The “End” Of Packard; More From The AACA Museum

Thanks to 56packardman for making the effort to post a link to yesterday’s Disaffected Musings entry on the Studebaker Drivers Club forum and thanks to the avid followers of that forum for clicking on the link in such numbers that the number of views yesterday was the highest in over a month. (Yes, that’s a run-on sentence.) As is my penchant and one of my weaknesses I can’t resist poking the world in the eye with a stick; I think that the number of blog views for yesterday should be at the low end of the usual range for this blog and not the high end.

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On this day in 1956 the last Detroit-built Packards rolled off the assembly line. From Packard: A History Of The Motor Car And The Company edited by the late, great Beverly Rae Kimes, “On that sad day, June 25th, 1956, twenty-four Clippers and eighteen Packards were run through the body shop and completed. Altogether, there had been 28,835 cars built for the 1956 model year—18,482 Clippers, 10,353 Packards.”

The “official” end of Packard in Detroit came on July 25th when Roy Hurley, President of Curtiss-Wright which had taken de facto control of Studebaker-Packard through a management agreement (that, technically, wasn’t approved by the Studebaker-Packard board until the next day), announced that he intended to recommend the continuation of the automobile manufacturing part of the Studebaker-Packard business, but only in South Bend, Indiana—the Studebaker headquarters. The next day upon formal approval of the agreement with Curtiss-Wright, James Nance, President and General Manager of Packard, and Paul Hoffman, Chairman (he had also been President of Studebaker from 1935 to 1948), resigned. Studebaker-Packard faced the end of operations if the board hadn’t approved the agreement.

How much blame Nance bears for the end of Packard is another topic for another day. 56packardman is free to offer his opinion on the subject as is anyone else reading.

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A picture of a 1955 Packard Caribbean convertible that I took during our recent trip to the AACA Museum.

I dare anyone to tell me why this next car looks dated. To me it doesn’t look much different from its contemporaries at The Big Three.

 

 

This is a 1964 Studebaker Daytona convertible of which only 703 were made. I don’t remember if this car is owned by the AACA Museum or on loan. I discovered that the museum does sell 3-4 cars a year. Their basic donation agreement stipulates only that they must keep the car for a minimum of three years.

I have asked this question before, but what is the source of my obsession with defunct American car companies? I really don’t know so I am willing to read any answers you might offer.

 

#TheendofPackard

#AACAMuseum

#1955PackardCaribbean

#1964StudebakerDaytonaconvertible

#Obsession

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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56packardman’s Ultimate Garage

First, my condolences to the family of Peggy Lipton. I must admit that I had quite a crush on her when I was young; she was the main reason I watched The Mod Squad.

 

Image result for peggy lipton

 

A picture of Peggy Lipton from Pinterest.

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Spring, my ass! I don’t live in the Northern Plains. For someone having enough difficulty with the non-harsh winters where I live (and where I was born and raised), 45° in the middle of May is another kick in the teeth.

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My thanks to 56packardman. Despite having a real life he has been a faithful reader and commenter on this blog. He is the only person with 100+ published comments on Disaffected Musings. Without further ado here is his Ultimate Garage, which to no one’s surprise has a lot of Packards and Studebakers. Different strokes for different folks…

 

• 1934 Packard Twelve Dietrich
• 1941 Packard LeBaron
• 1941 Packard-Darrin 4 door convertible
• 1947 Packard Clipper Custom Super Eight
• 1949 Studebaker pickup truck
• 1953 (or 1954) Studebaker Commander Starliner
• 1955 Studebaker Speedster
• 1956 Packard Caribbean hardtop (I prefer the hardtop over the convertible)
• 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk
• 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2/4 speed
• 1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk
• 1964 Studebaker Daytona hardtop or convertible
• 1969 Porsche 912 5 speed with sunroof
• Any Mazda Miata RF with a manual transmission
• Morgan Aero Coupe

 

The first car is very familiar; from My Wonderful Wife’s Ultimate Garage:

 

See the source image

 

From enwheelsage.org a picture of a 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria bodied by Dietrich. Like me, my wife did not really have any affinity for pre-war cars until just 3-4 years ago. This is a model 1108 that had a long 147-inch wheelbase. This car weighed over 5,000 pounds, was powered by a V-12 (duh, it’s a Packard Twelve) that produced 160 HP and cost $6,080. The most expensive 1934 Chevrolet cost $675.

 

I don’t know if 56packardman prefers the convertible over the other Packard Twelves bodied by Dietrich. The Studebaker Commander Starliner is his pick for the most beautiful car ever made. It was also the basis for the subsequent Hawk models all the way through 1964.

 

See the source image

 

From someone’s YouTube video a picture of a 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner Coupe. This car was powered by Studebaker’s small-displacement V8, in its third model year, of 233 cubic inches. These cars were supposed to be introduced for the 1952 model year as a celebration of Studebaker’s centennial, but that did not happen.

 

See the source image

 

From flickriver.com a picture of a 1956 Packard Caribbean hardtop. I have shown pictures of ’55 Caribbean convertibles before, but I don’t think I’ve shown a hardtop.

The Avanti and Gran Turismo Hawk have been shown on this blog many times. One or both may or may not be in my Ultimate Garage 2.0. Here is a non Packard/non Studebaker:

 

See the source image

 

From autoevolution.com a picture of a Mazda Miata RF. I can’t tell from the photo what transmission is in this car.

Once again, thanks to 56packardman. By the way, we have never met nor spoken voice-to-voice. That is an example of the potential “good” of the Internet, but I think the good is swamped by the bad.

 

#PeggyLipton

#56packardman

#UltimateGarage

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Compulsion

I wasn’t going to post today, but here I am. As I awoke before 5 AM for the second consecutive day and since I cannot use the treadmill because my wonderful wife is still asleep, here I am. Once again, OCD is a bitch even if it’s OCD-lite.

 

I have been reading Packard: A History of the Motorcar and Company edited by Beverly Rae Kimes. She was, perhaps, the finest chronicler of American automotive history. The book is enormous at 800 pages and with my other wonderful trait, ADD, sometimes I just can’t wade through all of the details about the engineering, the interiors, etc. However, I am enjoying the book.

Would you buy a car without a working master cylinder?

 

 

From this Hemmings listing a picture of a 1956 Packard Executive without a functioning master cylinder. No, I am not going to buy this or any other car anytime soon, but as I have written before my brain is pestering me with the idea of buying a car that was built before I was born and is not too expensive. The seller is asking $8,000.

This was the last model year for the “real” Packard manufactured in Detroit. It was also the only year such cars featured a negative ground, 12-volt electrical system, the standard for cars built in the last 60 years. Of course, that is changing as some manufacturers have moved to a 48-volt system.

While this car will not end up in my Ultimate Garage 2.0 another Packard might. Speaking of Ultimate Garages I am still hoping more of you will send me yours. Not that I can’t post yours after I reveal mine, of course, but some of you might not want to wait until then. I will probably start before Memorial Day.

 

#compulsion

#Packard

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday, “Unhappy” Anniversary Edition

Eight years ago today (!) I began working at a very large financial services company. I lasted nine months before I resigned. The only reason I lasted more than nine weeks is that my wonderful wife also worked there and it was great commuting and having lunch with her.

Although it is a very successful company I am mystified as to how that can occur given what I saw. My immediate supervisor was a…well he was…he was an a**h*le. If he is an example of middle management then I can understand how only 30% of Americans like their job.

The company “culture” was such that if anyone didn’t drink the company “Kool-Aid” then they would suffer no matter how proficient they actually were at their job. Creativity and individualism were not encouraged. Moving people to their highest-valued role as quickly as was practical was not a consideration.

People in my position underwent a six-week training course. Our job obviously involved using a computer, but the IM infrastructure there was surprisingly antiquated in my opinion. Multiple systems had to be used to execute job tasks. The company was trying to move all functions to one or two systems, but during training the instructors would still instruct on the older systems even acknowledging the company efforts to modernize.

When I resigned after nine months, only 5 of 12 people in my training class were still with the company. More than 50% turnover in less than a year! People vote with their feet when they can.

The silver lining in the cloud is that my frustration with work led me to start blogging. Of course the Evil Empire (aka Google) deleted my first blog after SIX years because, well because they’re evil. I have been blogging with WordPress for 15 months and they, so far, have treated me well.

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This CNBC article is titled, “Higher minimum wage means restaurants raise prices and fewer employee hours, survey finds.” EVERY policy has real costs. Blind adherence to ideology is dangerous, very dangerous. Here is the beginning of the article:

 

“For restaurants, minimum wage hikes usually mean higher menu prices and fewer employee hours, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Harri, a workplace management software company that works with restaurants, surveyed 173 restaurants between Feb. 28 and March 15 about the impact of raising the minimum wage. The respondents represent more than 4,000 restaurant locations ranging from fine dining to fast food.”

 

Companies don’t possess infinite resources and cannot raise wages without consequences. By the way, governments don’t possess infinite resources, either.

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While I wish 56packardman all the best with his new restaurant endeavor, I miss new posts on his blog (especially Gear Head Tuesday) and I miss his comments on this blog. In his honor, here is today’s Throwback Thursday car:

 

https://i1.wp.com/orig14.deviantart.net/57c4/f/2011/086/3/5/1956_packard_clipper_super_by_haafasst-d3cm16l.jpg

 

From roadtripdog.deviantart.com a picture of a 1956 Packard Clipper Super. I believe that by this time, and although it came too late to save the company, Clipper was technically a make separate from Packard. Notice the name on the front of the car says “Clipper” and not “Packard.”

For many this model year represented the last “real” Packards as beginning in model year 1957 all Packards were based on Studebakers and built at the Studebaker factory in South Bend, Indiana. Remember that the two companies had merged in 1954 with Packard, technically, as the acquiring company. Packard production ceased after the 1958 model year.

Clipper production for model year 1956 was about 18,000, which represented the majority of Packard’s total production of approximately 29,000. This Clipper probably had the Packard designed 352 cubic-inch V-8 with an output of 240 HP/350 LB-FT of torque.

To me the car looks like a Packard despite the badging. I think it is a gorgeous car and a great example of a 1950s American automobile.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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