1948 Packard Custom Eight

Packard had introduced their handsome new 'Clipper' in 1940 but by the post-war period it appeared to be dated. Faced with a styling decision, they decided to hold something of the original lines of the Clipper and endeavor to make it look more contemporary. While a fine car, the styling results are somewhat controversial. Packard set a new sales record with this model.


by Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2006
When the Packard Company began automobile production in 1899, it was known as Ohio Automobile Company. 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.

Packard had sustained a Great Depression and a World War and was still at the fore-front of vehicle production. Advances in automotive technology and design were making vehicles more and more exciting each day. During the early forties Packard decided to compete in a broader market by introducing the Clipper, a vehicle aimed at higher production but lower cost.

The Briggs Manufacturing Company was tasked with building the Clipper bodies. This conclusion was made after the Briggs Manufacturing Company had stated and proven to the Packard Company that they could produce the bodies cheaper than Packard. Production of the bodies began and the price Briggs Manufacturing Company had quoted Packard proved to be too low, so the price was raised leaving Packard with the extra cost. It would have been cheaper for Packard to produce the bodies themselves.

The sales of the Clipper series were very successful, outselling Cadillac and LaSalle. The vehicles were stylish, durable, and elegant. The body of the vehicle had been designed by Howard 'Dutch' Darrin and sat atop the 120 chassis. The Packard 120 was the company's first sub-$1000 car. It was aimed at stimulating sales and increasing production.

The sixteen valve eight-cylinder engine powering the Clipper was capable of producing 125 horsepower, a rather high figure at the time. The modern body, stylish interior, excellent performance, and Packard quality made the Clipper Series very desirable.

In February of 1942 the United States Government ordered all manufacturers to cease production of automobiles and shift their priorities to war related efforts. Packard began the production of aircrafts and marine engines, ambulance and military vehicles. More than 60,000 combined engines were produced by the Packard factory during the war.

In 1945 the war had ended and Packard went back to automobile production. They had made $33 million through their engine and military vehicle sales, $2 million was used to renovate and update their facilities. Packard was in excellent financial condition. Most of the automobile parts that had been created prior to the war were in bad shape. They had been put in storage in order to make space for equipment that was needed to design and build military vehicles. The storage was often subject to the weather and the elements. As a result much of the equipment and supplies needed to be replaced.

Post WWII Era
When automobile production began, Packard decided to only produce the Clipper Series and abandon the other model lines. For 1946 Packard produced the Clipper Six 2100 and 2103, Super Clipper 2103, and the Custom Super Clipper 2106. The Super Eight and Custom convertibles were added in 1947. In 1949 Packard introduced the 23rd Series Eight and Deluxe Eight.

The Clippers were very unique and innovative for their time. They featured an alarm on the gas tank that would whistled as the fuel was pumped, stopping only when the tank was full. The running boards and door hinges were concealed adding to the smooth appearance of the body. The Clipper Series were also very wide. This not only gave passengers extra interior room but it gave the vehicle stability at speed around the corners. The width was a foot wider than it was tall making it the widest vehicle in production at the time.

For 1948, the Clipper name no longer appeared on the Packards; the models were now known as the Eight Series in Standard, Deluxe, Super and Custom. Within these groups, there were standard wheelbases, long wheelbases which were mostly reserved for limousines. The standard/deluxe eight-cylinder engine was an L-head unit with cast-iron block and displaced 288 cubic-inches. Horsepower measured 130. The super eight had a 356 cubic-inch eight-cylinder engine and it produced 145 horsepower. The most powerful engine in the Packard lineup for 1948 was the Custom Eight L-head engine which had a 356 cubic-inch displacement and 160 horsepower. The Custom Eight was Packard's luxury line which required this powerful engine to carry its rather large and luxurious body. The rear wheels were given standard fender skirts, giving the car a clean and graceful line from front to rear. The front had an eggcrate-style grille insert design with a vertical cormorant or pelican mascot adorning the front of the hood. The price range in this category began at $3700 and escalated to nearly $4900 for the 4-door Limousine.

The Super Eight sat in between the Standard/Deluxe and the Custom Eight, offering excellent performance and style at a reasonable price.

The Eight Series, with names such as Deluxe, Standard, and Custom would adorn the Packard's for many years. Packard had one of the more unique naming schemes for an American car company, with each year representing a new Series and did not follow a model year changeover system.


by Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2007

1948 Vehicle Profiles

1948 Packard Custom Eight vehicle information

Closed Standard Wheelbase Club Sedan

For 1948, the entire Packard line-up was completely restyled. For Packard, it represented an all new look - a complete break from its pre-war design. The Custom Eight series was Packard's top-of-the-line series. The Custom Eight was instantly ....[continue reading]

Closed Standard Wheelbase Club Sedan
 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1948 Custom Eight
$4,865-$20,000
1948 Packard Custom Eight Price Range: $3,705 - $4,865

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Packard
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)90,252
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)62,921
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

Related Automotive News

Honda Honors Indirect Procurement Suppliers

Suppliers support manufacturing and corporate operations across North America Jun 14, 2019 - MARYSVILLE, Ohio Honda recently honored 22 suppliers that provide indirect products and services...

MERCEDES-BENZ 2014 G63 AMG: THE ULTIMATE G-CLASS

The latest technology for the AMG off-road icon the new 2014 G63 AMG impresses with a state-of-the-art powertrain, expressive new design and improved efficiency. All this is largely attributable to the...
GMC PICKUPS 101: BUSTING MYTHS OF TRUCK AERODYNAMICS

GMC PICKUPS 101: BUSTING MYTHS OF TRUCK AERODYNAMICS

2014 Sierra gains fuel economy, quietness from time in wind tunnel DETROIT – The all-new 2014 Sierra full-size pickup truck spent more development time in a wind tunnel than any GMC pick...
Edsel Ford's Speedster Stars at 'The Amelia'

Edsel Ford's Speedster Stars at 'The Amelia'

Edsel Fords continental car, a custom boattail speedster, will take its rightful place in the Sports Car Class of the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours dElegance. In the shape of Edsels seminal...
CHRYSLER GROUP LLC AND FIAT S.P.A. ANNOUNCE MOST ACCESSORIZED VEHICLES AND TOP-SELLING ACCESSORIES

CHRYSLER GROUP LLC AND FIAT S.P.A. ANNOUNCE MOST ACCESSORIZED VEHICLES AND TOP-SELLING ACCESSORIES

Mopar Offers More Than 25,000 Accessories Worldwide Ram 1500, Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Challenger are most accessorized vehicles in North America Side steps, Jeep Wrangler tops and floor mat...

© 1998-2020. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

Conceptcarz.com
© 1998-2020 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.