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Vintage & Antique Packard AutomobilesThe classic Packard: Club Sedans, Clippers, Club Coupes, Packard Convertibles, Hardtops, and other vintage Packard motorcars.
Packard automobiles were made from 1899 through 1958, and was considered among the premier American brands prior to WWII. In 1923, Packard instituted car "series" instead of the more common model year differentiation found in the rest of the auto industry. Collectors might find a Packard Second Series from 1926 and a Packard Fourth Series from 1927, so the change of a series designation did not exactly coincide wtih the end of a calendar year.
During the Great Depression, the Packard 120 was introduced to compete with less expensive cars. The Packard Senior lines continued to command respect in the luxury market, and the new Packard Junior cars quickly gained market share, soon accounting for half of Packard's production. A couple of years later, the Packard 115C came along. These lower end Packard cars sold well, but also had the effect of making Packard ownership less exclusive, hurting sales in the luxury market.
In the later 1940's and 1950's, the hand made exclusive top of the line Packards became less distinguishable from their lesser offerings, hurting the reputation of the brand as a luxury car more. Packard began calling the lower priced offerings "Clippers" in 1953. Packard bought Studebaker in 1954 and the merged Studebaker-Packard Corporation introduced their first V-8 engine the following year. In 1956, Packard spun off Clipper as a separate brand and they began producing the Packard Executive. The whole Clipper rebranding did not go well, and soon Clippers once carried a Packard logo.
Packard engineering innovations included the "Ultramatic" automatic transmission in 1949 and the "Torsion Level" suspension.
Today's collectors prize the luxurious old Packards with their high production quality and classic style. Nothing really matches the elegance of a classic Packard Touring Sedan or Convertible Coupe, and a Packard Roadster is the machine of a dream today, just as it was back in the 1920's.
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