Packard Motors History Between 1937 And 1941
Although most cars manufactured by the automaker were the Super Eight medium-priced Packard 120 model ranges, it remained the premier luxury car. In a bid to take a bigger share of the market, the company decided to introduce the Packard 115C in 1937. This car was the first to be powered by a six-cylinder engine since 1928 when the Fifth series cars were introduced. The starting price was a little above a thousand at $1200, which, although made the car look affordable for the 1938 recession, hurt the long-term reputation of the automakers as an exclusive brand. The name was later redesignated as Packard 110 in 1940/1941, and it continued to be produced until three years after the second world war.
The company also introduced the Econo-Drive in 1939. It was a kind of overdrive that claimed to be capable of reducing engine speed by 27.8%. This ability could be used at any speed over 48 km/h (30 mph). In that same year, Packard introduced column shift (also called Handishift) to the Packard Six and 120 while also introducing a fifth, transverse shock absorber.
The Packard Clipper also got a new body shape in 1941 as it was made available exclusively as a four-door model on the 127 inches wheelbase of the Packard 160. However, a 125 hp version of the straight-8 engine that was used in Packard 120 was used to power it. The Packard Clipper was a fantastic car in many respects, and nothing says this better than the accolades that the car has garnered since then. Unfortunately, the introduction of the car came incredibly close to wartime such that it could not really make the kind of impacts that it should have made in the market. The Packard Clipper was a car with many pioneering features in an integrated package. Its roofline was a single piece of stainless steel from the decklid to the windshield header and the floor pan just two pieces that were welded together separately. The car adopts pivoting ventipanes inbuilt to the rear doors instead of the conventional three-sided window.
The door hinges on the car were concealed, and it had rotating door latches. The area of glass was wide in this car with double drop low slung frame and the removal of the obsolete running boards. The car had a double link steering design that incorporated the idler arm and crossbar with cross tubes between the Pitman arm and steering wheels which allowed independent wheel movement. The car also featured the Econo-Drive overdrive and air conditioning. This was accompanied by an Electromatic clutch that Packard claimed will simplify driving by eliminating any creep, jerk or slip.
The car was a necessary product designed as part of the Packard recurrent five-year plan that spurred the company to adopt innovative measures every five years to deal with mounting competition and declining sales.