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 (325,000 m²) plant covered over 35 acres (142,000 m²) 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. The Packard Twin Six was introduced for 1932, and re-named the Packard Twelve for the remainder of its run (through 1939). For one year only, 1932, Packard tried fielding an upper-medium-priced car called the Light Eight. As an independent automaker, Packard did not have the luxury of a larger corporate structure absorbing its losses as Cadillac did with GM and Lincoln with Ford. However, Packard did have a better cash position than other independent luxury marques. Packard also had one other advantage that some other luxury automakers did not; a single production line. By maintaining a single line, and inter-changeability between models, Packard was able to keep its costs down. Packard did not change cars as often as other manufacturers did at the time. Rather than introducing new models annually, Packard began using its own "Series" formula for differentiating its model change-overs in 1923. New model series did not debut on a strictly annual basis, with some series lasting nearly two years, and others lasting as short a time as seven months. In the long run, though, Packard did average approximately one new series per year.
The Twenty-Second and Twenty-Third Series (from mid-1949) cars wore the "upside-down bathtub" styling that was briefly in vogue in the late 1940s. Unfortunately for Packard, Nash and Hudson, the three manufacturers who embraced this type of styling, General Motors introduced designs that were lower-slung, more tightly-drawn and less bulbous at around the same time. GM's designs quickly caught the buying public's fancy, while the "bathtubs" quickly fell from favor. Following a round of bitter corporate infighting in 1949, Packard management finally decided to phase out the "bathtubs" and create the all-new Twenty-Fourth Series for 1951. The new "high-pockets" design (so called because of its high beltline) was much more modern and impressive. However, Packard continued to push hard into the lower end of the mid-priced field with its new "200" and "250" models, which was dominated at the time by Oldsmobile, DeSoto and others. James J Nance became the company's president in 1952, and he immediately set to work on divorcing the lower-priced cars from the higher-end Packards. To this end, he decreed that the 200 and 250 would be consolidated into a new line of Clippers for 1953. Nance originally had hoped to introduce the new "Clipper" as a stand-alone marque, targeting the mid range price field which he felt was dragging the Packard image down. When word was leaked to the Packard dealer network that they would be losing their best selling Packard model to "Clipper", they balked. As an appeasement, Nance rolled the Clipper out as a Packard, and worked to transition the cars toward their own make.
In 1954 The Senior Packard was positioned above the Mayfair and Clipper and featured the legnedary 356 9 main bearing Straight 8 Arguably the best motor Packard ever made. These cars are great performers and reflect the very high build quality Packard had become famous for. Very few of these cars were made in the first place due to their high price and very few survive-
This is a very rare car.
This exceptional example has been professionally restored to top show standards, and has won Awards at major Shows Across the Country. Everything was completely redone-all mechanical components, all new paint, interior, chrome, top, wiring, etc. etc. literally everything-this is effectively a new or remanufactured car. This was a nut and bolt ground up professional restoration, completed within the last 5 years. The car has covered very few miles since, and still is quite fresh. The seller has way over $125,000 in the car but wants to sell it and has told us to "just find it a new home- My loss their gain"
This is without a doubt the finest 1954 Senior Packard Convertible on the market today and represents a rare opportunity for the discerning collector to add such an example to his collection.