Looking at this Packard in the snow the word Endurance comes to mind, for a couple of reasons.
I’ve been driving by this car for about 5 years, although it never seemed to move from the end of a long driveway (seen here in July 2015 SV image). I never worried about it too much because I’m not much of a Packard guy. I prefer my Automotive Orphan Lunacy in packages marked Studebaker, Desoto, or Triumph. Go figure. However last week I noticed that both the house and the Packard are for sale, so I stopped to look.
It’s a 1955 Packard Patrician, the 55-56 models represented the last blaze of glory for the Packard name. Well styled and technologically up to date, they could not stop the long slide and after these cars the final two years of Packards were rebadged Studebaker models (or PackardBakers). Although the Packard name has not endured, this specimen has. Who knows how many of its 63 years have been endured outside?
Despite the organic growth and some lower body rot it looks like a solid project, glass is good and chrome is decent. The interior is worn but all there.
It’s even a Toronto car, Robertson Motors was a dealer on Danforth street. “Old Reliable” isn’t the hippest of advertising slogans, but maybe that didn’t matter when you were selling Packards.
A quick image search came up of this one from the mid 1960’s, when Robertson Motors was a Chev-Olds dealership. It too has not endured.
With the snow and general air of abandonment, this car also reminds me of Endurance, the ship Ernest Shackleton sailed on his unsuccessful but heroic Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition of 1914. After being caught in pack ice for nearly a year she was crushed by the ice and sank. Shackleton led his men to land, and after a harrowing voyage in one of Endurance’s lifeboats to find help the men were rescued with no loss of life.
This Patrician is also beset by ice, although not in imminent danger of being crushed. I would imagine that it is a possibility though.
$7,500 seems steep for a 1950’s Packard project car, but the OBO gives me some hope.
When I parked my car in the driveway and shot my photos there was no sign of life in the house, and since both property and vehicle are for sale I’d guess an elderly owner has moved on, leaving their former pride and joy behind.
What is really needed here is for someone to step up and declare “I WILL KEEP YOU ALIVE!” a quote from the excellent 2001 movie Shackleton which you should watch.
Hopefully this Packard will endure further to be part of a survival story. I’ll leave the number on the FOR SALE sign as long as I still see the car, if there’s no number it’s gone.
Shot 18-Nov-2018 Ancaster Ontario Canada.