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Packard Entry

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Ryan
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    Ryan
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  2. 46mopar
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    46mopar Member

  3. Chris Casny
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    Chris Casny Member
    1. Upholstery

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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
  4. JeffreyJames
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    JeffreyJames Member

    What a shame.
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  5. Mike B
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    That sucks. It seems to be happening everywhere in the U.S. not only in Detroit, but it probably started there. There are a lot of buildings here in Milwaukee being torn down that really mark an era of quality not only in the manufacturing of there products, but in the construction of their buildings. The Pabst building for example, it's being knocked down. It really is a shame.
  6. Hubnut
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    Hubnut Member

    Crying damn shame. Hemmings said they didnt know if the "well-known" detroit car collector thats auctioning the doorway owns the whole building or just the entranceway. Be interesting to find out. Wish someone could get interior shots of it as well.
  7. 53SledSleeve
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    53SledSleeve Member

    There's a website....I think its detroitruins.com, either way....it shows all of the original auto plant buildings, the central train station and some other former Detroit landmarks in the state in which they are today. Its a shame. It is ghetto here. It looks like the end of the world when you drive through Detroit...always has. The funny part of that site is they show a picture from Detroit in how it looks this year, and then next to that is a picture of Baghdad this year and how it looks....with the caption "after 4 years of bombing and war, Baghdad looks like Paris compared to Detroit". And they would be right.
  8. Ryan
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    I've only been to Detroit once in the past 5 years, but left very depressed. There is something about decaying history that is so unsettling. I mean, that town meant so much to this country during the early part of the century. Getting down to brass tax, Detroit is largely responsible for America's place as a super power.

    Yet somehow, it's all gone now... Industrialism moved or improved or whatever it was that it did... and left Detroit, the motor city, to crumble.

    Really sad and depressing.
  9. Harrison
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    Harrison Member
    1. 1959-1960 El Camino Owners
    2. The Airbag Connection

    I think it's cool that they are at least saving the doorway.

    Too much of this stuff just gets torn down & sent to a landfill.

    JH
  10. Chris Casny
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    Chris Casny Member
    1. Upholstery

    I've travelled all over the world, but the US seems to be the only place I've ever been to, that doesnt embrace their history/architecture/culture as much as other countries, really a shame, because this country has tremendous cultural treasures, that should be kept alive/restored.
  11. Lucky77
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    Albert Kahn was one of Detroit's most prolific architects. Besides the Packard plant he was responsible for the Piquette Avenue Model T plant (1903) where they made the first T, and the Highland Park T plant (1911) that revolutionized the world with the contiunous moving assembly line. Also of historic signifigance is the Albert Kahn designed Russell Industrial Center (1916) built for Murray Bodies. Everything from 32 Ford to 50 Mercs had their bodies stamped at this facility. The Packard plant in particular also had one or two schools, a shopping center and I believe a barber shop.
  12. loggy
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    Cant say i've travelled enough to be sure,but must admit that looking from across the pond i've often wondered why things that 50 years on are looked upon with reverance have often been torn down or neglected/forgotten.....thats' 'progress' for you i guess.........of course,by the very nature of our hobby/lifestyle that brings us together on here we are 'retro' folks are we not,so i wonder if the view of the public at large is different,or simply apathetic.
    Cultural heritage should be protected imo.
  13. Scott Miller
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    Scott Miller Member

    As a Packard owner, I would love to get ahold of a brick from the building. My grandfather has a brick and plaque from the old Duesenberg plant when it was razed in the eighties.
  14. Mazooma1
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  15. Lucky77
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    Detroit suffered through "white flight" and deindustrialization starting in the 1950's. Whites moved out to the the suburbs and took their tax base and industry with them. Minorities were isolated in the heart of the city with limited jobs and even harder to find housing. Victorian mansions were cut up into apartments then flop houses and finally abandoned. Factories were stripped of their goods as soon as they were shuttered. Take a look at Fisher Body 21 on Piquette. They were making bodies for Cadillacs in 1910 (I believe) the place closed down for good in 1991. If you go by there today you'd swear the place has been abandoned for 50 years. One of the walls is half collapsed out into the street! If you want to see a real heartbreaker look to the corner of Atwater and Orleans.

    There's a huge building with "Globe Trading Co." painted on the wall. This was the Detroit Drydock Co. Two young guys named Thomas Edison and Henry Ford both apprenticed there. Now i'ts just an abandoned hulk covered by grafitti and infested with vagrants. You're right Chris, we need to do a better job honoring our history.
  16. kustoms2
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    History and heritage is just like anything else in the U.S. today it is for sale to the highest bidder no matter what the end result is. I hate to see things like this happening in our country because it&#8217;s not just a building to me; a lot of people put their blood, sweat and tears into it. Just one man&#8217;s opinion though!
  17. fiat128
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    Here's a link to some interior shots some artist took & posted to the Hemmings blog.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/paanta/sets/731080/

    I love old places like this. I use to store my 34 Lancia inside the old White Furniture factory in Mebane NC (says 1881 on the outside of the building). I'd go over there and spend hours just looking around and thinking about the people that spent lifetimes inside the building. Found old flat Pabst cans in the basement from someone's "unauthorized break". It looks like brick but the whole thing is held up by 12" square timbers.

    I think it's going to become condos now, which is good I guess because at least some of it will be preserved but it's not as cool as seeing it as it was.

    Ever been to Buffalo NY? Miles and miles of this stuff.
  18. theHIGHLANDER
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    My involvement and interest in Packards is no secret on this board. There's also one of my old restorations in the sale. It's very sad to see what is happening to most of the auto related history here. There's a foundation to save what's left of the proving grounds in Utica, and help from some pretty influential Motown people, but it's a mer shadow of it's former self. Did any of you realize that EVERY Packard V-12 was test driven for 250 miles at Utica before the customer took delivery?

    And it's not just the Packard stuff that's getting lost. Lots of our treasures are leaving fast. I can say that I worked in the old Packard plant in the late 70s for a packaging company. I've been in it a few times when there was car storage there. I've had the chance to drive the test track several times at the CCCA Carnival of Cars, and I do get the opportunity to live some of it daily. No less sad, and certainly can't understand the poor attitude surrounding Motown history as it relates to cars. Of course the latest Detroit mayor doesn't help either. If he wasn't so embedded in the bullshit legal troubles and had his head out of his ass there might be some better support from city gov't. Yeah, right...
  19. wally bell
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    wally bell Member

  20. Jdee
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    Jdee Member

    My first set of 39-40 Packard plastic Yeah me LOL!!!!
    What a pain, those guys rocked with their work!
    [​IMG]
    Jdee
  21. Lucky77
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    If you haven't seen the Packard Plant, you don't realize the size and scope of the place. It's something like 3.5 million square feet. I think it's Concord Street that runs along the back of the facility, it just goes on forever. Here's a picture of the Fisher Body 21 courtesy of ForgottenDetroit.com and one of the Highland Park Model T plant on Manchester Ave. that I took. If you're in Detroit, take some time to explore Piquette Ave. Besides the Model T plant that is open every first and third Saturday during the Summer, there's also an abandoned field next to it that used to be the Studebaker Plant. Fisher Body 21 is right down the street heading east. Around the corner on Russell is the American Blower factory that eventually became Square D of Detroit, makers of breaker boxes the world over. There are Packards stored in that building as well as the abandoned lot across the street. I posted about this spot before. If you Google maps the intersection of Piquette and Russell you can see some of the cars with the streetview feature

    Attached Files:

  22. Asphalt Outlaw Hero
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    Asphalt Outlaw Hero Member

    I had an interesting talk with one of my neighbor's wives.He helps set up factories for a major auto maker.He's in Russia now! He said they won't build anymore plants in the USA.He was offered a gig to set up one in India but he refused it.
  23. RuFFDaWG
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    RuFFDaWG Member

    I shouldn't have read this post! Sad and angering to see what's happening to our historic built environment. Kinda like to kick some @$$ This is not just a big city thing. It's eating up small towns - across the country. Small town business districts die out as the Wal-Mart and box stores build to the sky. "Main Street" that was the identity, energy, culture and life of the community and now they become ghost towns. Traditional institutions of banks, retail, dining, etc are no longer owned by people who live in the community but who live in distant cities. In our town (about 12,000 population) up through the 1960's or so, the banks, retail stores, auto dealers, etc. , had owners living in the town, who once generated and circulated wealth within the community. But now they no longer do so. They act a siphons to carry the money away. Sure, they create replacement jobs but they are mostly minimum wage. The corporation up the food chain gets the gravy. Like a classic "bananna republic" where the poor repressed peasants labor away while the gringos up north suck out all the wealth! Another example: Our local Ford dealer lives up the road 20 miles or so in a "gated community" in a larger city. WTF? Of course the chain restaurants - well who know who owns them? Not local anymore thats for sure. On and on and on............................ When ya get pissed off enough ya might think about not going to Wal-Mart ever again (I won't go there). Kinda a perverse satisfaction is being able to say "I don't do Wal-Mart!". They are not the only ones by any means but just maby the most visible in our town!
    Ya might check out the National Trust for Historic Preservation. They have a good website and have helped in many communities. If ya like to read you could start with the book "Whats the Matter With Kansas" by Thomas Frank who describes one part of the urban decline and the death of main street.
    Maybe thats one more reason to drive old cars? Maybe awarness is half the fight?
    -Ruffdawg
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
  24. dabirdguy
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    dabirdguy Member

    I work in a similar building, in St. Charles, MO. In the 1880's thru the 1920's my company made passanger cars for the railroads. Old brick buildings with 2 foot thick walls and mile high ceilings.

    Most of the place is now warehouses. Some house an Aluminum foundry operation. Part of one houses an Art colony. There are some issues with these old buildings, but they STILL WORK. The difference between here and Detroit is the neighborhood. St. Charles was never allowed to go bad.

    Glenn
  25. Hot Rods Ta Hell
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    Hot Rods Ta Hell Member

    Wow!!! It should come as no surprise though, A once great city, Detroit has been dying (imploding) for years. I lived in Detroit in the 60's (family picked up after the 68 riots) and never returned even for a visit. My Father, Grandfather and Uncles all worked in the auto industry.
    There's an amazing amount of automotive history in Detroit;
    Forgotten detroit is an amazing yet sad tour http://www.forgottendetroit.com/
    Another site; http://detroityes.com/industry/02modelt.htm

    I'm a Packard owner and would also love to have a brick from the factory.
    Somewhere I have a video of Packards 1940's factory rehash that built bodies in one side of the main drag and delivered them via tracks in an over street enclosure to the main assy plant on the other side of the drag.

    I recently did a satellite flyover on the web of inner city Detroit for my parents who were amazed to see their old childhood neighborhoods or rather what was left of them. I happened upon the Continental Motors factory in ruins where the huge smokestack with the word CONTINENTAL was still on it...my Dad said, Jesus, my Father worked there when I was a youngster!!!
    My Dad told me him and his buddies in the early 50's would take their soup jobs down to the Hudson plant. The Hudson's were fast at the time and the final assy would dump the new Hudson's onto the street where a driver would "test drive" it on the way to the storage lot. Dad would wait at the light and challenge them to a drag.
  26. Sluggo57
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    So,So,sad. I work for an airplane engine manufacturing company that been here since the early thirties. Some of the Art Deco designs are really cool. Lately with the movement of work out to vendors (in and out of the country) the old buildings are just torn down and hauled off in dump trucks. Been watching it for the last three years. The vintage tooling and office items and such get dumped as well, and when asked if we can salvage some of the items a stern "No" follows. Such aviation hisory now only is remembered in our older employees.
  27. autobilly
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    autobilly Member

    Surely someone like the Smithsonian would be interested in the purchase and preservation of this significant historic remnant of the golden age of Detroit's industrial might.
    Sad but interesting post.
  28. mcload
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    mcload Member

    I'm just as sentimental as anyone over historic places being plowed over, but just how in the hell do you "save" a big-ass manufacturing plant? Who is going to keep it up to code; keep it insured; keep the roof from leaking; keep vagrants out; and keep the surrounding neighborhoods clean and safe so the rest of us can go and visit a huge empty monolith?

    It's the same with old grand prix race tracks. Many were not able to be saved because interested die-hard groups couldn't raise enough cash to buy/keep the land.

    I visited the Jaguar factory at Browns Lane last year, a few months before it was supposedly going to be leveled to the ground (and yes, I did grab a brick!). But one of the workers at the nearby Jaguar museum put it in perspective, saying that Jaguar has gone through many plants. The destruction of this one simply means another will be built for a new chapter in the heritage of Jaguar.

    When it comes down to it, the things that you and I hold dear today, be them old cars, long-play records, or old manufacturing plants, are not necessarily held dear by others..even immediate family. So let's raise a toast to the old Packard building, and be glad that someone is saving the front door stonework, and that there are plenty of fine examples of Packards for all to enjoy. I think the owners and workers of the Packard plant would just as soon it be leveled to die a dignified end.

    My 2 cents
  29. Mazooma1
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  30. mcload
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    mcload Member

    For smaller buildings like City Halls and old warehouses that can be turned into lofts, heck yeah. There is a monetary incentive there, and the buildings aren't too large to be unmanageable. But a million sq. foot (whatever the number is) purpose-built car plant is an entirely different animal of a much different color.

    If you think about it, I think we (as a nation) do an outstanding job of saving our nations heritage. Just look at the enormity of the Smithsonian Museum(s) and National Air and Space Museums. I don't think there is anything like it anywhere else in the world.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008

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