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Service in Springfield

I believe this interesting photo was taken in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Packard Motor Car Company of New York held the distributorship for Packard in Springfield (as well as in several other cities outside the NY metro area), and we see it on the back of the Indian service cycle. Indians were manufactured in Springfield, and the car at right, with a Massachusetts plate, appears to be a Packard super eight from the 8th series (1931).

3 responses to “Service in Springfield

  1. I think the practice was for the motorcyclist to ride to the automobile owner’s home or place of business, attach the cycle to the rear bumper of the car, and drive the car back to the place of service, towing the cycle. Then the procedure was reversed to return the auto to its owner.

  2. It was common for a mechanic to be sent to repair a vehicle on a service cycle . If it was not possible to repair on site , a tow bar could be attached . The vehicle could be towed to the repair shop . Service cycles were common at one point . They fell out of favor though .Many factors led to their demise .

  3. The story goes that then Indian President, E Paul Dupont, was having lunch with the Packard Bros. discussing the difficulties of having to send two people to pick up a customers car. The year was 1931. Mr. Dupont returned to Indian giving the task to his staff for a solution. The solution was a 3 wheeled vehicle called “The Dispatch Tow” which effectively solved the need for 2 people to perform this task by attaching the motorcycle to “tow” behind the car, thus eliminating the problem. The early machines (1931-32) were built on the 101 Scout chassis and later models were continued with the Sport Scout models from 1934-42.
    The picture shown is interesting because it shows the 1st year Dispatch. Harley followed suit with their version in 1932. Great picture !

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