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Packard Assembly

This photo from the Packard plant reminded me of something that I read years ago about when Packard had to bring  a lower price car to the marketplace so that they could sur-vive. This was during the depression when they made the decision to bring out the one fifteen and one twenty models.

Packard did not know how to mass produce cars in large scale production as the volume makers did. Management had to bring in outside help from the other automakers who they referred to as the bucket shops. It was kind of an underhanded remark as a way of calling their goods inferior tin buckets. These specialists they had to bring in, knew how to make parts in large quantities at low prices, something Packard did not know how to do.

This photo above brought all of that back to mind looking when at this scene on the line where the nose of the car was assembled.  Photo dated 8/1/1941

2 responses to “Packard Assembly

  1. Go easy on Packard. It’s true they brought a few GM production men in to help them build the new 120 debuting 1935. But the 120 was inevitable, as were the other “pocket luxury cars” of the late ’30s as the performance between lower-priced cars and traditional luxury fare narrowed. From 1936-on, all Cadillacs were downsized, essentially junior cars, sharing increasing components with lesser GMobiles. Rolls-Royce began dismantling a new Buick Limited annually to glean the latest Detroit production tips.
    The Packard 120 was actually a terrific car, with hydraulic brakes and i.f.s. two years before the senior Packards, which then used the 120’s front suspension design, as did, nut for bolt, the postwar R-R/Bentley, and as a rear suspension, Lagonda.
    Consumers Reports every year rated the 120 the best buy in its price class.
    As for the Packard Clipper, it was neither junior nor senior, and priced squarely in the midst of the 1941 “Lexus” market of Buick Roadmaster, Cadillac Series 61, Chrysler New Yorker, Lincoln Zephyr. From 1942-47 there was a junior Clipper with shorter hood and front fenders, but the senior Clipper retained the introductory model’s 127″ wb, and postwar, a limousine version.
    BTW, regardless the date on the above photo, the junior Clippers on the line are postwar, per their thicker grille bars.

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