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Re: New "What Ifs?"
#31
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Leeedy
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For all of the postings and musings regarding why Packard didn't buy, want or need Willow Run, I believe Packard answered this very question in a very direct way in 1946.

An 8 x 10 glossy photo I have from Packard News Service showing a view of the Packard plant from Harper Avenue in Detroit was issued in 1946. Here is part of what the caption on the rear of the photo states:

"New buildings added during Packard's war production of aircraft and marine engines, can be seen in the foreground. The total represents MORE manufacturing floor area than famed Willow Run."

There was zero reason the schlep everything from EGB all the way out to Willow Run... which would have been a colossal waste of money-even if they had it to waste.

Packard said it themselves officially... in 1946... and well before the arrival of James J. Nance. So the attitude and stance of the company regarding WIllow Run was already in place long prior to JJN's arrival.

Posted on: 2014/8/7 20:02
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Re: New "What Ifs?"
#32
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Tim Cole
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I love when people call me stupid.

Let's look at some product numbers for Cadillac.

1966 197,000 Cadillacs (2700 Eldorados)

2013 183,000 Of the Cadillac alphabet soup plus Escalade/Chevy.

I don't like German cars. In fact I don't like any of the cars being built today because they are junk. However, that situation is mostly the result of idiotic government regulations requiring more and more gadgets the effectiveness of such is due to politically based misinformation. For example, rather than encourage people to drive less to reduce pollution and traffic fatalities, the governent mandates tires with puny and unsafe aspect ratios. Now when you hit a pothole on one of Michigan's unsafe motorways your wheel is destroyed and you crash your car. No problem, the airbag dead weight is their to save you - supposedly.

Toyota is the number one car maker. The only thing stopping Chevrolet from becoming number one is lack of investment in the core product - reliable transportation.

Once they do that they can again waste money on Cadillac and that dreadful Corvette (another waste of money).


Now let's look at some of these permutations:

Attach file:



jpg  (11.50 KB)
373_53e568d8ab81d.jpg 888X185 px

Posted on: 2014/8/8 17:49
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Re: New "What Ifs?"
#33
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Fyreline
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You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. It is always amusing to see someone go to such great lengths to explain how their collection of faulty premises led them to such an epically faulty conclusion. Silver medal try, but thanks for playing.

Posted on: 2014/8/8 19:02
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Re: New "What Ifs?"
#34
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Tim Cole
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The difference is I deal with these problems every day and watch the money go out the window.

People said the same thing in 1999 when I said GM stock wasn't worth a dollar. Today I work with people who lost everything.

Posted on: 2014/8/8 19:20
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Re: New "What Ifs?"
#35
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Fyreline
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I love when people call me stupid.

Let's look at some product numbers for Cadillac.

1966 197,000 Cadillacs (2700 Eldorados)

2013 183,000 Of the Cadillac alphabet soup plus Escalade/Chevy.

I don't like German cars. In fact I don't like any of the cars being built today because they are junk. However, that situation is mostly the result of idiotic government regulations requiring more and more gadgets the effectiveness of such is due to politically based misinformation. For example, rather than encourage people to drive less to reduce pollution and traffic fatalities, the governent mandates tires with puny and unsafe aspect ratios. Now when you hit a pothole on one of Michigan's unsafe motorways your wheel is destroyed and you crash your car. No problem, the airbag dead weight is their to save you - supposedly.

Toyota is the number one car maker. The only thing stopping Chevrolet from becoming number one is lack of investment in the core product - reliable transportation.

Once they do that they can again waste money on Cadillac and that dreadful Corvette (another waste of money).



You're certainly not stupid, Tim.

You're just wrong. When you make statements like " . .I don't like any of the cars being built today because they are junk", you give away any credibility you might have been able to claim. Pretty much any 2014 automobile is superior in every measurable way to "pre-regulation" cars. Today's cars are safer, more reliable, and more economical. Those are not opinions, those are facts. Sure, in the areas that are NOT measurable, such as styling, I too prefer the older cars - but that does not make today's cars "junk". As far as sales, volume, and profitability go you made an egregious error singling out what you call "That dreadful Corvette", which has been profitable for GM and the Chevrolet Motor Division since the 1970s, even when other lines were not, and whose current sales figures for the new C7 are extremely good. So, now that we have factually established that you don't actually know what you're talking about, your comments regarding Cadillac can only be viewed with the greatest of skepticism. Again, opinions are fine - but that's all they are. I don't think you would have too much trouble finding folks who would agree that Cadillac has some identity issues- but the cars themselves are actually quite good, and GM is certainly better off with this division than without it.

Just my opinion, of course.

Posted on: 2014/8/8 20:17
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Re: New "What Ifs?"
#36
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Steve203
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An 8 x 10 glossy photo I have from Packard News Service showing a view of the Packard plant from Harper Avenue in Detroit was issued in 1946. Here is part of what the caption on the rear of the photo states:


Has that photo been uploaded to this site? Does it show building 84A along Harper that was added after 42 for the Merlin test cells?

The total represents MORE manufacturing floor area than famed Willow Run."


I had noticed that EBG and Willow Run are both billed as 3.5Msqft, however material concerning Kaiser says the actual main factory floor at WR is 2.5Msqft, so the Packard caption is probably right.

There was zero reason the schlep everything from EGB all the way out to Willow Run...

They might have picked up some efficiency from improved work flow, no schlepping stuff over bridges from building to building or up/down elevators, but gain enough to make the move cost effective? Cadillac didn't see any need to move out of Clark St, which was almost as old as EGB, until Poletown was built in the 80s.

Many thanks to everyone here who contributed to my understanding of what was going on at Packard in that period. The more I think about it, the more sure I am that Packard should have jumped at Hudson's merger suggestion in 53, consolidated assembly at EGB, consolidated body building at Hudson's body plant, retired the step down body and sold a retrimmed Clipper with a 308 as a Hudson.

Posted on: 2014/8/8 20:31
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Re: New "What Ifs?"
#37
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Tim Cole
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ABS - Junk (especially brake lines that rust like crazy)
ETC - Junk
Maniverter Exhaust - Junk
Low aspect ratio wheels - Junk
R1234 - Junk
EPS - Junk
Bumpers - Junk
AWD - Junk
Aluminum Engines with absurd timing curves - Junk
Insufficient ground clearance - Junk
KeyLess RFH systems - Junk
Center Stacks that distract driver attention - Junk
2 miles of wire in every vehicle - Junk
Power windows with cables that fall apart - Junk
Aluminum Frames - Junk
Rare Earth element starters - Junk
Cars that don't run when the radio doesn't work - Junk

That's it for now.

Posted on: 2014/8/9 8:02
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Re: New "What Ifs?"
#38
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Dave Brownell
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Since not many of us are still around to offer a first hand account of who courted who in this automotive merger drama of the early Fifties, most of us will have to go back to either books or the Detroit Public Library archives for accurate accounts. I may have missed something in my reading, but did Hudson's Barit seek out anyone but George Mason of Nash as a partner? Did the old men on the Packard board turn down such an offer of Hudson, by itself?

Steve's What If solution is a tempting fantasy of what could have happened to prolong two Detroit automotive dynasties. Instead, Hudson went to Kenosha for refuge and their factories went to Cadillac. We all know what happened to Packard et al. My premise is that George Mason could have been the Golden Knight with his Big Four plan, but his early death, the Korean truce and the GM/Ford need to be the biggest car brand in 53/54 undid it all. Packard's calendar was at least a year late on many fronts, lenders were properly cranky and too many people point to Jim Nance as their scapegoat. My What Ifs might have been history if Mason had lived another few years and Packard's development schedule had been two years quicker. While I'm at it, cancelling the Briggs body contract when they asked for more compensation and bringing the body building back to EGB would have been one of the earliest mistakes made right.

If the weather cooperates this afternoon, my Packard and I are off to a local car show where we'll be parked along sides of Hudsons, Pierce Arrows (and maybe some Plymouths, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs). Standing in the midst of Nevermore brands is sure to rekindle What Ifs in the hearts of all of us there.

Posted on: 2014/8/9 8:04
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Re: New "What Ifs?"
#39
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Leeedy
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Quote:

Steve203 wrote:
An 8 x 10 glossy photo I have from Packard News Service showing a view of the Packard plant from Harper Avenue in Detroit was issued in 1946. Here is part of what the caption on the rear of the photo states:


Has that photo been uploaded to this site? Does it show building 84A along Harper that was added after 42 for the Merlin test cells?

The total represents MORE manufacturing floor area than famed Willow Run."


I had noticed that EBG and Willow Run are both billed as 3.5Msqft, however material concerning Kaiser says the actual main factory floor at WR is 2.5Msqft, so the Packard caption is probably right.

There was zero reason the schlep everything from EGB all the way out to Willow Run...

They might have picked up some efficiency from improved work flow, no schlepping stuff over bridges from building to building or up/down elevators, but gain enough to make the move cost effective? Cadillac didn't see any need to move out of Clark St, which was almost as old as EGB, until Poletown was built in the 80s.

Many thanks to everyone here who contributed to my understanding of what was going on at Packard in that period. The more I think about it, the more sure I am that Packard should have jumped at Hudson's merger suggestion in 53, consolidated assembly at EGB, consolidated body building at Hudson's body plant, retired the step down body and sold a retrimmed Clipper with a 308 as a Hudson.


Yes, this has been an interesting thread.

RE: has my photo been uploaded to this site... No. But I believe a similar one was posted in one of the threads. I rarely upload photos. That in itself could become a career!

RE: Cadillac and Clark... People conveniently forget that Cadillac was doing many of the very same things with their vehicle construction and their plant as Packard was. Packard had bodies trucked over from Briggs on Conner... Cadillac had bodies trucked over from Fisher Body off of Grand Blvd. Packard had multiple buildings... Cadillac had multiple buildings. But Cadillac had GM steering the big ship and ultimately, that (and some increasing commonalities with other GM makes) was the big reason everything ended up at Poletown.

As far as efficiency at Willow run and in lengthy acreage vs.multiple stories... there can probably be endless arguments for the value of each. And each have merit. Having worked in both... AND having done a stint or two on movie lots, I can assure you, I have experienced times when an elevator ride would have been far preferred over a long sojourn to the back 40 someplace (which then requires an equally-long ride back). Dropping components or even bodies through a hole in the ceiling rather than having to go on a cross-country trip over distances does have some advantages. And... Dearborn assembly (another place I spend a few months long ago) operated just fine with multiple stories. Production of Mustangs, Falcons and Rancheros was monumental in the 1960s there.

Posted on: 2014/8/9 8:56
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Re: New "What Ifs?"
#40
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Steve203
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did Hudson's Barit seek out anyone but George Mason of Nash as a partner? Did the old men on the Packard board turn down such an offer of Hudson, by itself?

According to Ward, Nance had noticed that the Hornet, Hudson's top of the line and it's largest seller, was exactly in the size and price bracket as where he wanted to establish the Clipper.

Again, according to Ward, Packard was approched by Hudson around August 53 about a merger. Nance took it to the board, but the board wasn't interested.

Nance had been looking for a merger partner almost since the day he arrived at EGB. He hired consultants to advise on the "best" partner and they told him Studebaker was a better deal, so he apparently didn't push the idea of a Hudson tieup.

Reportedly Mason had approched Barit several times since 46 about a merger. Barit had pushed him off. After the snub from Packard, he apparently started negotiations with Nash. From other sources, while Barit was willing to accept Hudson's presence in Detroit to be lost, he extracted a promise from Mason to keep the Hudson brand alive. Barit, being over 60, was willing to step aside and let Mason run AMC and be content with a seat on the board. When Romney announced in 56 his intention to kill the Hudson brand, as well as Nash, breaking Mason's promise, Barit resigned from the board in protest.

Posted on: 2014/8/9 8:58
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