Packard® Motor Car
Providing for the Future
High-speed endurance run by '55 Packard Patrician test car.
A stock 1955 pre-production Packard Patrician with the newly designed V-8 engine was taken to the Proving Grounds to demonstrate Packard reliability and endurance with a non-stop, high-speed run of 25,000 miles or in other words, about the distance to go once around the world, with no stops for repairs. American Automobile Association observers supervised the event and verified the ten-day, 24 hours a day drive between October 21 and October 31, 1954. The 25,000 miles were driven in 238 hours, 41 minutes, and 44.3 seconds at an average speed of 104.737 mph, including only stops for driver changes, addition of gas or oil, and tire changes.
The car was stock except for hood tie-down straps and a pair of road lights on the front bumper.
Day or night the pit crew was ready to add gas or change tires while officials looked on.
AAA officials watch as gas is added, oil is checked, and a new driver takes over.
The drivers spent an average of 65 minutes per driving session with a break of 3 hours before their next shift.
The AAA observer prepares to signify completion of the event with a wave of the flag.
At the end of the run, the car was taken into the Proving Grounds shops where the engine, transmission, differential, and Torsion-Level suspension were disassembled and found to be in perfect condition, with only minimal wear. Packard had proved the worth of its new V-8 engine, Ultra-Matic transmission, and Torsion-Level suspension -- and the Proving Grounds provided just the right place for the event to take place.
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