Total Production: 1,128 1907 - 1912 The slogan 'Ask The Man Who Owns One' is one of the most famous in American History. It was the response given to most individuals when asked about a Packard. They were reliable, elegant, powerful, and quality automobiles. Their attention to detail and ingenuity were some of the key factors in making the company successful.
The Packard legend began in 1898 when James Ward Packard, a mechanical engineer, purchased a Winton. The Winton automobiles were good automobiles but the one that Packard had purchased had many flaws and broke down on its first road trip. Packard returned the vehicle to Winton and voiced his displeasure. Winton challenged Packard to build a better product. James and his brother William Dowd Packard began immediately building a vehicle. A year later their first car, a one-cylinder, was introduced. They built four more cars that year, and the following year, in 1900, they produced 47 of a Model B under the name New York and Ohio Company, a subsidiary of the brothers' Packard Electric Company, manufacturers of transformers and electric lighting equipment. The cars were simple yet durable. They featured a single-cylinder engine mounted under the seat and attached to a two-speed planetary transmission and chain drive.
On September 10th of 1900 the Ohio Automobile Company, based in Warren, Ohio, was formed. In 1903 the name was changed to the Packard Motor Car Company when it moved from Warren, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan. The move was the result of a majority stock purchase made by investors in the Detroit area.
In 1907 Packard introduced its Model 30 which would remain in production until the early 1910s. It was called the Model 30 because of its 30 horsepower engine. By T-head four-cylinder unit displaced 431.9 cubic inches and powered the rear wheels via a three-speed manual transmission mounted in the rear.
The Model 30 was a very important car for Packard and was a top seller for many years, even after it was joined by a smaller Model 18 in 1909.
In 1908 Packard extended and enlarged the wheelbase and fitted them with 36-inch wheels. The results of this revised Model 30 were designated UA. There were additional body styles such as a close-coupled tourer and a victoria, and windshields were optional equipment. Packard made another bold claim in 1909 by touting this Model 30 UB as 'The Masterpiece of the Largest Exclusive Motor Car Factory in the World.' The claims were justified as Packard was the largest exclusive motor car factory in the world with its floor-space that extended 14 acres and their payroll had 3,200 employees.
In 1909 founder James Ward Packard's presidency was passed on the Henry Joy.
In 1910 the Model 30 UC was introduced. The list of new body styles included a phaeton and a four-passenger tourer. Mechanical improvements included a dry ply clutch which replaced the expansion ring unit.
In 1911 the success continued with the Model 30-UD. A coupe and a brougham were new body styles, replacing the landaulet and demi-limousine. The six-cylinder cars were the big news for the year with production models designated as 1912.
The final year of the Model 30 saw significant changes. The wheelbase was lengthened providing even more luxurious accommodations for its passengers. Side curtains were now standard. The ride and handling were enhanced with improved shock absorbers. In the front were 37 x 5 tires and 36x4.5 in the rear. A spare tire of each size could be found on the right running board. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007The Packard Motor Company displayed their first motor carriage in 1900, at first New York City auto show. Three years later, the Packard's had improved significantly and their reliability was greatly increased. A 1902 Model F fitted with a Packard single-cylinder 12 horsepower engine and automatic ignition advance made the transcontinental trip from San Francisco to New York in 53 days.
In 1907, Packard introduced their first model to have its name indicate its engine power. It was the Model 30. The Packard Model 30 was powered by a newly-designed T-head four-cylinder engine that was capable of producing 40 horsepower under the ALAM system. The engine had a 5-inch bore and a long 5.5-inch stroke. It displaced 432 cubic-inches and was advertised as making 30 brake horsepower.
The new engine was designed to carry the long, large, and heavy coach-bodys which were becoming more popular with the wealthy. The engine, itself, required a longer wheelbase chassis to accommodate its size. The drive was through an unusual expanding band clutch with a three-speed transmission to a live rear axle. This setup was in favor of the prior configuration of transverse leaf springs which had been abandoned the previous year with the Model S. Now, the front and rear was given semi-elliptical leaf springs. Redundant braking on the rear wheels was provided by both expanding shoe and contracting band brakes.
During its introductory year, over 1,300 examples were sold. It was an immediate success for the Packard Company. It was a very versatile vehicle, offered in two-wheelbase sizes and several body styles to accommodate a diverse clientele. The Touring, Limousine, and Landaulette coachwork rode on a 122-inch wheelbase while the Sporting Runabout and Gentleman's Roadster rode atop a shorter 108-inch wheelbase. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2019