August 13, 1898 – James Packard buys a Winton, and hates it.

On this day in 1898 James Packard purchased a Winton Automobile, the 12th one of the make produced. Packard found himself dissatisfied with the purchase and went directly to Alexander Winton to offer suggestions for improvement, all of which went ignored. Packard decided he could build a better car than Winton and on November 6, 1899 the first Packard automobile rolled off the assembly line in Warren, Ohio. In September 1900 the Ohio Automobile Company was founded to produce Packards, but the quick success of the name led the people in charge to simply change the name to Packard Motor Car Company on October 13, 1902. While many automobiles were selling between $500 and $1,500 James Packard decided to focus on luxury in order to compete with high end brands in the US and beyond, such as Mercedes and Rolls-Royce. The starting price for a Packard was $2,600. Throughout the Great Depression the cars remained popular with movie stars, royalty and others of great wealth. The company remained successful into the 1950s when an economic recession hit the company hard. In the mid 1950s after much negotiation Packard merged with Studebaker, with the first merger models hitting the streets for the 1955 model year. The merger, the recession and increasing price wars amongst the Big Three drastically hurt Packard. The last one would roll off the assembly line in 1958, with hardly a shadow of the luxury the brand once represented. 1916 Packard Twin Six – By Lars-Göran Lindgren Sweden – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.01932 Ninth Series De Luxe Eight Model 904 Limo – By Lars-Göran Lindgren Sweden – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.01958 Packard By User Morven on en.wikipedia

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