I’ve got a big AI 1975 Studebaker Hawk in the works, but the technology has been improving so quickly that I’m also revisiting earlier efforts, particularly the 1975 Packard Patrician. I think the results are much more successful this time, and there will be an article on that soon.
But because I enjoy experimenting, I thought, “What if I ask the AI to imagine that Studebaker-Packard suddenly had an enormous budget to design an all-new *1959* Packard? And what if I used reference photos of the Packard Predictor concept car and other Packards in the hopes of getting something more Packard-y?”
The results were interesting. For the most part they seem appropriate to the era (with maybe more of a 1957-58 vibe). In most cases I struggle to see anything part curly evokes a Packard, but there are little hints.
The central grille/blade from the predictor is largely re-interpreted as a subtle chrome rib or a Pontiac-like split grille. This one reminds me of an Olds.
Even if they might not be Packards, they’re still fun imaginary cars. I’ve captioned the pictures with numbers to make it easier to discuss them in the comments.
I think this one actually has a decent interpretation of a Packard grille (and nicer than the 1958 catfish-mouth, in my opinion).
That’s just clumsy.
I can kind of see this as an interpretation of the Packard face.
There’s that Predictor blade.
Suddenly it’s 1957?
That’s a big badge.
That’s an interesting way to execute a hood dome. I don’t hate it.
Let’s emphasize the license plate as a central part of our design.
Strong Cadillac vibes.
Impressive fins on this one.
Oh, did you want more fin?
The way that character line in the door angle back is kind of awkward.
The hood dome kind of mimics the traditional Packard grille. I like how the chrome below the fin angles back.
Those headlight fins are a bit much, but the grille is otherwise interesting.
Some clever sculpting to make the fins look taller than they are (though they are still pretty tall).
Hood ornaments designed to impale pedestrians? Nice chrome accents on and below the fins.
I had fun making these, I hope you enjoyed them.
Look at that….a 59 Buick!
It’s learning fast.
They look less of a mix n’ match than the Predictor did!
I like what it’s done with the background cars – I’m sure the one behind P08 is available in the Chinese market!
Need more Predictor blade!
Some of these have a fin only on one side of the car. Not even Virgil Exner would go THAT far! 🙂
Actually Exner did experiment with asymmetrical styling. If I recall correctly, COLLECTIBLE AUTOMOBILE did a feature on development of Exners later styling, including 🤔 one tail fin.
Have to conserve that AI clay and fiberglass!
Most of these vehicles seem to have strong Chrysler and GM styling cues. This OLD Dog 🐕 lover of chrome, fins, and OTT excess finds much to love here! Thanks for this post! Reminds me of Chryslers FORWARD LOOK ads, Suddenly it’s 1960 (from 1957).👍. While the PREDICTER was a Valiant (no pun intended) effort, these concepts are much better. Not sure any are in keeping with Packard traditional styling, but then infamous Packardbaker Hawks had somewhat similar look 😉.
The most well-known (and earliest) of Exner’s single-fin styling exercises was probably the XNR.
Most of these vehicles seem to have strong Chrysler and GM styling cues. This OLD Dog 🐕, lover of chrome, fins and OTT excess finds much to love here. Reminds me of Chryslers FORWARD LOOK ads Suddenly it’s 1960 (in 1957). The PREDICTOR was a Valiant (no pun intended) effort, but not as stunning as these. Not in the reserved PACKARD image, but last Caribbeans were a departure and infamous Packardbaker Hawks had fins. 😉. Has anyone seen the PACKARD REQUEST, pretty much a 56 Caribbean with traditional PACKARD center grille. Was featured on cover of early COLLECTIBLE AUTOMOBILE issue.
Well, the front end of P02 sure looks like a take on a 1958 Thunderbird (specifically the headlight treatment).
The first few of these I can imagine being made and sold, they fit the desired style of 1959 very well .
The background vehicles are really interesting, some look like life sized plastic models .
I wonder if this A.I. thing will ever be able to design an entire automobile and fit all the technicals into it….
Nice work, you two!
Some of these are quite plausible. They don’t reflect much of the Predictor’s boxy shape, so I guess I didn’t think its name was relevant? So yes, they end up being a bit more Big 3-centric than I would have imagined, but they make for good viewing.
P05 is closest to the actual sketches, which would have been horrible.
I still think Packard should have switched to aircraft after WW2. That was their unique skill, and the aircraft plants were the only real asset. Curtiss-Wright “borrowed” the whole company to steal the aircraft plants.
I find P06 most appealing and worthy of putting into production.
P07 looks a little too Studebakery Hawkish and P08’s tentative draft rediculous, except for the appealing lopped off fins of its.
P09’s front clip is a bit too Pontiacish and vulnerable to copyright litigation.
P17 would cause Cadillac Division’s feathers to ruffle.
P11, 12 and 13 aren’t showing up as images. I only see empty boxes
The thing that gets me is the windshield/rooflines seem to be going back and forth between clear Ford and GM designs, but a few of these front ends are plausible. It seems to have gotten better with headlight scale with the exception of P01 which look way too big, unless it’s supposed to be a compact car
Agree with seeing a lot of big three in these. Looking more 57, and 68, than 59. However, I flash to the old route 66 scene form the original animated “Cars” movie.
I don’t really see any “Packard” styling cues in these, as folks mention, they seem very “Buick” or “Chrysler”, especially “Buick” with the very horizontal grille motifs. The only one that really has a ‘Packard’ lineage to it is P04, which has a kinda 1951-1954 grille with the exagerrated oxbow. But “P04” is horrible (of course, the 1951-54 grille design wasn’t something to write home about either). I don’t really see the family resemblance in P03, but it is better than P04. P15 is interesting.
It really does illustrate, however, that “if you don’t get the grille right, the rest of the car doesn’t matter”. I wonder how electrification will modify that, since electric cars can generally dispense with the grille (though they often employ water-cooling for the motors and the power supplies). Teslas all have that “Porche 911” vibe to them, but simply from the standpoint of product differentiation, not every car manufacturer can do that. I would imagine we would get something kinda like.
Seems like AI was really not grabbing much inspiration from the 1930’s and 1940’s Packards.
Very cool. Some look a bit retro and have a ’58 GM feel, others have a lot of ’59 GM, and I see a sprinkling of Mopar in there. Ford, not so much.
A lot of this might have been commercially viable, but there isn’t much in there for the folks that might find the fins too over the top. It’s not easy to out fin Exner and Earl/Mitchell, but AI is up to the task.
I actually like P03 quite a bit, and P10’s side trim would have been an excellent update of the ’55-’56 Packard side trim.
Is ‘Mr.AI ‘ on a Virgil Exner jag today? It sure looks like it.
Some nightmare material in the collection here.
Bad dreams from Hell,and I`m a Packard fan.
I’m attaching an original pencil sketch created by Robin Jones, who was tasked with developing the look of the 1957-58 Detroit Packards. This one was referred to as G-2, but I suspect that was just a working identifier.
Also going to attach a color print of Robin Jones idea of what the 1957 Packard Caribbean convertible might have looked like.
Perhaps your AI program could extrapolate future model Packards using these as a start?
To me this pencil drawing looks more like a ’58 Caddy with a Bunkie Beak .
I like it .
Glad you’re hear to share your incredible knowledge and teach us .
And here’s the beautiful blue Caribbean convertible;
These look more like Buicks and Chryslers than Packards!
This is a genius idea, I love this!