Posted By RichC on May 7, 2017
Taylor and I joined in with a group from the Mercedes Benz Club of Cincinnati on a visit to the American Packard Museum in Dayton, Ohio on Saturday. The tour group was lead by an informative lecture from a long time Packard historian and lasted most of the afternoon. Surprisingly I never visited the museum with my Dad, although I knew he had visited a few years back with my mom. I wish I could have gone with him (post on the History Channel about Packard).
We learned quite a bit about the well known luxury car manufacturer that began in the beginning of the 19th century and was building some of the best and most expensive cars by the Great Depression in the 1930s. They struggled like all automotive manufacturers and even moved toward a mid-priced “ordinary” car model called the Packard One-Twenty with unique features such as hydraulic brakes and independent suspension. In World War 2 Packard joined the war effort and supplied their excellent engine building to power everything from PT mosquito boats to fighter aircraft.
Production after the war return to their cars, but the market no longer grew for their luxury cars and their 40’s and 50’s style saw more and more competition. Financially troubled, the company merged with the smaller Studebaker who eventually stopped building Packard in the late 1950s and the last mostly a Studebaker Golden Hawk with a few Packard badges and custom body panels … my dad’s, now my Packard Hawk.
Above is a slideshow from our afternoon at the Packard Museum. Below is a short video (before the battery in my camera died) of a “one-of-a-kind” convertible 1958 Packard Hawk that is either an aftermarket customer modification OR a factory concept car (rumor). All in all, a great day topped off by my son taking me out to dinner for my birthday. Thanks for coming along Taylor and thanks for my birthday dinner!