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The Last Packard

June 2024
1min read

Brock Yates’s nostalgia-laden tribute to the U.S. auto industry of the 1950s (October) was a refreshing, welcome commentary. Mr. Yates embodies many of the best qualities of automotive journalism, and 1 am a long-time admirer of his work, but there was one statement that should be corrected: “Once-proud Packard ended production in 1962. …”

Production of the large, luxury cars that created the Packard legend stopped in 1956 at Packard’s Detroit production facility. During 1957–58 several hundred “Packardbakers,” heavily optioned Studebaker Hawks with Packard nameplates, were manufactured at Studebaker’s South Bend facilities in an effort to keep the Packard name alive.

In 1958 this Studebaker-cloned Packard was discontinued because of dismal sales—the last time the Packard name ever appeared on a production vehicle. Mr. Yates was probably referring to the April 26, 1962, annual meeting of the StudebakerPackard Board of Directors, when the Packard name was officially dropped from the corporate logo.

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