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Re: Packard Bikes
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Leeedy
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With someone in this thread bringing up the subject of pedal cars and claiming Packard dealers were selling them or giving them away (neither claim has ever been proven in all these years) here is something to verify we know just a little bit about this subject too.

I mentioned that I have original images of pedal car design and development. Here is my friend, the late Viktor Schreckengost in a photo he sent to me many years ago.

In addition to being a top-notch industrial designer, Vik was also a tremendously talented artist and famous sculptor. All of which naturally fit into doing sculptures of pedal cars in clay. Just like they did for future models of automobiles in Detroit.

Vik replaced Murray-Ohio's chief stylist, Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky for the 1939 model year. Packard automobile fans will note that Sakhnoffsky did extensive design and consulting work for Packard Motor Car Company (some of which is credited to "Le Baron"). The Count (yes, he was a real Russian count who survived the Czar purge and escaped to America) also designed Murray-Ohio "Mercury" bicycles and "Steelcraft" pedal cars. He did so from 1936 to the end of 1938.

Sakhnoffsky's last known work for Packard was a beautiful specially-issued sales/art portfolio done on 1955 Packards. Yes. I have this portfolio in mint condition.

Yours truly was the first to seriously collect and restore both Sakhnoffsky and Schreckengost-designed "Mercury" bicycles and pedal cars. I began doing so in the 1960s. My authentically-restored 1938 Sakhnoffsky Mercury Deluxe (so-called "pod bike" today) was first shown in public at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Oakland Museum (California) in the 1980s.

My Schreckengost-designed 1939 "Mercury" bicycle is a near-mint unmolested original . It first appeared at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Our 1939 Mercury has also appeared at various prestigious museums and at our own exhibits at the early versions of the massive "Interbike" industry trade shows in Long Beach, California, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Las Vegas, Nevada.

In this photo, Vik is styling and sculpting a new Steelcraft pedal car. Steelcraft was a division and brand name of Murray-Ohio Manufacturing Company. M-O was an offshoot relative of the old Murray Auto Body Company that sometimes made bodies and components for Packard Motor Car Company and other car makers. We first introduced this information in articles we wrote and published in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Of course, people today (including both bicycle and automotive historians) don't know all of these connections and the history.

Yes, Steelcraft made SOME pedal cars that were labeled "Packard" (as well as other automotive names). However these where primarily whimsy and were NOT officially involved with Packard Motor Car Company.

"Mercury" bicycles and "Steelcraft" pedal cars years later became branded simply as "Murray."

Yours truly and National Bicycle History Archive of America (NBHAA.com) have saved the entire paper histories of Murray-Ohio including almost every catalogue from beginning to end of the company. And yours truly once served as a historical consultant to the company.

Attach file:



jpeg  VikSchreckengostClayModelWM.jpeg (3,138.34 KB)
1249_62fe37704bab1.jpeg 3280X2542 px

Posted on: 8/18 8:17
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Leeedy
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... And just to show you that we know a bit about Packard pedal cars too, take a look. This is from a late 1930s catalogue in our collection.

In the 1930s through the 1950s, it was common to merely label a generic pedal car design as a "Packard" or other brand of automobile. They were built for kids, after all.

This catalogue page clearly also shows a Graham listed. This, even though this Graham and the Packards have basically the same design and stampings with different paint and graphics.

Both the Packards (there are actually two listed) and the Graham here were available with inflatable balloon tires. All three had working electric headlights that people today imagine were only on bicycles when they see the actual parts.

Another such generic pedal car only styled by Vik Schreckengost and made by Steelcraft was labeled "Chrysler" and was for sale just recently on the internet.

However, other pedal cars were indeed designed/styled to mimic real Packard automobiles. But as far as I could ever determine, these little pedal cars were still not made in connection with Packard Motor Car Company. At least not on any mass scale or official factory sales promotion.

While the last two postings here are skewed a bit from Packard bicycles, they are in response to the posting earlier in this thread regarding Packard bicycles and pedal cars supposedly being given away as incentives to buy Packard automobiles.

Now, who else shows you such stuff and the facts to go along with it? And we just continue...

Attach file:



jpg  PackardPedalcarLitWM.jpg (2,670.09 KB)
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Posted on: 9/6 12:58
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Owen_Dyneto
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A couple of vintage images of Packard-styled pedal cars. The first courtesy of Gusha, the 2nd from the Detroit Public Library.

Attach file:



png  Pedal car.png (498.56 KB)
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jpg  Detroit Pub Library.jpg (28.01 KB)
177_6318e93ba66d8.jpg 595X568 px

Posted on: 9/7 13:56
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Re: Packard Bikes
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PackardDon
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Speaking of Packard pedal cars, there is one currently for auction with bidding starting at $4,000.

Posted on: 9/10 21:09
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Leeedy
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Great to see all of the pedal car stuff.

As I mentioned earlier, back in the 1970s I had a four-passenger Packard pedal car. It looked just like a real Packard phaeton complete with Packard styling cues and electric headlights. It was in pretty bad condition at the time and I sold it to someone who said they were going to fully restore it. Wonder where it is today?

Now. There were also Packard wagons and I once had one of those. No clear photos, but somewhere I have literature. Can't find it right now but what I do have at hand is literature on a Cadillac wagon.

People today think wagons like "Radio Flyer" were merely for hauling things around (like at a swap meet). But it wasn't that way when I was a kid growing up in Detroit.

People have either forgotten or never knew what kids (primarily boys) used to call "coasting" and how popular this activity once was.

To go "coasting" you had to have what were known as a "wagon" or "coaster wagon." You got in on one knee with your right foot folded under you. Then you pushed yourself along forward with your other foot. You steered with the tiller. Voila! "Coasting."

Some kid would yell, "Let's go coasting" and the neighborhood boys would line up on the sidewalk and do a concours d'elegance and then take off in a procession.

In my neighborhood I had had a Packard wagon but one day another kid showed up with one of these. A Cadillac wagon. It had really nice wheel bearings and full suspension– believe it or not.

While I cannot find my Packard wagon brochure right now, here is an original piece of literature on the Cadillac wagon. As you can see, yes, it used a Cadillac logo just like the car. BUT... Cadillac Division of GM was not making these. It was made (very nicely I might add) by a company in Detroit, Michigan. We'll see how many stories now surface of Cadillac wagons being given away by Cadillac to entice the purchase of a new car...

Attach file:



jpeg  CadillacWagon copyWM.jpeg (1,797.30 KB)
1249_6334a064c618b.jpeg 3308X2577 px

Posted on: 9/28 14:28
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