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The Automotive Chronicles

Monthly newsletter published by McLellan's Automotive History. Dedicated to literature collectors, restorers, museums, publishers, manufacturers and investors who collect and preserve automotive literature
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November 2007 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
Ask the Man Who Owns One
By Robert McLellan
 

Everyone knows the name Packard — older readers identify with their favorite 1930s classic, while younger readers will envision a 1950s model. Packard was an outstanding automobile from its beginning in 1899 and just continued to get better. It weathered the Great Depression while other great makes died. It even found greatness during WWII, building aircraft engines which were far superior to those by our enemies and allies. When the war was over Packard tried to compete with the more mundane products, only to disappear after 1958.

In the early years James Packard believed that talking about Packard was a waste of time, best left to the owners. The story is often told that in 1901, when his secretary asked him for a sales brochure to send to a prospective customer, Packard replied that they had no literature and to tell him to "Ask the man who owns one". The slogan stuck.

Obviously the very confident Mr. Packard did produce literature. Much of it was very elaborate and now commands high prices. After all, impressive literature reinforces the sales pitch to the customer and it lasts longer than the salesman's words. Packard literature does not stay in stock very long and, having acquired a nice collection recently, we wish to display some of it here before it is all gone.

 
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The Automotive Chronicles, November 2007
 
 
 
 
 
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