Tuesday, February 9, 2016
A cable car is a type of cable transport used for mass transit where rail cars are hauled by a continuously moving cable running at a constant speed. Individual cars stop and start by releasing and gripping this cable as required. Cable cars are distinct from funiculars, where the cars are permanently attached to the cable, and cable railways, which are similar to funiculars, but where the rail vehicles are attached and detached manually.
The first cable-operated railway, employing a moving rope that could be picked up or released by a grip on the cars was the Fawdon railway (or wagonway) in 1826, a Colliery railway line. The London and Blackwall Railway, which opened for passengers in east London, England, in 1840 used such a system. The rope available at the time proved too susceptible to wear and the system was abandoned in favour of steam locomotives after eight years. In America, the first cable car installation in operation probably was the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway in New York City, which ran from 1 July 1868 to 1870. The cable technology used in this elevated railway involved collar-equipped cables and claw-equipped cars, and proved cumbersome. The line was closed and rebuilt, and reopened with steam locomotives.
Other cable cars to use grips were those of the Clay Street Hill Railroad, which later became part of the San Francisco cable car system. The building of this line was promoted by Andrew Smith Hallidie with design work by William Eppelsheimer, and it was first tested in 1873. The success of these grips ensured that this line became the model for other cable car transit systems, and this model is often known as the Hallidie Cable Car.
In 1881 the Dunedin cable tramway system opened in Dunedin, New Zealand and became the first such system outside San Francisco. For Dunedin, George Smith Duncan further developed the Hallidie model, introducing the pull curve and the slot brake; the former was a way to pull cars through a curve, since Dunedin's curves were too sharp to allow coasting, while the latter forced a wedge down into the cable slot to stop the car. Both of these innovations were generally adopted by other cities, including San Francisco.
In Australia the Melbourne cable tramway system operated from 1885 to 1940. It was one of the most extensive in the world with 1200 trams and trailers operating over 15 routes with 103 km (64 miles) of track. Sydney also had a few cable tram routes.
Cable cars rapidly spread to other cities, although the major attraction for most was the ability to displace horsecar (or mule-drawn) systems rather than the ability to climb hills. Many people at the time viewed horse-drawn transit as unnecessarily cruel, and the fact that a typical horse could work only four or five hours per day necessitated the maintenance of large stables of draft animals that had to be fed, housed, groomed, medicated and rested. Thus, for a period, economics worked in favour of cable cars even in relatively flat cities.
For example, the Chicago City Railway, also designed by Eppelsheimer, opened in Chicago in 1882 and went on to become the largest and most profitable cable car system. As with many cities, the problem in flat Chicago was not one of grades but of transportation capacity. This caused a different approach to the combination of grip car and trailer. Rather than using a grip car and single trailer, as many cities did, or combining the grip and trailer into a single car, like San Francisco's California Cars, Chicago used grip cars to pull trains of up to three trailers.
In 1883 the New York and Brooklyn Bridge Railway was opened, which had a most curious feature: though it was a cable car system, it used steam locomotives to get the cars into and out of the terminals. After 1896 the system was changed to one on which a motor car was added to each train to maneuver at the terminals, while en route, the trains were still propelled by the cable.
On 25 September 1883 a test of a cable car system was held by Liverpool United Tramways and Omnibus Company in Kirkdale, Liverpool. This would have been the first cable car system in Europe, but the company decided against implementing it. Instead the distinction went to the 1884 route from Archway to Highgate, north London, which used a continuous cable and grip system on the 1 in 11 (9%) climb of Highgate Hill. The installation was not reliable and was replaced by electric traction in 1909. Other cable car systems were implemented in Europe, though, among which was the Glasgow District Subway, the first underground cable car system, in 1896. (London's first deep-level tube railway, the City & South London Railway, had earlier also been built for cable haulage but had been converted to electric traction before opening in 1890.) A few more cable car systems were built in the United Kingdom, Portugal and France, but European cities, having many more curves in their streets, were less suitable for cable cars than American cities.
Though some new cable car systems were still being built, by 1890 the cheaper to construct and simpler to operate electrically-powered trolley or tram started to become the norm, and eventually started to replace existing cable car systems. For a while hybrid cable/electric systems operated, for example in Chicago where electric cars had to be pulled by grip cars through the loop area, due to the lack of trolley wires there. Eventually, San Francisco became the only street-running manually operated system to survive—Dunedin, the second city with such cars, was also the second-last city to operate them, closing down in 1957.
In the last decades of the 20th century cable traction in general has seen a limited revival as automatic people movers, used in resort areas, airports (for example, Toronto Airport), huge hospital centers and some urban settings. While many of these systems involve cars permanently attached to the cable, the Minimetro system from Poma/Leitner Group and the Cable Liner system from DCC Doppelmayr Cable Car both have variants that allow the cars to be automatically decoupled from the cable under computer control, and can thus be considered a modern interpretation of the cable car.
The cable is itself powered by a stationary motor or engine situated in a cable house or power house. The speed at which it moves is relatively constant depending on the number of units gripping the cable at any given time.
The cable car begins moving when a clamping device attached to the car, called a grip, applies pressure to ("grips") the moving cable. Conversely the car is stopped by releasing pressure on the cable (with or without completely detaching) and applying the brakes. This gripping and ungripping action may be manual, as was the case in all early cable car systems, or automatic, as is the case in some recent cable operated people mover type systems. Gripping must be an even and gradual process in order to avoid bringing the car to cable speed too quickly and unacceptably jarring the passengers.
In the case of manual systems, the grip resembles a very large pair of pliers, and considerable strength and skill are required to operate the car. As many early cable car operators discovered the hard way, if the grip is not applied properly, it can damage the cable, or even worse, become entangled in the cable. In the latter case, the cable car may not be able to stop and can wreak havoc along its route until the cable house realizes the mishap and halts the cable.
One apparent advantage of the cable car is its relative energy efficiency, because of the economy of centrally located power stations, and the ability of descending cars to transfer energy to ascending cars. However, this advantage is totally negated by the relatively large energy consumption required to simply move the cable over and under the numerous guide rollers and around the many sheaves. Approximately 95% of the tractive effort in the San Francisco system is expended in simply moving the four cables at 9.5 miles per hour. Electric cars with regenerative braking do offer the advantages, without the problem of moving a cable. In the case of steep grades, however, cable traction has the major advantage of not depending on adhesion between wheels and rails. There is also the obvious advantage that keeping the car gripped to the cable will also limit the downhill speed to that of the cable.
Because of the constant and relatively low speed, a cable car's potential to cause harm in an accident can be underestimated. Even with a cable car traveling at only 9 miles per hour, the mass of the cable car and the combined strength and speed of the cable can do quite a lot of damage in a collision.
Sunday, February 7, 2016
I decided to add some navy markings to the craft just for something different.
Between the TV version's first and second seasons, the Seaview miniatures were extensively revised. Dated May 1965 the drawings penned by William Creber (who also designed the Flying Sub itself) stated "modifications to be applied to all miniatures." The number of bow windows was reduced from eight on two levels of four each to a single row of four (actually two with a dividing girder.) This then matched the interior set with the exterior miniatures but with the added detrimental effects of a more bulbous frontal appearance and a reduction in apparent overall size of the vessel. The Control Room, previously located on an upper level, was moved forward on a lower level ahead of the conning tower, to connect directly with the Observation Room, and a large hangar bay was added to the bow, beneath the Observation Room/Control Room combination. This hangar held the 36 foot wide and long, flying submersible, aptly called the "Flying Sub" or "FS-1", implying that there were several more back at the base, which would have to be the case since several Flying Subs were lost to mishaps or combat during the run of the show. Promotional materials published between the first and second seasons referred to it as the Flying Fish, but the name was evidently dropped prior to the start of filming and was never used in the show. It was deployed through bomb-bay like doors. As it broke the surface, its engines could generate enough thrust for the vehicle to take off and fly at supersonic speeds. The Flying Sub was also nuclear powered.
Monday, January 25, 2016
Type XXI U-boats, also known as "Elektroboote" (German: "electric boat"), were a class of German diesel-electric submarines designed and operated during the Second World War. They were the first submarines designed to operate primarily submerged, rather than as surface ships that could submerge as a means to escape detection or launch an attack.
The key features of the Type XXI were the hydrodynamically streamlined hull and conning tower, and the large number of battery cells, roughly triple that of the Type VIIC. This gave these boats great underwater range, and dramatically reduced the time spent on or near the surface. They could travel submerged at about 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) for two or three days before recharging batteries, which took less than five hours using the Schnorchel. The Type XXI was also far quieter than the VIIC, making it harder to detect when submerged.
The Type XXI's streamlined and hydro-dynamically clean hull design allowed high submerged speed. The ability to outrun many surface ships while submerged, combined with improved dive times (also a product of the new hull form), made it far harder to chase and destroy. It also gave the boat a 'sprint ability' when positioning itself for an attack. Older boats had to surface to sprint into position. This often revealed a boat's location, especially after aircraft became available for convoy escort. The new hull design also reduced visibility by marine or airborne radar when surfaced; whether this was a goal of the design or coincidence is still debated.
They also featured an electric torpedo-reloading system that allowed all six bow torpedo tubes to be reloaded faster than a Type VIIC could reload one tube. The Type XXI could fire 18 torpedoes in under 20 minutes. The class also featured a very sensitive passive sonar for the time, housed in the "chin" of the hull.
The Type XXIs also had better facilities than previous U-boat classes, including a freezer for food.
Between 1943 and 1945, 118 boats were assembled by Blohm & Voss of Hamburg, AG Weser of Bremen, and Schichau-Werke of Danzig. Each hull was constructed from eight prefabricated sections with final assembly at the shipyards. This new method could have pushed construction time below six months per vessel, but in practice all the assembled U-boats were plagued with severe quality problems that required extensive post-production work to rectify. One of the reasons for these shortcomings was that sections were made by companies having little experience in shipbuilding, following a decision by Albert Speer. As a result, of 118 Type XXIs completed, only four were fit for combat before the Second World War ended in Europe.
It was planned that final assembly of Type XXI boats would eventually be carried out in the Valentin submarine pens, a massive, bomb–hardened concrete bunker built at the small port of Farge, near Bremen. Construction of the pens was between 1943 and 1945, using around 10,000 concentration camp prisoners and prisoners of war as forced labour. The facility was 90% completed when, in March 1945, it was badly damaged by Allied bombing with Grand Slam "earthquake" bombs and abandoned. A few weeks later, the area was captured by the British Army.
U-2511 and U-3008 were the only Type XXIs to go on war patrols, and neither sank any ships. U-2511 had a British cruiser in her sights on 4 May when news of the German cease-fire was received. She made a practice attack before leaving the scene undetected.
In 1957, U-2540, which had been scuttled at the end of the war, was raised and refitted as research vessel Wilhelm Bauer of the Bundesmarine. She was operated by both military and civilian crews in a research role until 1982. In 1984, she was opened to the public by the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum (German Maritime Museum) in Bremerhaven, Germany.
U-2518 became French submarine Roland Morillot. She saw active service during the Suez Crisis in 1956, and remained in commission until 1967. She was scrapped in 1969.
Four Type XXI boats were assigned to the Soviet Union by the Potsdam Agreement; these were U-3515, U-2529, U-3035, and U-3041, which were commissioned into the Soviet Navy as B-27, B-28, B-29, and B-30 (later B-100) respectively. However, Western intelligence believed the Soviets had acquired several more Type XXI boats; a review by the U.S. Joint Intelligence Committee for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in January 1948 estimated the Soviet Navy then had 15 Type XXIs operational, could complete construction of 6 more within 2 months, and could build another 39 within a year and a half from prefabricated sections, since several factories producing Type XXI components and the assembly yard at Danzig had been captured by the Soviets at the end of World War II. U 3538 — U 3557 (respectively TS-5 – TS-19 and TS-32 – TS-38) remained incomplete at Danzig and were scrapped or sunk in 1947. The four boats assigned by Potsdam were used in trials and tests until 1955, then scuttled or used for weapon testing between 1958 and 1973. The Type XXI design formed the basis for several Soviet design projects, Projects 611, 613, 614, 633, and 644. These became the submarine classes known by their NATO codes as Zulu, Whiskey and Romeo submarine classes.
The U-3017 was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS N41. She was used for tests until being scrapped in November 1949.The United States Navy took over the U-2513 and U-3008, operating them both in the Atlantic. In November 1946 President Harry S. Truman visited U-2513; the submarine dived to 440 feet (130 m) with the President on board. The U-2513 was sunk as a target in 1951; U-3008 was scrapped in 1956.
The only boat to survive intact is Wilhelm Bauer (ex-U-2540). The wrecks of other Type XXI boats are known to exist. In 1985, it was discovered that the partially scrapped remains of U-2505, U-3004, and U-3506 were still in the partially demolished "Elbe II" U-boat bunker in Hamburg. The bunker has since been filled in with gravel, although even that did not initially deter many souvenir hunters who measured the position of open hatches and dug down to them to allow the removal of artifacts. The wrecks now lie beneath a car park, making them inaccessible.
U-2513 lies in 213 feet (65 m) of water 70 nautical miles (130 km) west of Key West, Florida. The boat has been visited by divers, but the depth makes this very difficult and the site is only considered suitable for advanced divers. Four other boats lie off the coast of Northern Ireland, where they were sunk in 1946 as part of Operation Deadlight. Both U-2511 and U-2506 were found by nautical archaeologist Innes McCartney during his Operation Deadlight expeditions between 2001 and 2003. Both were found to be in remarkably good condition.
The Type XXI design directly influenced advanced post-war submarines, the GUPPY improvements to the American Gato-, Balao-, and Tench-class submarines and the Soviet submarine projects designated by NATO as the Whiskey, Zulu and Romeo classes. The Chinese built Romeo-class submarines were based on Soviet-supplied designs. The subsequent Ming class, some of which are still in operation in 2013, is in turn based on the Romeo.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
This is definitely the most accurate Orion III one will find. The kit was made from the original blueprints and painstaking photographic study. When this monster is a whopping 42 inches long. A big mighty tip of the hat to you Scott! If you wish to get your own Orion III kit you may do so here.
The Earth I used in the composites are from the movie.
The landing gear I got from Revell's 1/48 scale B 1 bomber kit and I made them in such a way that I just stick them to the bottom of the model without any harm done to the Orion.
The Orion III is a fictional passenger spaceplane seen in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is a two-stage space shuttle launched on a reusable winged booster. It is equipped with aerospike rocket engines and jet engines for atmospheric flight. Pan American World Airways operates the Orion III, just as it operates the Aries Ib. In early stages of planning for the film, the spaceplane's engines on the back were designed to break away from the passenger section of the plane.
Sunday, January 3, 2016
When researching this model on the ole interweb, I discovered that pretty much anyone who had built this kit always did it in the shiny clean fully restored variation. For me building this kit in the clean restored variety didn't match the character of the car. so I decided to do this kit with a slightly weathered and more used look of which to me is somehow more fitting for this vehicle.
The FIAT Mefistofele (sometimes known simply as Mefistofele) is a one-off racing car created by Sir Ernest A.D. Eldridge by combining a Fiat racing car and aeroplane engine in 1923. The name is from the demon of the same name, and the name refers to the infernal noise emitted from the unmuffled engine, and it was "Baptised" by the Frenchmen.
Eldridge broke the World Land Speed Record on 12 July 1924 with the Mephistopheles, by driving at 234.98 km/h (146.0 mph) in Arpajon, France.
The Mephistopheles was created by combining the chassis of the 1908 Fiat SB4 with a 6-cylinder, 21.7 litre (21706 cc) Fiat A.12 aeroplane engine producing 320 PS (235 kW; 316 bhp).
The engine named Fiat A.12 is a six-cylinder liquid-cooled in-line engine with a bore of 160 mm and a stroke of 180 mm, giving a capacity of 21,7 litre, with variants producing between 245 and 300 horsepower at 1,700 rpm. The A.12 was a rather large aero engine at the time and its dimensions were more typical of a marine engine, but it was efficient and reliable. No doubt Fiat's experience with large racing engines contributed to its success. A total of 13,260 A.12s were produced between 1916 and 1919.
Friday, January 1, 2016
The Willys MB (commonly known as a Jeep, formally as the U.S. Army Truck, 1/4 ton, 4x4) and the Ford GPW are four-wheel drive utility vehicles that were manufactured during World War II. Produced from 1941 to 1945, it evolved post-war into the civilian Jeep CJ, and inspired both an entire category of recreational 4WDs and several generations of military light utility vehicles.
Advances in early 20th-century technology resulted in widespread mechanisation of the military during World War I. The United States Army deployed four-wheel drive trucks in that war, supplied by Four Wheel Drive Auto (FWD) and the Thomas B. Jeffery Company. By the eve of World War II the United States Department of War had determined it needed a light, cross-country reconnaissance vehicle.
Anxious to have one in time for America's entry into World War II, the U.S. Army solicited proposals from domestic automobile manufacturers for a replacement for its existing, aging light motor vehicles, mainly motorcycles and sidecars, and some Ford Model T's. Marmon-Herrington presented five 4×4 Fords in 1937, and American Bantam delivered three Austin roadsters in 1938. Recognizing the need to create standard specifications, the Army formalized its requirements on July 11, 1940, and submitted them to 135 U.S. automotive manufacturers.
By now the war was under way in Europe, so the Army's need was urgent and demanding: Bids were to be received by July 22, a span of just eleven days. Manufacturers were given 49 days to submit their first prototype and 75 days for completion of 70 test vehicles. The Army's Ordnance Technical Committee specifications were equally demanding: the vehicle would be four-wheel drive, have a crew of three on a wheelbase of no more than 75 in (1,905 mm) – that was later upped to 80 in (2,032 mm) – and tracks no more than 47 in (1,194 mm), feature a fold-down windshield, 660 lb (299 kg) payload and be powered by an engine capable of 85 lb·ft (115 N·m) of torque. The most daunting demand, however, was an empty weight of no more than 1,300 lb (590 kg).
Initially, only two companies entered: American Bantam Car Company and Willys-Overland Motors; Ford Motor Company joined the competition later. Though Willys-Overland was the low bidder, Bantam received the bid, being the only company committing to deliver a pilot model in 49 days and production examples in 75. Under the leadership of designer Karl Probst, Bantam built their first prototype, dubbed the "Blitz Buggy" (and in retrospect "Old Number One"), and delivered it to the Army vehicle test center at Camp Holabird, Maryland on September 23, 1940. This presented Army officials with the first of what eventually evolved into the World War II U.S. Army Jeeps: the Willys MB and Ford GPW.
Since Bantam did not have the production capacity or fiscal stability to deliver on the scale needed by the War Department, the other two bidders, Ford and Willys, were encouraged to complete their own pilot models for testing. The contract for the new reconnaissance car was to be determined by trials. As testing of the Bantam prototype took place from September 27 to October 16, Ford and Willys technical representatives present at Holabird were given ample opportunity to study the vehicle's performance. Moreover, in order to expedite production, the War Department forwarded the Bantam blueprints to Ford and Willys, claiming the government owned the design. Bantam did not dispute this move due to its precarious financial situation. By November 1940, Ford and Willys each submitted prototypes to compete with the Bantam in the Army's trials. The pilot models, the Willys Quad and the Ford Pygmy, turned out very similar to each other and were joined in testing by Bantam's entry, now evolved into a Mark II called the BRC 60. By then the U.S. and its armed forces were already under such pressure that all three cars were declared acceptable and orders for 1,500 units per company were given for field testing. At this time it was acknowledged the original weight limit (which Bantam had ignored) was unrealistic, and it was raised to 2,160 lb (980 kg).
For these respective pre-production runs, each vehicle received revisions and a new name. Bantam's became the BRC 40. Production began on March 31, 1941, with a total of 2,605 built up to December 6. As the company could not meet the Army's demand for 75 Jeeps a day, production contracts were also awarded to Willys and to Ford.
After reducing the vehicle's weight by 240 pounds, Willys changed the designation to "MA" for "Military" model "A". The Fords went into production as "GP", with "G" for a "Government" type contract and "P" commonly used by Ford to designate any passenger car with a wheelbase of 80 in (2,032 mm).
By July 1941, the War Department desired to standardize and decided to select a single manufacturer to supply them with the next order for 16,000 vehicles. Willys won the contract mostly due to its more powerful engine (the "Go Devil"), which soldiers raved about, and its lower cost and silhouette. The design features in the Bantam and Ford entries which represented an improvement over Willys's design were then incorporated into the Willys car, moving it from an "A" designation to "B", thus the "MB" nomenclature. Most notable was a flat wide hood, adapted from Ford GP.
By October 1941, it became apparent Willys-Overland could not keep up with the production demand and Ford was contracted to produce them as well. The Ford car was then designated GPW, with the "W" referring to the "Willys" licensed design. During World War II, Willys produced 363,000 Jeeps and Ford some 280,000. Approximately 51,000 were exported to the U.S.S.R. under the Lend-Lease program.
A further roughly 13,000 amphibian jeeps were built by Ford under the name GPA (nicknamed "Seep" for Sea Jeep). Inspired by the larger DUKW, the vehicle was produced too quickly and proved to be too heavy, too unwieldy, and of insufficient freeboard. In spite of participating successfully in the Sicily landings in July 1943, most GPAs were routed to the U.S.S.R. under the Lend-Lease program. The Soviets were sufficiently pleased with its ability to cross rivers to develop their own version of it after the war, the GAZ-46.
One account of the origin of the term "jeep" begins when the prototypes were being proven at military bases. The term "jeep" was used by Army mechanics for any untried or untested vehicles.
"Jeep" was also used for several types of heavier equipment. In the armor branch, "jeep" generally referred to a 1/2 or 3/4 ton truck, with the 1/4 ton called a "peep." The militarized Minneapolis-Moline tractor was known as a "jeep," named for the cartoon character. Finally, heavy equipment transporters -gooseneck lowbed trucks for oversize, overweight cargoes, were known as "jeeps" by 1940.
Although folk etymology claims it due to slurring of an unused acronym, "GP" for "General Purpose", a more likely part of the jeep name came from the fact that the vehicle made quite an impression on soldiers at the time, so much so that they informally named it after Eugene the Jeep, a character in the Popeye comic strip and cartoons created by E. C. Segar as early as mid-March 1936. Eugene the Jeep was Popeye's "jungle pet" and was "small, able to move between dimensions and could solve seemingly impossible problems".
In early 1941, Willys-Overland staged a press event in Washington, D.C., having the car demonstrate its prowess by driving up the Capitol steps. Irving "Red" Hausmann, a test driver on the Willys development team who had accompanied the car for its testing at Camp Holabird, had heard soldiers there referring to it as a jeep. He was enlisted to go to the event and give a demonstration ride to a group of dignitaries, including Katherine Hillyer, a reporter for the Washington Daily News. When asked by the reporter, Hausmann said "it's a Jeep". Hillyer's article appeared in the newspaper on February 20, 1941, with a photo showing a jeep going up the Capitol steps and a caption including the term "jeep". This is believed to be the most likely cause of the term being fixed in public awareness. Even though Hausmann did not create or invent the word "Jeep", he very well could be the one most responsible for its first news media usage.
Willys made its first 25,000 MB Jeeps with a welded flat iron "slat" radiator grille. It was Ford who first designed and implemented the now familiar and distinctive stamped, vertical-slot steel grille into its Jeep vehicles, which was lighter, used fewer resources, and was less costly to produce. Along with many other design features innovated by Ford, this was adopted by Willys and implemented into the standard World War II Jeep by April 1942.
In order to be able to get their grille design trademarked, Willys gave their post-war jeeps seven slots instead of the original Ford nine-slot design. Through a series of corporate takeovers and mergers, AM General Corporation ended up with the rights to use the seven-slot grille as well, which they in turn extended to Chrysler when it acquired American Motors Corporation, then manufacturer of Jeep, in 1987.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Packard was founded by James Ward Packard, his brother William, and their partner, George Lewis Weiss, in the city of Warren, Ohio, where 400 Packard automobiles were built at their factory on Dana Street Northeast, from 1899 to 1903. A mechanical engineer, James Packard believed they could build a better horseless carriage than the Winton cars owned by Weiss, an important Winton stockholder, after Packard complained to Alexander Winton and offered suggestions for improvement, which were ignored; Packard's first car was built in Warren, Ohio, on November 6, 1899.
In September, 1900, the Ohio Automobile Company was founded to produce Packard automobiles. These quickly gained an excellent reputation and the name was changed on October 13, 1902,to the Packard Motor Car Company.
All Packards had a single-cylinder engine until 1903. From the very beginning, Packard featured innovations, including the modern steering wheel and, years later, the first production 12-cylinder engine and air-conditioning in a passenger car.
While the Black Motor Company's Black went as low as $375, Western Tool Works' Gale Model A roadster was $500, the high-volume Oldsmobile Runabout went for $650,and the Cole 30 and Cole Runabout were US$1,500, Packard concentrated on cars with prices starting at $2,600. The marque developed a following among wealthy purchasers both in the United States and abroad, competing with European marques like Rolls-Royce and Mercedes Benz.
Henry Bourne Joy, a member of one of Detroit's oldest and wealthiest families, bought a Packard. Impressed by its reliability, he visited the Packards and soon enlisted a group of investors—including Truman Handy Newberry and Russell A. Alger Jr. On October 2, 1902, this group refinanced and renamed the New York and Ohio Automobile Company as the Packard Motor Car Company, with James Packard as president. Alger later served as vice president. Packard moved operations to Detroit soon after, and Joy became general manager (and laterchairman of the board). An original Packard, reputedly the first manufactured, was donated by a grateful James Packard to his alma mater, Lehigh University, and is preserved there in the Packard Laboratory. Another is on display at the Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio.
The 3,500,000-square-foot (330,000 m2) Packard plant on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit was located on over 40 acres (16 ha) of land. Designed by Albert Kahn Associates, it included the first use of reinforced concrete for industrial construction in Detroit and was considered the most modern automobile manufacturing facility in the world when opened in 1903. Its skilled craftsmen practiced over 80 trades. The dilapidated plant still stands, despite repeated fires. Architect Kahn also designed the Packard Proving Grounds at Utica, Michigan.
Packard was still the premier luxury automobile, even though the majority of cars being built were the 120 and Super Eight model ranges. Hoping to catch still more of the market, Packard decided to issue the Packard 115C in 1937, which was powered by Packard's first six-cylinder engine since the Fifth Series cars in 1928. While the move to introduce the Six, priced at around $1200,was brilliant, for the car arrived just in time for the 1938 recession, it also tagged Packards as something less exclusive than they had been in the public's mind, and in the long run hurt Packard's reputation of building some of America's finest luxury cars. The Six, redesignated 110 in 1940–41, continued for three years after the war, with many serving as taxicabs.
In 1939, Packard introduced Econo-Drive, a kind of overdrive, claimed able to reduce engine speed 27.8%; it could be engaged at any speed over 30 mph (48 km/h). The same year, the company introduced a fifth, transverse shock absorber and made column shift (known as Handishift) available on the 120 and Six.
The endStudebaker-Packard pulled the Packard nameplate from the marketplace in 1959. It kept its name until 1962 when "Packard" was dropped off the corporation's name at a time when it was introducing the all new Avanti, and a less anachronistic image was being sought, thus finishing the story of the great American Packard marque. Ironically, it was considered that the Packard name might be used for the new fiberglass sports car, as well as Pierce-Arrow, the make Studebaker controlled in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
In the late 1950s, Studebaker-Packard was approached by enthusiasts to rebadge the French car maker Facel-Vega's Excellence suicide-door, four-door hardtop as a 'Packard' for sale in North America, using stock Packard V8s, and identifying trim including red hexagonal wheel covers, cormorant hood ornament, and classic vertical ox-yoke grille. The proposition was rejected when Daimler-Benz threatened to pull out of its 1957 marketing and distribution agreement, which would have cost Studebaker-Packard more in revenue than they could have made from the badge-engineered Packard. Daimler-Benz had little of its own dealer network at the time and used this agreement to enter and become more established in the American market through SPC's dealer network, and felt this car was a threat to their models. By acquiescing, SPC did themselves no favors and may have accelerated their exit from automobiles, and Mercedes-Benz protecting their own turf, helped ensure their future.