Sunday, June 28, 2015

Packard Dream Cars at "Art of the Car"

The annual Art of the Car Concours was held today on the grounds of the Kansas City Art Institute. Hundreds of antique and collector cars were on display. This year was quite special in that several concept and "dream" cars was displayed. Notably the rare alignment of four dream cars from the late, great Packard Motor Car company. These incredible monuments of style and elegance from one of the legends of luxury motoring are owned by the same collector but rarely displayed all together in public. So for this round, I am focusing on the Packards, all owned by noted collector Ralph Marano; maybe some others will show up in another post. 
The Pan American

Based on a 1951 250 Convertible, the Packard Pan American was the inspiration for the production Caribbean convertible. One of 6 made.
Based on a "Bathtub" "Pregnant Elephant" 1948 chassis, this classy convertible sports a body by Italian Carrozzeria Vignale. Sleek and low, the pictures do not do it justice. Only the characteristic grill identifies it as a Packard. 

The hood is longer than it looks in the photo. Very well proportioned.
Rear view of the jaunty Vignale.
Fine from any angle, I had seen the car in Collectible Automobile painted red.
Much more elegant in black.

The 1955 Request was a concept based on a production 400 Hardtop. The name came
from the many requests to return to a traditional upright, classic grille. I love it. Would it
have saved Packard if it was put into production? Probably not... but what a way to go.
The rear of The Request was pretty stock '55 400. The bronze and white paint scheme was unique
to The Request.

The Panther, sometimes the Panther Daytona. Another concept sleek convertible this time from 1954. Updated with
"cathedral taillights from 55-56. 
Panther's top is removable. Four made, two known to exist.

The wheel covers are unique to the car and cost a small fortune, or so I was told.

Blogger does some strange things, I could not get the caption under The Request to work without it sending the picture elsewhere. Sorry for the large font.... oh well...

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