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1957 Proposed Packard Models
#1
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BigKev
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Brian,

Those 1957 Proposed Packard model pictures you uploaded to the Factory Pictures section are great. If only S/P produced those instead of the rebadged Studebakers for 1957, maybe the future would have been different.

Great photos!

For those that have not seen those yet here is the link:

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... yalbum/viewcat.php?cid=64

Posted on: 2007/2/9 12:21
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Re: 1957 Proposed Packard Models
#2
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BH
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Big Kev -

Glad you liked those pictures, and I hope other fans of mid-fifties Packards will enjoy them as well.

I've had these three pix for almost 20 years, but just couldn't decide where they'd be most appreciated, and least subject to piracy. Submitted at only 480-pixels wide, someone would have to be awfully stupid to try and make a fast buck off of these - especially when I have 'em in 8x10 (though not for sale).

Given the length of time that I've had these photos, the presence of the date card in the foregorund of a setting that is known to be "factory", and a few corroborating views of the Clipper and Four Hundred that have been published elsewhere, I am confident that these are not another example photoshopped phakery - likk we've seen in that terrible article on the 1965 V12 Revival that was published by both PAC and SDC.

There is a lot more to the story of the proposed Packards for 1957, which was part of a grand shared-body concept between the Packard, Clipper, and mainstream Studebaker lines, which included a revival of the Coupe Express model (think ElCamino or Ranchero). This was aimed at achieving some economies of scale and bringing costs in line, while evolving distinctive and competitive styling and engineering.

In fact, in the April 23, 1956 issue of TIME magazine, it was reported that troubled S-P was planning "only a face lifting of its Packard models for next year", but still had "hopes to rush through retooling of its highest-priced line and bring out at least one model like the Predictor".

In the July 23, 1956 issue, reporting on a "rescue" by Curtiss-Wright, TIME advised that S-P would "probably stop making Packards for a year, (and) wait until 1958, when it can develop an interchangeable body shell with Studebaker along the lines of its Packard Predictor dream car".

Then, in the Septemeber 10, 1956 issue, TIME reported that while the S-P would "start turning out either face-lifted 1956 model or redesigned and upgraded Studebaker bearing Packard name" by January, a "completely new model based on (the) experimental Predictor would come out in 1958".

Clearly, someone in authority (then) still held out hope that these clays would become a reality, but it was all downhill for the Packard brand after 1956.

Gee, imagine the fun we could have with a flux capacitor.

Posted on: 2007/2/10 15:23
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Re: 1957 Proposed Packard Models
#3
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BigKev
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For those looking for the photos Brian uploaded,I created a "Show and Concept Cars" catagory in the photos sections and moved the '57 concept photos into there.

Posted on: 2007/2/11 13:05
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Re: 1957 Proposed Packard Models
#4
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BH
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BigKev -

Good idea.

If others will give me a week or so, I will go though my collection and scan pix I have of some other great show/concept cars. I have the Request, Predictor, Panther and Pan American but need to check which ones are original prints made for P/R purposes.

Posted on: 2007/2/11 13:37
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Re: Show and Concept Cars
#5
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BH
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Just a note to update you all that I added pix of the Predictor, Request, Balboa and Pan Amercian concept cars to new "Show and Concept Cars" section, last night.

I've only found one of these photos published in any book - the one of the PanAm with the driver behind the wheel (though they didn't tell the full story).

The PanAm and Balboa images are from original factory public relations press releases in my personal collection. Yet, I had to revisit those submissions, this evening, to correct some of my typos and rephrase some of the descriptive text for clarity.

While the Balboa shot might look similar to one published in the Turnquist book, if you look closely, you'll see this this one has a slightly different angle/pose.

Unfortunately, I have yet to come up with pix of the Panthers that I can validate as a public release.

Meanwhile, I'm sure the viewing public will enjoy the show.

Posted on: 2007/2/20 21:23
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Re: Show and Concept Cars
#6
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BigKev
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Brian, thanks for sharing those pics, they are great.

Concept cars have always amazed me. The cars from the early 50's to the Mid 60's are just so creative. I really believed that every automotive designer during that time period really believed that cars would be flying by 1975.

Posted on: 2007/2/20 23:01
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Re: Show and Concept Cars
#7
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BH
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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.

Posted on: 2007/2/21 19:14
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