Hagerty.com

Packard produced American luxury cars—and grand pianos

The joke made me chuckle, and then think. It had to be wrong, right? Twitter user Karl Hess posted, “In my opinion Yamaha is probably the best grand piano/motorcycle company out there,” which sent me into a spiral while I wracked my brain to come up with a contradicting opinion. Nothing was coming to mind.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/10/02/packard-produced-luxury-cars-and-grand-pianos

Back in the late 90’s my wife wanted a piano to put in our apartment. we went to a local dealer and bout an onl player piano that had the player mechanism missing , but it played great and was cheap cause someone had painted it peach a peach color. When we got it delivered we flipped open the key cover and there was the Packard logo. I was thrilled as I’ve been a car fanatic, and this was great. I eventually striped the paint off to reveal a beautiful Walnut burl veneer. Around early 2000’s I actually got an opportunity to buy a 39 Packard Project. I still have both with the Piano being the better of the two. But I two assumed they were the same corporation and have told many friends as such. Guess I’ll have some explaining to do!

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Weren’t the Studebaker-Packard pianos made in Canada after late Dec.1963? :rofl:

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You mean the Studebaker-Packard cars made in Canada?

Studebaker-Packard produced separate lines of cars for '55 and '56 model years with production ending in July 1956. For 1957-1958 SP sold Studebakers with Packard nameplates essentially.

Alfa Romeo was the best post-war manufacturer of sporting cars and kitchen stoves…

I had read about the Packard Pianos before and said oh no here we go, until I read the fact clearly stated here that they were not associated with Packard Motor Cars. It is often thought Studebaker bought Packard probably because of the Studebaker - Packard Corporation name, but in reality Packard bought Studebaker and poor management let the Packard die off as stated being Packabakers for the last 2 years. Although Studebaker Packard did appear on the cars ID plates into the 60’s it was long gone by the time Studebaker moved assembly to Canada where they ran out of Studebaker engines so the last 2 years they were Studelets using Chevrolet engines!! Sad how 2 great marques just died out, but Packard - Delco lived on with your ignition cables plus other items, unlike the Pianos these were actually linked back to Packard!

I never knew about Packard’s pianos, but…

Yamaha also manufactures fine stringed instruments, drums,
AND both home audio electronics as well as professional audio equipment. I own(ed) some of both.

Yamaha’s own logo is three tuning forks.

Great stuff.

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No, it was meant more as an inside joke to us Studebaker Avanti owners, based on the references in the article.

Also, Studebaker-Worthington Electric kept the Stude name around for another 2-3 decades. In reality, the carmaking portion of Studebaker was more of an assisted suicide, as more and more monies were apportioned to other endeavors, especially buying and building other companies. Eventually, it was easy to announce that the auto division “couldn’t be saved”. There’s only so many different fins & grills you can put on a '53 coupe :wink:

Appreciate someone pointing out the error in the story that stated that Studebaker “absorbed” Packard. Packard was a much stronger company than Studebaker during the merger. Studebaker would not have had the cash or the ability to borrow the money to buy Packard. Unfortunately for Packard they did not realize how badly managed it was in South Bend and especially the situation Studebaker was with the UAW there. Labor costs ate up any chance Studebaker had of long term survival. Having said that, Studebaker Hawks and GTs seem to get more beautiful with each passing year.

Packard should have developed their own V8 sooner, and updated the staid body styles - all prior to the 1955 model year. They didn’t investigate Studebaker carefully enough. My 1830 Packard is an example of quality and class - Studebaker early 1930s full classics are also worthy examples. Studebaker didn’t invest properly in design after the 1953 models , relying instead on “tack-on” glitz. While I respect the Golden Hawk and her sister models, they were not the right marriage for Packard.

You could always put a cork in your Mazda!
Fly your Kawasaki
Sail your Isuzu
Do about anything with a Honda (even fly at Mach 1 and mow; nearly simultaneously with the right lawn tractor)
Eat a VW sausage or buy food from them
Grind your pepper with a Peugeot
Live in a Toyota or Aston Martin
Sew up a shirt with your Toyota
And just chill out under the cool breeze of your Mitsubishi

Alright I’m done you all will just have to google the rest!

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My dad always said that Mitsubishi made the best (pre-war) fighter planes and some of the best cars!

And what about Saab? The car side is gone now but at one time they would feature the fighter jet in the car ads…

@kenk - “Born from jets” is a great line. Almost as good as the cars of that era from the Swedish brand. I’ve always wondered if the planes were any good.