Tag Archives: Packard
It is not very often that we see an early photo of the founder of a famous car company behind the wheel of one of his creations. It is even more uncommon to see one on his honeymoon. James Ward Packard married Elizabeth Gilmer on Aug. 31, 1904 in Warren, Ohio. Our photo purports to show the bow-tied Ward and elaborately hatted Bess at Panama Rocks near Chautauqua Lake in New York on their wedding trip. The Packard in which they made the voyage is showing evidence of the primitive road conditions they encountered.
The following year, they would begin construction of an elaborate 32 room mansion in the lakeside village of Lakewood, New York. It would not be completed until 1912. A three car garage was added in 1914 and in a second floor machine shop, Packard would pursue his mechanical and electrical interests. He became a legal resident of Lakewood after 1913, was active in village life and a generous benefactor to the community. You can take a closer look at a beautifully restored Model “L” here and see many more Packards here from the Rod Blood collection. Today’s photo courtesy of the New York Historical Society.
Our two photos today show good examples of how passenger car chassis’ were adapted for other purposes. In this case, we have a so-called professional car above, as ambulances and hearses have come to be known, and a very attractive and unusual bus from the other side of the world, below. Coach builders like Henney and Sayers & Scoville successfully made the transition from horse drawn carriages and wagons to motor powered vehicles of this type, often using high end cars as a basis for their modifications.
The heavier frames, running gear and powerful engines of makes like Packard, Pierce-Arrow, Lincoln and Cadillac made them natural choices for this sort of transformation over smaller and lighter cars. The same engineering required to build ambulances and hearses translated directly to custom limousine and small bus production. Although we are not sure of the make of the chassis in our top photo, it looks very Lincoln-esque to us and we invite our readers to offer your opinions about it. You’ll find many more pages of unusual trucks, buses and equipment on The Old Motor. Photos are courtesy of Shorpy.
Cooperstown, New York is best known today as the location of the Baseball Hall of Fame but it had yet to be built when our photo was taken there in the early 1930′s. The town’s location on the south shore of Otsego Lake probably explains the two handsome wooden motorboats sharing the showroom with the pair of 1931 Chryslers and a Packard of similar vintage.
The presence of the bicycle is a little harder to figure out unless the owner of this business saw the need to cater to all the transportation needs of the citizens of his tiny village. He apparently also sold Plymouths, but we have so far been unable to identify the dealership. We hope one of our readers might know it. You’ll find more photos of garages and dealerships from many different eras on The Old Motor. Photo courtesy of the New-York Historical Society.