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Re: Here's a barn find that's NOT a Packard...
#11
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Fyreline
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While the 1948 Vignale Packard (on a prewar 120 chassis) is an attractive car, I think calling it very attractive may be a bit of a stretch. From certain angles it suffers a bit, but weighed against other contemporary 1948 designs it's OK. It was recently refinished from bright red to black, which actually helps a bit in my opinion. In any case, I believe the observation that exceptional postwar large-car Italian designs were few and far between is still valid. It's not that there were NONE . . . There just weren't many.

Posted on: 2013/10/9 14:34
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Re: Here's a barn find that's NOT a Packard...
#12
Home away from home
Home away from home

Mahoning63
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Thanks for mentioning the Lancia Astura, had never heard of it or seen it. Nice car.

While Europe dug out of the war the Americans, particularly GM, had vast resources to throw at body design and it showed, the '48 60 Special being a great example. The Big 3 seemed to maintain their lead well into the Sixties with the advent of squared-off lines. But it does seem ironic - and this is just one humble opinion - that the Italians, like the rest of Europe, understood the importance of a vivid, distinct and clearly defined grill... an item that Packard could arguably have benefited from. The American approach to post-war frontal design was to throw some chrome here, slats there, chicken wire over there, dead black spaces everywhere and mix it all up like one big train wreck.

Posted on: 2013/10/9 20:51
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Re: Here's a barn find that's NOT a Packard...
#13
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Fyreline
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I always (OK, usually) try to examine automotive styling trends in the context of their time . . . As a child of the 50s I remember many of the cars we now consider over styled, over-chromed and over-finned when they were new. My uncle had a new '58 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special in robin's egg blue with acres of stainless steel trim on the sides, and as over the top as that car was (and I thought it was the most beautiful car I'd ever seen, even better than his 1954 Buick Skylark that it replaced) the '59 Caddy that came out the next year made it look downright spartan. Again, taken in the context of the rock 'n roll, hey-a-nuclear-war-is-coming-anyway-so-who-cares 1950s, they weren't anywhere near as outrageous when they were new as they now appear. I agree that there were (are?) certain styling elements the Italians seemed to get right, but overall, their sense of proportion skewed away from larger cars after the war. Understandable, as no one in Europe could afford a large car even if European manufacturers had been making them, which very few were. Still, the need for postwar European auto manufacturers to export in order to survive - and that meant to the USA, where the money was - should probably have produced a few more exceptional large-car designs than it did. Even if it had, though, a country whose tastes in the 50's included such cars as the Edsel, Desoto and 1958-1960 Lincolns probably wouldn't have embraced a slick Italianate large sedan.

Too bad. A nicely Italian-styled mid-1950s Packard (or Pontiac, or Plymouth for that matter) would have been a tasty treat . . . But in the end, would in all likelihood have made little or no difference to either the Italian economy or the demise of Packard . . . Or Plymouth . . . Or Pontiac.

Posted on: 2013/10/9 22:05
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