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Packard Monte Carlo
#1
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Owen_Dyneto
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Here's an occasionally seen photo of the Packard Monte Carlo, designed by Richard Arbib (who also did the Pan American) and built by Henney on a 22nd Series Custom 8 2-dr sedan chassis. The story goes that it made the circuit of dealers for publicity purposes and just "disappeared". Perhaps it still exists in some private collection. It's interesting to speculate how it would have done in the marketplace, but it came along just prior to the 1951 models and by then the bathtub design was on the way out. One thing about it, rear visibility would have been the best of the 22nd/23rd series.

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Posted on: 2008/10/21 18:48
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Re: Packard Monte Carlo
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Thanks for sharing that picture. I had heard of the Monte Carlo but had never seen a picture of it. The rear deck resembles a Buick Sedanette and the C pillar reminds me of the Ford Starliner's. The rear window must have seemed radical for the era. The crest on the fender looks somewhat out of place. Closer to the cowl might have looked cleaner. A great looking car.

Posted on: 2008/10/22 8:33
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Re: Packard Monte Carlo
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BH
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Thanx for that Pic Owen; I'd not seen it before.

The wrap at the top of the backlight is a bit much for my tastes, but the styling is nonetheless stunning. Too bad it didn't lead to an actual product car, in the way that the PanAm begat the Caribbean, but you're right. It was too late coming out of the gate.

Wasn't there another later, next-gen Monte Carlo concept?

Posted on: 2008/10/22 8:45
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Re: Packard Monte Carlo
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JD in KC
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Wow! A bathtub with fins. Pretty radical. I agree with Kip56 that the crest should have been moved back. The rear window is vaguely reminiscent of the Studebaker wrap-around. The lower body chrome treatment looks more 22nd series than 23rd. I thought they discontinued the 'Custom Club Sedan' body style effective with the 23rd series. Whatever they started out with it's great to see the photo. Thanks for posting it.

Posted on: 2008/10/22 8:58
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Re: Packard Monte Carlo
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Owen_Dyneto
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Wasn't there another later, next-gen Monte Carlo concept?

Perhaps you're referring to the Balboa or Balboa-X? At least two were built, both surviving I'm told in the Ralph Marano collection here in NJ. they were based on the Reinhart body and built in 1952 or so. There is at least one vintage picture of it taken from a bit of a distance in a factory (perhaps Packards), and I also have a fairly recent picture taken when it was at Stone Barn restoration shop in NJ, I'll see if I can find it. It featured a reverse-sloping rear window not unlike some much later Mercurys.

Back to the Monte Carlo for a minute, no doubt many more pictures were taken at the time but apparently haven't surfaced. I'd love to see the rear end treatment, it almost looks like a stock trunk lid but with vestiges of fins on the rear fenders.

EDIT: Here are two vintage pictures of the Balboa, courtesy of the very fine Nat Dawes book Packard 1942-1962, a book which no fan of the postwar Packards should be without. Further comments from the Dawes book indicate the Balboa was built from a 1953 Caribbean with a fiberglass removeable hardtop and the unique rear window.

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Posted on: 2008/10/22 9:01
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Re: Packard Monte Carlo
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BH
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I'm aware of the Balboa(-X), have the factory brochure, and contributed a scan of this photo:

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/myalbum/photo.php?lid=94

Though there haven't been a lot of details published about this concept car, I'm big fan. It's another one I wish PMCC would have built.

Still, I'm thinking there was a second Monte Carlo concept car, but could be confused.

Posted on: 2008/10/22 10:01
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Re: Packard Monte Carlo
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Owen_Dyneto
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That's a really crisp photo of the Balboa, thanks. I've not succeeded in finding the current photos I have of it, but perhaps they'll turn up. Seems there's a difference of opinion about whether the top was removeable or not; perhaps it was so on one of the two?

I'd love to see the brochure on the Balboa, is it available on this website? If not, could you scan and add it?

Posted on: 2008/10/22 10:18
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Re: Packard Monte Carlo
#8
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BH
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Owen,

I'd not heard that the roof was removable. Using a Caribbean as a foundation, that certainly seems feasible, but I'd not seen any evidence of that. Judging from the one interior view of the C-pillar that's been published in some books on Packard, I have my doubts if it was so on the prototype. Perhaps it was in the long-term hopes - like the "breeze-way" rear window.

Meanwhile, a lot of my free time behind the computer is tied up in work on the next step of the Service Index, but will add that brochure to my pending list of things to scan.

Posted on: 2008/10/22 11:45
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Re: Packard Monte Carlo
#9
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BH
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Guscha -

That's a pretty comprehensive list.

Be advised that any images of the 1951 Packard PininFarina are not of any car built by Packard. As I posted elsehwere on these forums, and also in response to a picture in the Photo Gallery that was contriubted by Owen, Packard did not proceed with that concept. The plans, however, turned up decades later, at a Paris auto show, and the car was privately constructed in recent years - along with two other concepts. The gentleman underwriting all of that also had a showroom brochure mocked up and printed - along the lines of what was published by Packard for the regular production cars of that period.

Meanwhile the photo you attached is a picture of a 1953 Caribbean, which I have seen posted online some years ago, but incorrectly identified as a Monte Carlo.

Yet, 1953 just might be the year that I'm thinking of for the second Monte Carlo concept. I seem to recall, now that the front portion of the roof was removable - sort of a landaulet style. It's not quite as dramatic as the previous version, shown in the image provided by Owen, though.

Posted on: 2008/10/22 11:55
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Re: Packard Monte Carlo
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Joel Ray
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About 30+ years ago several of the Motor City Packard Club members went to an auction and the early 50s "Monte carlo" was up for auction. We were bidding and everyone dropped out. Of course the guy with deep pockets then started bidding against us and we did not get to buy it. The car was in terrible shape and a good solid "parts" car would have been needed. This car had a padded rear top and a drivers compartment that i think was open. In any case this is prodding me to look through old pictures that have been tucked away since the 70s. If I find the photos I will post them. There is a collector on the east coast who has a lot of the show cars and maybe he has it now.

Posted on: 2008/10/22 13:10
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