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Thursday, December 12, 2013

PACKARD MOTOR CAR COMPANY

                        OR THE FIVE? LIVES OF THE PACKARD MOTORCAR COMPANY!
                   This may have been the last and grandest attempt at reviving one of my favorite marques!







Roy Gullickson, B.Sc. M.E. President and Chairman, is responsible for overall direction and management of the Company. In 1995, Gullickson purchased the rights to the Packard name, and by 1998 had built a V-12 powered luxury sedan prototype. When financial backers failed to materialize, Gullickson abandoned the project and announced May 10 of 2007 that Packard Motor Car Company was for sale. Assets would include the Packard car name trademark, the Packard V-12 running prototype, engineering data, photo files, spare parts and tooling.Gullickson's all-aluminum Packard is equipped with all-wheel drive, disk brakes and a massive V-12 from Ryan Falconer Industries that heaves out 440hp. With dimensions similar to those of a Cadillac DeVille, the new Packard looks enormous but weighs only 3,748 pounds. Gullickson claims it can get from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds and will be priced at $160,000. Although he claims to have had orders for 70 cars, Gullickson had failed to raise the $10 million needed to build his first batch of 10 to 12 cars, priced at $160,000 apiece. And he's managed to alienate himself from a major portion of his potential customers by sending cease-and-desist letters to anyone using the Packard logo on their website or parts business.The Packard brand was active from 1899 through 1958, and sold more cars than Cadillac and Lincoln during 20 of 21 model years from 1925 through 1949.Supposedly, Gullickson was seeking to sell his interest at an asking price of $1.5 million.
He even tried to sell the company, or seek investors, on eBay in 2000 through noted classic car auction affiliate Kruse International. The auction drew five bidders, the highest a $275,000 late hour offer, which was well below his secret reserve price.“Ask the Man Who Owns One” Notice the distinctive Packard grille shape?
Well you can ask the man that owns the one and only! I will only touch on the history of Packard since I wanted to focus on what happened after the name died off. "The Packard Motor Car Company was founded in 1899 in Warren, Ohio as the New York & Ohio Automobile Company. James Ward Packer founded the company after purchasing a Winton in 1898, with which he was extremely unsatisfied. When he brought the car back to Winton, they told him that if he was so smart he could build a car himself. James Ward Packer built the first Packard car with his brother in their electric bell and lamp factory. They also had help from two men they poached from Winton. The first car was complete in November of 1899. The first advertisement to use the slogan, “Ask the man who owns one,” came in October of 1901. By the time this ad came out, Packard already had a prestigious owner on its side in New York millionaire William D. Rockefeller. Mr. Rockefeller previously drove Winton cars." Ok we established packard Motor Cars, but we need to talk about this too!
The Packard Electric Company was formed in Warren, Ohio, in 1890 and initially produced incandescent light bulbs. Branching out to automobiles, it built the first Packard motor car in 1899. The Packard Motor Car Company was split off from Packard Electric in 1902 and Packard Electric began focusing more and more of its business on automotive components. Packard Electric became part of General Motors in 1932. By the 1980s, it was the industry's leading producer of wire harnesses and other electrical automotive components. It became part of Delphi Automotive Systems in 1995. Today known as Delphi Packard Electric Systems, it remains part of Delphi Automotive Systems, which was spun off from GM in 1999. Ever notice this on your ignition wires?
So we established Packard's birth and immortality in some way. Death of the motor vehicles is another short story ending with Studebaker.Packards were elegant machines and most of them were unique in some way, but many would be considered 1 of 1 because often the bodies were custom made by coachbuilders around the world. This meant Packards audience was the rich, famous and even world leaders. This began the downward spiral and Packard's plan to design a more people friendly car rather than the upper scale machine. After WWII when production resumed there was a little floundering until 1951 when all new designed premiered. A few years later they merged with Studebaker and the Packard kind of lost its identity, the last few years of Packard were doctored Studebakers although the 58 models were quite stylish. It was over as 1958 ended Packard production. Studebaker gone by 1966. I will do another blog about Packards themselves later.I will look at Studebaker later on.
                                                   R.I.P. PACKARD MOTOR CARS!
YES SIR THAT IS A PACKARD COFFIN!
NOT REALLY, ITS A VERY GOOD PHOTOSHOP,LOL!


                                          
It would seem the Packard name and image was so strong a release of model car kits in a series designed by Virgil Exner of Chrysler Forward look fame touted revival of many of the classic marques and of course Packard was represented! I bumped into this up in Illinois in November! NO THIS IS NOT A PIMP MOBILE!
C. Budd Bayliff, was a huge Packard enthusiast who purchased the rights to the Packard name and trademarks in 1978 and soon introduced a line of Packard Custom Sedan and Coupe replicars based on late-model GM passenger cars at his 2100 Harding Highway shop in Lima, Ohio. His replicars ranged from simple cosmetic changes to elaborate body modifications such as new front and rear body structures with early-1930s style clamshell front fenders with side-mounts and a separate trunk. The front ends of some of Bayliff's modern Packards look remarkably like those found on the 1970 Stutzes and are often mistaken for them at car shows. In 1992 C. Bud Bayliff sold the Packard name and trademark to Canadian millionaire Roy Gullickson for an estimated $50,000. By 1996 Gullickson had developed his own full-size model for a modern Packard, inspired by the 1941 Packard Clipper sedan. Over the next two years he and five engineers and technicians (plus a stylist from the original company) pounded out a handcrafted working prototype at a cost of $800,000. Thats the car up at the top of this page! The Bayliff models varied and although some were gaudy, a few kind of looked sleek and sporty! 1979-1982? Although it looks like Bayliff's popped up into the mid 90's? I am not sure what this next one is although thought to be a Bayliff?
Even Fords and Mercurys popped up. 

                                                       This one below was built for John Wayne.
Someplace in the middle of the Bayliff ERA another Packard attempt at revival popped up built on a Toyota Cressida Chassis in 1984 as a Paragon and there is not much info about its history.
             Offered by Paragon Motor Coach, part of the Pactran Developing Group of San Marcos CA.
So what is this all about? These are Russian built ZiL Limos used by leaders of that country and although not true rumor was tooling was sold to build a Soviet Packard. In reality Stalin wanted the cars to have the Packard look so they copied it! Even the 1st one here copies a 55 Packard 400 (below), grille and headlamp bezels right from that car!
Roy Gillickson today still has failed to sell the prototype Packard 12 and rights to the name. Something remarkable occurred recently as two Lebanese brothers from Australia took the flare of those 1930's luxury cars and developed a hand built super luxury car being produced in Indonesia and they can't keep up with the orders. It uses a 6.1 litre Chrysler HEMI and it is obvious the grille was influenced by the Packard. This is what Mr. Gillickson was trying to do,I guess? Take a look at the Bufori Geneva and La Joya from these guys!
Although this is bizzare and a one off custom I could not resist this Chrysler 300 into Packard conversion!
      I am going to do a semi regular blog of interesting production,concept and customized Packards.
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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for the fantastic article. The place else could anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such information.
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  2. I wish I could win the Lotto so I can have enough money to start up the Packard like the last few shown here. Sign....oh well....such are dreams.

    ReplyDelete