Packard was founded by brothers James Ward Packard , William Doud Packard and his partner George Lewis Weiss in the city of Warrne OH. James Ward believed that they could build a better horseless carriage that the Winton cars owned by Weiss (An important Winton stockholder) and James Ward, himself a mechanical engineer, had some ideas how to improve on the designs of current automobiles. By 1899, they were building vehicles. The company, which they called the Ohio Automobile Company, quickly introduced a number of innovations in its designs, including the modern steering wheel and years later the first production 12-cylinder engine. While Ford was producing cars that sold for $440, the Packards concentrated on more upscale cars that started at $2,600. Packard automobiles developed a following not only in the United States, but also abroad, with many heads of state owning them. In need of more capital, the Packard brothers would find it when Henry Joy, a member of one of Detroit's oldest and wealthiest families, bought a Packard. Impressed by its reliability, he visited the Packards and soon enlisted a group of investors that included his brother-in-law, Truman Newberry. In 1902, Ohio Automobile Company became Packard Motor Car Company, with James as president. Packard moved its automobile operation to Detroit soon after and Joy became general manager and later chairman of the board.
The Packard's factory on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit was designed by Albert Kahn, and included the first use of reinforced concrete for industrial construction in Detroit. When opened in 1903, it was considered the most modern automobile manufacturing facility in the world and its skilled craftsmen practiced over eighty trades.The 3.5 million ft2 plant covered over 35 acres and straddled East Grand Boulevard. It was later subdivided by eighty-seven different companies. Kahn also designed The Pacakrd Proving Grounds at Utica, MI.
Throughout the nineteen-tens and twenties, Packard built vehicles consistently were among the elite in luxury automobiles. The company was commonly referred to as being one of the "Three P's" of American motordom royalty, along with Pierce and Peerless. Packard's leadership of the luxury car field was supreme. Entering into the 1930s Packard attempted to beat the stock market crash and subsequent depression by manufacturing ever more opulent and expensive cars than it had prior to October 1929.
This amazing original 160 Convertible Sedan has a known history going back to new. The car was sold by Zell Motors to a publishing magnate in Baltimore, and then passed to Sterling Walsh, a prominate AACA member and co founder of the Eastern Fall meet at Hershey. At the time of his acquistion in 1970, the car had only covered 14,000 miles. The car remained in Mr Walsh's collection for many years and was a regular on AACA tours and meets. This car is believed to be the only remainlng largely original example fo the very few remaining .The car features some very hard to find original items such as the often failing Plastic dash trim, a factory Packard Radio, Driving Lights, and has the patina that only a well kept original car can exhibit. The paint and brightwork is quite nice and the car is at home on the concours field having been shown at important Concours in the preservation class recently. The car runs and drives very very well and will make someone a very nice driving tour car, so one has the best of both worlds- a great driver and a show car all in one!
They can only be original once- this car represents an important benchmark for others to compare when doing a restoration, and should continue to be preserved as it has been by careful custodians it entire life.