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Re: 1958 Packard Starlight/Caribbean
#11
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Paul West
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Nice job with your drawing, Esquireman. Very good detail and design solutions. Can envision not only a hardtop coupe but also a longer wheelbase sedan with coupe's hardtop roof shape, 4 inches longer. C-pillar on both could have had Packard's "foil" applique and circle/vee to make it look more familiar as a Packard.

Will go so far as to say that Packard could have been saved with cars like these or Studebaker's body carrying a Predictor show car hood/grill/hidden lamps and roof style. Studebaker front and rear glass could have still been used. Better still, keep Utica open and put the 374 and Twin-Ultramatic underhood. Packard power in the '56 Gold Hawk made for an awesome performer that also sounded luxurious.

As such, Packard would have survived as a mid-sized luxury car. Torsion-Level, disc brakes and other chassis upgrades would have secured its position as overall best performing car on the market.

Posted on: 2017/5/24 16:25
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Re: 1958 Packard Starlight/Caribbean
#12
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John McCall and Mitch Parker
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Thanks so much for your kind response, and I certainly agree with all your suggestions! Too bad we weren't in the studio with S-P's Duncan McRae in that pivotal time. I think, like you, that Packard could have been saved. Look for an article I am doing about this which discusses these ideas and the concept that Packard should have also dipped into the Mercedes alliance to a greater degree since the concepts of superb engineering, precision detailing, etc. were long-time trademarks of both companies.

Posted on: 2017/5/26 6:26
1956 Packard Caribbean Convertible
1956 Packard Patrician Touring Sedan
1938 Eight Touring Sedan
1949 Custom Eight Touring Sedan
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Re: 1958 Packard Starlight/Caribbean
#13
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Paul West
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Please let me know when and where your article appears.

Must admit, never saw the Studebaker opportunity until very recently. The post in the General section about the still-born '57s caused it. Was reading the comments section at that link and posted a work-up of a '58 Ambassador-based Packard. One of the regulars at PackardInfo said no, can't add 4 inches to Rambler rear door, too costly with unibody, which got me thinking, why monkey around with AMC when Studebaker already had a 4 inch longer rear door on the President? Not expecting much, began modifying an image of the '57 Clipper and... like Mad Mad Mad Mad World... saw it plain as day, the big W.

So yes, am looking forward to reading your article! The Studebaker connection deserves a fresh-eyes look.

Posted on: 2017/5/27 5:07
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Re: 1958 Packard Starlight/Caribbean
#14
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John McCall and Mitch Parker
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Great idea. My article was of no interest to the SDC "Turning Wheels", so I am revising it slightly and sending it to Stuart Blond of the fine publication "The Comorant." I would have done that in the first place, but he has been so good about including my work, that I thought it might be a bit of an overload. Hopefully he will find it worthy, so stay tuned.

Posted on: 2017/5/27 6:04
1956 Packard Caribbean Convertible
1956 Packard Patrician Touring Sedan
1938 Eight Touring Sedan
1949 Custom Eight Touring Sedan
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Re: 1958 Packard Starlight/Caribbean
#15
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Paul West
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All the best in getting your material published. You have very good drawing skills, the results of which represent original art. "Keepers" in a historical sense.

Here are some visuals to keep the creative juices flowing. "Predictor" would have launched in '57, Nance scrambling after being turned down by the investors to fund his big '57 Program. Those same folks may have given him money to do this greatly scaled back program or he may have found money through other external sources, or internally through severe cost cutting. The cars would have been Studebaker-based and built, with 4 inch longer axle-to-dash for appearance and differentition from Studebaker. Images show 120.5 wb hardtop coupe and 124.5 wb sedan. Convertible and 4-door hardtop would have also been offered. Utica's 374 and optional 440 V8, which Packard had been working on, would have powered the cars, mated to an improved Twin-Ultramatic that the company had also planned.

Studebaker improvements would have had to wait until 1958, highlighted by new hardtop-style roofs. Champion and Commander would have been powered by two new Sixes, 240 and 281 CID, based on Packard's 320 and 374 V8s and built in Utica alongside them. President would have used Packard's 320 and optional 352 V8. All cars would have used Twin-Ultramatic except perhaps the Sixes, which might have continued to use Borg-Warner units if the business case dictated. Shown are 116.5 wb Champion/Commander 4-door hardtop and 120.5 wb Commander/President sedan. Several 2 and 4-door styles could have been offered.

Torsion-Level suspension and disc brakes would have been standard on Packard, optional on Commander Six and President V8. All new rack and pinion steering across the board if budget permitted.

Nance still in control, the mission of these cars would have been to stabilize the company and allow it to do a full redesign in '60 or '61, still mid-sized but wider. This size class would become increasingly popular in the ensuing years, in part because large cars grew too large for some.

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Posted on: 2017/5/28 11:06
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Re: 1958 Packard Starlight/Caribbean
#16
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John McCall and Mitch Parker
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Talk about skills! Your graphic and styling talents are amazing. I must commission you to do the final drawings for my article. The Packard is elegant...the Studebaker, absolutely stunning with the four-door hardtop treatment! Unfortunately, I have not really labored on my drawings. As line drawings, they do not scan well. Your posting makes me realize that I've got some work to do! Thanks so much for sharing your amazine prototypes. I have a feeling we both wanted to go to the Art Center College of Design in California and then join Dick Teague at Packard. My parents wouldn't hear of it. I used to have to stay after school at Moultrie High for drawing cars in class! See the "1970 Packard" I designed for an art class at the University of Georgia in the last edition of "The Packard Cormorant." Obviously, I was thinking Buick Electra at the time.

Posted on: 2017/5/28 11:19
1956 Packard Caribbean Convertible
1956 Packard Patrician Touring Sedan
1938 Eight Touring Sedan
1949 Custom Eight Touring Sedan
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Re: 1958 Packard Starlight/Caribbean
#17
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Paul West
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That '70 Packard you did was wonderful! And thanks for the positive feedback. I learned long ago that a picture is worth a thousand words, and set to work developing related skills. Had originally considered engineering architecture but ultimately chose mechanical engineering, and have had a wonderful 25 year career in aerospace and automotive, landing at GM 3 years ago in Design Center, albeit as a cost person but able to work alongside the designers. Last year transferred to advanced vehicle development so am now really living the dream, proposing new concepts. Years of Packard study greatly helped prepare for this, so am always open to discussions of what-ifs and new ideas. Learning never ends and envisioning the future is greatly informed by "fixing the past."

Posted on: 2017/5/28 11:35
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Re: 1958 Packard Starlight/Caribbean
#18
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HH56
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The Packard concept is very interesting. One thing I'm curious about would be having TL. I have read that Stude 2 door or hardtop frames were of light construction as part of Loewy's "weight is the enemy" philosophy. In that regard very prone to flexing and cracking -- particularly at the front cross member to frame rail connections. Would TL have worked under those conditions or would an entire new frame be needed. The Packard frame would be out of consideration because of the width so a new frame might have been a large expense.

Posted on: 2017/5/28 11:36
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Re: 1958 Packard Starlight/Caribbean
#19
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Paul West
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Have wondered about that frame too. Best case scenario would have been to beef up the existing frame by strategically adding metal where needed. Pierce-Arrow had to do this when it adopted Studebaker's frame in 1933 and just before launch found it deficient structurally and had to quickly remediate.

Posted on: 2017/5/28 11:39
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Re: 1958 Packard Starlight/Caribbean
#20
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Packard5687
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I have posted "Esquireman's" Starlight story and drawings as the "Gear Head Tuesday" post at my blog:
https://56packardman.com/2017/08/01/ge ... the-58-packard-starlight/

Check it out!

Posted on: 2017/8/1 7:53
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