Monte was based on the Mayfair hardtop, with some elements from the PanAm and plenty of trim details that would appear in 1953 regular production. Built in a "coupe de ville" (town car) fashion, the Monte Carlo had a unique removable roof panel over the driver's seat. Only two examples were ever produced.

There was a similar attempt at a Monte Carlo back in 1949, but I don't think it ever left the styling department - just a mock-up on an existing production car. I've not found a pic of that one either.

If you want a real treat pick up a copy of the April 2002 issue of "Collectible Automobile" which features three concepts based on the 1951-54 shell - the Pacifica retractable hardtop, the Parisian fastback coupe, and the El Paso woody wagon. These cars never progressed beyond the drawing board at Packard, but in 2001, Carl Schneider of Eureka, CA, commissioned their construction - using cars that (allegedly) no one else wanted to restore as their foundation. He also had a mock-up sales brochure made, but I couldn't afford even one of those.

WRT flying cars, they sure seemed to be the next thing that many designers envisioned, but the way that too many people drive these days, I'm glad that vision never materialized and hope it never does.

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