Packard History As It COULD Have Been
In the series, Packard History As It Should Have Been, we reviewed Packard's actual history, author Robert J. Neal's fine Packard History As It Should Have Been as published last fall the The Packard Cormorant and concluded with an alternate ending to what Mr. Neal had proposed. The alternate ending assumed that, as actually happened, the merger between Packard, Studebaker, Nash and Hudson to form American Motors did not happen, but it also assumed that Packard president James Nance recognized the depth of the problems at Studebaker sooner than actually happened and, instead of Packard closing in Detroit, Studebaker's operations were merged with Packard's in Detroit. In this scenario, Packard successfully negotiated with Curtiss-Wright (which had taken over Packard's new engine and transmission plant in Utica, MI) to continue building engines and transmissions and the Clipper became the Studebaker.
Now, thanks to an article at Hemmings, we have found some Photoshopped real Packards that could have been built in Detroit for probably only slightly (if any) additional cost over what was spent on the cobbled-together "Packardbaker" built on the Studebaker President platform at South Bend, making our alternate ending a very feasible alternative. Sadly, it seems that the possibility of continuing to build engines and transmissions at Utica and building Studebakers in Detroit were not explored in the chaotic actual end of Packard.
The Photoshopped Packards we found at Hemmings were done by "Andy - HarborIndiana". We weren't able to contact him for more information, but you can see some of his other work at the link above.
The Packards he proposed would have used the wheel well openings Packard used on the '53 Caribbeans. He adds a formal roof to the production '55 Packards styled by Richard Teague. The result is a very elegant car that could have kept Packard going until financing to build the cars planned for the '57 launch could have been arranged. In this case, the Predictor-based cars would have launched in 1958.
1900 - The H-pattern gear shift arrangement
1900 -Automatic ignition spark advance to give smoother and more efficient engine operation