By the 1950s, the magnificent V-16s, V-12s, and straight-eights of the 1920s through 1940s that we covet today as marvels of American engineering and manufacturing were anachronisms—as exciting as stale bread. Pity poor Packard. While it and Pontiac became the last manufacturers of the American L-head straight-eight, Packard’s situation was mostly the result of general malaise and bad luck. But late in the game, Packard’s future depended on those antiquated straight-eights until it could develop a V-8 to keep up with the Joneses.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/02/16/the-last-american-straight-eight