Tag Archives: Packard
There may have been some snow on the sidewalk in front of the Consolidated Motor Company Limited showroom on this gloomy winter’s day, but things were much brighter inside. A banner in the window announced that the new 1936 Packards were on display. The February 18th date of this photo was very much in keeping with Packard’s disregard for the annual model change that had become the custom with virtually every other manufacturer. Starting in 1923, Packard used it’s own “Series” designation to denote new models rather than introducing them each calendar year.
The 1935 Packard 120 Club Sedan parked at the curb marks first year of that lower priced line. Many credit this modern looking successor to the Light Eight line and the later 115 with saving the company’s bacon during the Great Depression when demand for their more luxurious cars declined. It’s style contrasts with the classic proportions of the 1933 or 1934 coupe directly in front of it. Packard’s rich history has made it a favorite subject for us here at The Old Motor, where you’ll find almost sixty pages of posts devoted to the brand. Our photo by Stuart Thomson is courtesy of the City of Vancouver.
While Ford, GM and Chrysler each produced a line of trucks they could use to deliver their cars, the independents did not. Our photo today shows a clean looking Cassens Auto Transport 1951 or ’52 Dodge tractor hauling four 1952 Packards on a stylish MHS “Clipper” trailer. These big Dodges used gasoline burning flathead sixes of 331, 377 and 413 cubic inches and often were equipped with twin carburetors and dual exhausts. Horsepower ranged from 137 in the 331 up to 171 in the 413 and all produced more than an adequate amount of torque.
George Cassens was a pioneer in the field of car transport by truck. From the ‘teens through the thirties’ he and his sons Arnold and Albert operated agencies selling Reo, Hudson, Essex, Dodge and Plymouth. While it was the custom back then for cars to be delivered by rail, Cassens was dissatisfied with that arrangement and had his sons begin stiff hitching his new Hudsons home from the factory in the twenties.
Soon after securing a Dodge-Plymouth franchise in 1933, he ordered his first truck and two car trailer to bring home the merchandise from Detroit, a distance of over 500 miles. Through the ups and downs of the economy, the Great Depression and the Second World War, Cassens Auto Transport thrived, eventually becoming a primary contractor for Dodge in the Midwest and a major national carrier. The photo is courtesy of Joe Sonderman and you will find many Route 66 related articles with photos from the Joe Sonderman Collection on The Old Motor. Also, take a moment to check out Joe’s new book, Route 66 in Texas.
- Famous golfer Gene Sarazen and his wife with company president Alvan Macauley, Sr. at the Packard offices in Detroit.
Big cars and sports stars go together like caviar and crackers, and it’s been that way for a very long time. In his day, Gene Sarazen, a.k.a “The Squire”, was as well known as Tiger Woods is today as befits a player who won all the major championships in his lifetime, the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, the Masters and the British Open. With that fame and fortune came this perk, a Dietrich-bodied Ninth Series 1932 Packard 906 Custom Twin Six convertible sedan. In 1931 Macauley brought custom coachbuilding in house but Dietrich still built a few of their V-windshield “Individual Customs” in several different body styles as we see here.
Above we see Sarazen and Macauley admiring the power plant that moved the almost 5300 pound, 147.5-inch wheelbase beauty down the road. It was the last time that the twelve cylinder cars would be designated “Twin Six”, although Packard would continue to use the 445 cubic inch 160 horsepower engine for the next two years. The engine featured a Stromberg downdraft carburetor with an automatic choke and was backed up by three-speed synchromesh transmission. Another luxurious touch was four-wheel adjustable vacuum assisted brakes. You’ll find many more Packard postings on The Old Motor. The Photos from the Rod Blood Collection are courtesy of the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.
A rare sight today is an unmodified Willys 77. Rarer still would be a panel truck or sedan delivery like the two seen above in this August 20, 1936 photo shot at Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park in Vancouver, B.C. The Packard parts chaser on the right and in the right thumbnail (below) appears to wear factory coachwork, while the other has a decidedly British look to it. Although the arched side window and raised roof echo designs from across the pond, we suspect it’s the product of a Canadian firm. Any input from our readers about it’s origins would be most welcome.
The article from the January 7, 1933 issue of Automotive Industries that starts in the center thumbnail (above) and is continued below goes into great detail about the mechanical features of this little economy car, not the least of which is it’s all-steel body construction. Also of note is their description of the six cylinder Willys 99, a model that we were previously unaware of.
You can learn more about the Willys 77 designer Amos Northup and his other work on Hemmings Daily. Today’s image by Stuart Thomson is courtesy of the City of Vancouver. Many more photos of the 1933-1936 Willys Model 77 can be seen in the photo gallery at the Willys-Overland Knight Registry.
Just about 40 miles west of Flagstaff on old Route 66, Williams, Arizona might not have been big enough to rate a mention in that famous tune, but they sure were up to date when it came to neon signage. Almost every business along this stretch had invested in this flashy lighting system and we can only imagine how bright his scene must have appeared in full color. The famous Packard dealer, Earl C. Anthony, bought the first neon signs seen in this country from George Claude’s French company, “Claude Neon”, in 1923.
After losing ground to more modern technology for many decades, this colorful method of illumination has enjoyed a popular revival in recent years. You can see a brief video history of the neon sign in the video just below. Top photo courtesy of the Joe Sonderman Collection and the video is courtesy CBS Sunday Morning.
Just the other day we did a post showing this 1932 Packard Twelve Coupé Sportive by Fernandez & Darrin, along with the Greta Garbo Duesenberg. Readers Robbie Marenzi and Randy Ema were the first to be able to identify the coachbuilder and Dave Mitchell was nice enough to send us two more photos of this exquisite creation and the name of M. Bendahan, who may have been the first owner.
With this pair of photos further details come to light on this French creation; A set of the large-sized Woodlites used as driving lights, the full details of the applied bright trim work on the front fenders and belt-line, and the solenoid-actuated trafficators, inserted into the pillar just behind the door.
The concours entry number seen in the windshield (below) is different than in the earlier photos, which tells us this may have been at a different event. Can any of our readers tell us more about this Packard and if by any chance it has survived?