1951 Packard Series 250

Automobile manufacturers quickly resumed civilian production once peace returned, working furiously to meet demand. Most manufacturers offered mildly updated versions of their pre-war products as they worked on new designs. Packards used a single body stamping for their immediate post-war products, even though they had several wheelbase lengths. Although appearing the same, the models were distinguishable by the levels of trim, the style of the grille, the number of amenities, and engine sizes. The Packards continued to be built to exemplary standards, however, they failed to match the pace of styling change that its customers, and the rest of the U.S. auto industry, had come to expect. The Packards remained virtually changed, either mechanically or stylistically, for 1947 and it was not until the 1948 range was announced that there was a wholesale makeover.

Known as the 'pregnant elephant' or 'inverted bathtub', Packard's new appearance was sleeker, more streamlined, and longer than before and would continue until the arrival of the all-new John Reinhart-designed 24th Series in August 1950. They had larger interiors, full-length front fenders, and the all-new 'Horizon Vision' front windshield that was curved and over five-feet wide. Packard had offered both six- and eight-cylinder models in 1947, but the 1948 Packards (although Packard did not adhere to a model year changeover system - introduced on August 24th of 1950) were strictly eight-cylinder models on four different wheelbase lengths. For 1951, the lineup included the 200, 250, 300, and 400, with the Model 250 resting on a 122-inch wheelbase platform.

Many consider the Pontiac GTO as the start of the Muscle Car era, shoehorning a massive engine into a short-wheelbase chassis. This, however, was not a new concept as it had been done many times in the past, including the overhead-valve Rocket V8 Oldsmobile of the late 1940s. Packard's Model 250 followed a similar mold, by 'hot-rodding' the short-wheelbase of the more modestly priced 200 with the 327 cubic-inch, 150 horsepower engine of the larger 300 Series. Body styles included a convertible and two-door hardtop, with the convertible being Packard's only soft-top model. The coupe had a base price of $3,235 and the convertible listed for $3400. The inline L-head eight-cylinder engine, which was shared with the Model 300, displaced 327 cubic inches, used five main bearings, and delivered 150 horsepower at 3,600 RPM. The Packard Patrician 400 also used a 327 CID V8 but it had nine main bearings, a higher compression ratio, and 155 horsepower. The Packard 200 used a 288 CID and had 135 horsepower. Transmission options included a three-speed manual, overdrive, and Ultramatic Drive.

Packard's nod toward contemporary aircraft design could be seen in the use of 'jet louvers' on the rear wings. Chrome moldings were placed on the front fender and doors, and the front featured a toothy-grille insert and a pelican hood mascot. Fender skirts enclosed the rear wheels.

Packard produced slightly more than 100,000 cars in 1951, with the 250 Series being the most exclusive with just 2,460 units built accounting for just under five percent of total production.

by Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2005

Related Reading : Packard 250 History

The Packard 250 was produced from 1951 through 1952 with just 9,841 examples produced. 4,640 were built in the first year. It shared the same basic body and wheelbase as the 200 but came equipped with Packards larger 327 cubic-inch 8-cylinder inline engine. Both the 200 and 250 Series were Packards least expensive model range and rode on a short wheelbase. These Junior cars were separated from....
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Similarly Sized Vehicles
from 1951

1951 Packard Series 250 Vehicle Profiles

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1951 Series 250
1951 Packard Series 250 Price Range: $3,235 - $3,390

Other 1951 Packard Models
$2,300 - $2,615


122.00 in.
8 cyl., 327.00 CID., 150.00hp
$3,235 - $3,390
122.00 in.
8 cyl., 327.00 CID., 150.00hp
$3,295 - $3,450

Industry Production

1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)10,353
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)55,247
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)31,291
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)90,252
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)69,988
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)100,713
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)42,627
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)116,955
1948Chevrolet (696,449)Ford (430,198)Plymouth (412,540)92,251
1947Chevrolet (671,546)Ford (429,674)Plymouth (382,290)51,086
1946Ford (468,022)Chevrolet (398,028)Plymouth (264,660)30,793

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