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PACKARDS

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Comments

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,595
    The Chevy smallblock also ended up being overly heavy. Low reciprocating mass, yes, but the entire engine was still pretty chunky. The reason for this is that the original design was too fragile, so instead of just redesigning it correctly, they just sort of added bracing here and there, after the fact. Supposedly they tended to be weak in the bottom end...crankshaft area and such, even after the beefing up.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    The latest issue (October '09) of Collectible Automobile has an article that speculates on what the 2010 Packards would be like if the company had survived. The article is entitled "Packard for 2010." I've wondered what the models of the domestic independent auto makers would be like today. Anyway, the article is an entertaining fantasy. For example, it speculates that the top models would feature a V12 engine.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,008
    Brooks Stevens had some interesting designs had Studebaker hung on another year or two. I think they would have translated nicely into Packard had it still been around. If you think D3 has union problems, its nothing compared to what Studebaker ran into over the years.
  • I don't see a V12 engine as making any sense in 2010 myself. I would see Packard in 2010 as more of a small volume manufacturer of conservative tastes, maybe making cars for exclusive livery.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    I agree with your comment about the V12 engine, and was about to include words to that effect with my message, but then decided to not include my personal opinion. Even though this is a fantasy article, it's difficult to exclude real world considerations from your thoughts.

    On your second point, since this is just a fantasy, I'd prefer to let my fantasy of the 2010 Packard remain similar to what it actually was; a brand that a not-so-small number of upper-medium and luxury car buyers would choose. Kind of like Lexus.
  • That might be a reasonable dream. Packard was always a very conservative company. Never took big chances but always refined what it already knew how to do. I only commented on the V12 because I was wondering how the magazine could be so out of touch with reality in 2010--but then, they were just "dreaming", so they have a right to spin that any way they want.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,937
    I look at Packard also as maybe occupying the same position in the US market that MB has - especially with the E-class sized cars and above. Usually conservative styling, lots of cachet.
  • True, but maybe without all of MBs over-engineering. Packards in their time were not technically complex vehicles. I suspect their vision was "to be ahead of one's time but not very far ahead, so as to suffer for it".
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,937
    Maybe over-engineered like a W124 or W126 rather than a W220.

    The embrace of V12s and the embrace of a specific radiator shell/grille theme is a nice coincidence, too.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    For most luxury car buyers, over engineering is a positive. For me it's a negative. I appreciate the high quality, luxury, style and driving dynamics associated with luxury models, but don't care for excessive features, some of which detract from, rather than enhance, the driving experience. The new German luxury brands have gone beyond my needs and desires in terms of features. What would get me to take out my wallet would be a decontented A-4, 3-Series or 5-Series, or C or E-Class. Keep the basic quality and goodness, but spare me such things as backup-up and lane change alerts, to name just two of many things I'd delete. I'm not holding my breath.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,937
    Amenities can be fun, but they have to be durable and reliable. Nobody likes a car with a defective air suspension or goofy electronics.

    An interesting new MB would be this - E-class size, high output diesel, manual, high quality cloth or Tex interior, manual windows and seats, maybe a manual sunroof - kind of like a new old car. But given MBs marketing schemes, especially in NA - it's a pipe dream.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    The only item I'd add to your imaginary E-Class is power window. They're hardly high tech. A somewhat decontented C-Class would work for me too.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,937
    I don't mind manual windows - but they have to be a quick crank ratio, no more than 3 from up to down. MB has always had a few issues with power windows - at least through the W210, where regulators are not 100% reliable. If new ones have that solved, I am all for them - esp one touch up and down.

    I don't see a return to a 4cyl C until higher output small engines are in production.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    I have a question for you, fintail, about the new E-Class, which I'll post in the 2010 E-Class discussion of the Future Vehicles forum, since it doesn't belong here (but I thought I could catch your attention here).
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,937
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