Search Results for: packard
Glen S. Cook & Son, Commercial Photographers of Albany, New York were practicing their craft on these big top-of-the-line 23rd Series 1949 Custom Eight sedans, very possibly at the L.R. Mack Agency, in these undated photographs. Mack had been the distributor for Packard automobiles in Albany, N.Y. and the surrounding territory for many years, opening up around 1914 and closing the doors for good in 1949, so Cook might very well have been unwittingly documenting the last gasp of that long lived dealership.
These big Customs, with their 160 horsepower, nine main bearing, 356 cubic inch straight eights were smooth and strong runners. Perhaps Mr. Mack saw the handwriting on the wall when he bailed out of the business, as sales figures for the 23rd Series cars took a serious tumble the following year. Coincidently, there is still a company doing business as Glen S. Cook Commercial Photographers in the Albany area. Photos courtesy of Jerry Lettieri.
To us at The Old Motor, nothing evokes the golden age of antique and classic car building more than the work of the great American coachbuilders. The application of an entire custom body to an existing chassis has become a relic of another age, dictated by the rise of unit body construction in the last sixty or seventy years.
Here we have an impressive First Series Packard Eight, a 1924 Model 143 that was probably an early car built in 1923. Both the yoked drum headlights and the massive disc wheels, similar to those used on the previous Twin Six, mark it as being a First Series car, according to several Packard experts. The company no doubt wanted to use up available on hand stock before changing over to to the new style of disc wheel which carried a 35″ x 5″ tire.
It sports a very handsome Cabriolet Sedan body built by the J.R. Judkins Company of Merrimac, Massachusetts, one of the most prolific and very best known names in the field. Distinguishing features include a foreshortened body, radically (for it’s time) raked windshield, huge sun visor and dual rear spares. Extra nickel plating can also be seen on the headlight forks, center rim flanges and possibly the tire rims, as well. These additional touches may indicate that it was either ordered this way by a customer or it was a Packard of Judkins show or promotional car.
Note the Massachusetts dealer (or manufacturer) plate in the top photo and the embossed “Judkins” lettering in the shadow under the car in both shots. We believe that this identifies these images as originating at the Judkins factory. Photos courtesy of Jerry Lettieri.
Automotive Industries magazine did a large spread on the Packard with it’s new Eight-in-Line engine in the June 14, 1923 issue. Full details can be found (above) covering both the new 357.94 cubic inch engine and four wheel brakes. Note the differences between the standard body styles shown and the custom Judkins creation pictured above.
A very detailed cutaway drawing of the new, nine main bearing, L-head straight eight can be seen (below).
The Packard Motor Car Company Plant, in Detroit, Michigan, (seen above) was for a long time, one of the grandest examples of an automobile factory in the world. The company moved into its first new and modern Albert Kahn designed, reinforced concrete building on East Grand Blvd. in Detroit during 1903 – 1904. After that time it was a continual process of expansion until the whole complex was almost one-half a mile long.
The photos (above) are all courtesy of the Detroit Free press and originated from the Detroit Public Library. All are captioned in a gallery you can access below, containing eighty-one photos of showing the Packard plant during its busy and most prosperous pre war years.
The Detroit Free press photo (above) taken from the same spot as the (top) photo shows the crumbling remains of the once grand Packard Plant. The situation that whole complex is in, remains very serious and it now appears that the great majority of it may end up being razed. Take the time to view the following links to the Detroit Free Press, were you will see the plant at its prosperous times and today, close to death after being taken off of life support.
The newspaper has has done a very good job of putting together a number of features you will enjoy exploring:
An interactive aerial view showing where and how the complex is currently disintegrating. By moving your mouse over the photos you will see how it looked in the past.
An editorial and a must see video that explains the problems and shows the condition of the plant and how it is being stripped by scrappers, piece by piece.
The remainder of the 75 black and white photos with captions seen (above) showing interesting scenes back when it was in operation.
An amazing interactive gallery that overlays images from the present with an image of the plant in the same view when it was in operation.
A timeline that starts in 1899 and lists significant events in the complexes history and covers troubled years and down hill slide from 1987 to the recent foreclose proceedings by the city.