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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

If you want to buy Packard, ask the man who owns it | Hagerty Media

No, that's not a typo, it's Packard that's for sale, not "a Packard." Did you know that there are holding companies that specialize in reviving what are known as "distressed brands," which is to say, brand names that due to either corporate error or neglect are no longer top-shelf goods?
https://www.hagerty.com/media/buying-and-selling/if-you-want-to-buy-packard-ask-the-man-who-owns-it/
49 REPLIES 49
drjim
Detailer

Unfortunately, it's not a very attractive car.

Reminds me of a Continental MKVII with the mumps.....
CitationMan
Instructor

I’ll agree that the car is an acquired taste, however, kudos to Mr. Gullickson for pursuing his dream. He did many things right in pursing his vision. Would have been cool to see an updated Packard Predictor, though. Ronnie, thanks for this article and also the one on the Predictor.
geozinger
Detailer

You have to give credit to the man for trying to revive the marque, but Packard as a car company has been out of the common consciousness for a long time now. Having known a guy who was involved with the Avanti debacle in the late 80's early 90's, this seems like a fool's errand to me.
spoom
Technician

As a Studebaker owner, I can only say that dead automobile marques are like dead people, they should be left buried. If one absolutely HAS to purchase and use a name from the past, may I respectfully suggest the name, "Bozo".
Tjaarda17
Pit Crew

I had the pleasure to meet both Roy and his wife Barbara and actually drove this prototype in Escondido CA. We helped Roy with some electrical updates and then took the car to a show in Santa Barbara were Jay Leno looked at the car. It was really a nice driving car with great power.
RokemRonnie
Detailer

Are you any relation to designers John and Tom Tjaarda?
Tjaarda17
Pit Crew

I worked with Tom Tjaarda for about 20 years in Italy and here in Escondido. He helped with his great design talent on a few projects including the Shelby Series II. He also designed some special labels for wine the my wife and I import from the Piemonte region of Italy. He was one of the nicest people I've ever met.

woodyambison
Pit Crew

Color may help that car. Lots of Lincoln town car and Bentley cues imho not a bad looking car.Too bad no more.
Cornbinder
Intermediate Driver

Since I was in Packard Automotive Classics during the time of the Gullickson Packard project, the cease and desist order to the clubs killed the project more than anything else. Not only did it come off as a money grab, it alienated a LOT of folks with a LOT of money.
While it's styling was somewhat polarizing, at least it was an attempt at a whole then state-of-the-art car - better than those goofy modified Mercury montrosties from Bayliff.
PackCLE
Pit Crew

Looks like the Gullickson trademark has been challenged at the USPTO. There are certain legal ways to keep a trademark and perhaps the owner hasn’t been doing that. Just “holding” a trademark and restoring old cars isn’t enough. Anyone looking to buy this package should do a lot of legal research and wise thinking first. The Packard community was burned really bad by this endeavor 20 years ago because they didn’t like the car, the plan or the man.
bonephish
New Driver

Ugly styling now looks dated but performance stats are amazing for that size sedan. Don't think the Packard rebirth startup will attract as many buyers as Tesla.
Aquadave
Intermediate Driver

If you like Packards you have to go to the Packard Museum in Warren Ohio. the company I work for has a plant about a mile from the museum and I spent an afternoon there once. Some beautiful cars there. Some from the 30's and right into the fifties, maybe sixties.
spoom
Technician

Absolutely! Great exhibits, great building, great people. Packard stopped being anything but a classic name by 1950, and build quality was third rate by '54 or '55 when they went to a different building for mfg. That left them with a fleet of upside-down bathtubs with tiny fins and no V8s. I won't even bother with the Studebaker-Packard "merger" because there's enough half-truths, scapegoats, bad decisions, labor/manage struggles and corporate motives to fill a dozen books with even half the story. Like Indian motorcycles, there's nothing left of Packard but the name, and it should be left to history with fond memories of some of the best early cars made.
Bostwick9
Intermediate Driver

Great story.
I love this car and the energy behind the brand revival, even though the car itself looks more like a bath tub Packard than the original Clipper.
Mike_E_V
Detailer

Let's begin. The greenhouse is what makes the car ugly overall. The presence is there. The grille is eloquent but the rear reminds one of like a 97 Bonneville or the Nissan turtle car. Would Packard make for a new EV?
Tim
Instructor

Chassis? Check. Power train? Check. Interior? Check. Body? Simply awful, considered from any point in automotive history.

"...could not be considered widely attractive" may be the most understated piece of journalism written about this vehicle. 😁 It reminds me of a line from "A Princess Bride": "You miserable vomitous mass."😂
CarciergeGlenn
Intermediate Driver

In fact, Borgward - a German auto brand dead for over half a century - has been resurrected by a joint Chinese - German effort involving the grandson of Herr Borgward, I believe.

https://www.industryweek.com/leadership/companies-executives/article/22007010/electric-resurrection-...

I, being a Packard fan, would love to see Packard return - even though I'd have virtually no chance of being able to afford one new.
CarciergeGlenn
Intermediate Driver

https://www.borgward.com/

I actually believe they are in production and selling (in China, maybe Europe too).
psmith
Pit Crew

How is this any worse than the bulbous Porsche Panamera, the current visual insult of S-class MBs, or the baroque aggression that is any BMW since Bangle? The current Bentley/RR range is aimed at a demographic who make their fortunes with profanity and misogyny, and it shows. And don't even get started on the current rage for high-margin living-room equipped trucks sold to the unsuspecting consumerist as "luxury SUVs".
The only nicely-styled luxury transport IMHO is the Maseratti Quattroporte; to my eye that's nicer than this Packard prototype, but that's comparing a highly evolved production sedan to a one-off limited-resource prototype, hardly a fair match. The bones of the Packard look good and could have evolved into a real stunner.
Carrying a respected nameplate, totally MUSA, this could have been utterly competitive with, if not superior to, the alternatives.
It's really too bad this didn't work out. If Gates or Bezos hands over their fortunes to me, I'd put a few percent of those billions into this automobile - it could be the last hurrah for non-generic personal transport.
Tim
Instructor

A classic sales tactic is to create a sense of urgency. It seems this was attempted the last time this name was put up for sale, to no avail. I suspect the case is the same today as nothing has changed for the better since that time. One man's failed vanity project is for sale to anyone else who wants a vanity project. The brand's value was market-priced at $50k in the early '90s and nothing has been done to build that value since.
stevecobb45
Detailer

The old Packard's were truly world-class automobiles but their styling later on didn't keep up with their engineering (IMOPO). Studebaker's had styling & innovation but not enough capital to carry it through against Ford & GM. I often wondered if John DeLorean had been successful in selling his $24 million dollar drugs, where he'd be today.
CARDESIGNER
Pit Crew

“That’s because brand equity lasts forever.”
I have to admit upfront that I was unaware of the attempted rebirth of Packard in the late 90’s because at that time I was working on the rebirth of Rolls Royce for BMW in England. As Director of Design or VP of Design for several OEM’s I’ve been part of a few different brand revivals culminating with Indian Motorcycles in 2012. I disagree, to a certain extent with the author on how long a brand stays relevant, Indian was still in people’s memories (at least we boomers remember an Uncle with an Indian) and at the same time the brand had relevance to millennials due to its history, authenticity and racing pedigree. However when we talked about reviving Austin Healey in BMW we determined that it’s time had past- there was a core of enthusiasts that remembered the brand but it meant nothing to most people and the brand lacked the depth needed to translate it into the present day. That’s what makes the big brands, like Indian, worth so much.
I think perhaps that’s a couple of the things Packard ran up against- it wouldn’t matter if the core enthusiasts were all billionaires ready to buy, you’d still need way more folks to aspire to the brand to get the momentum you need- you need to “sell way more t-shirts than bikes” before something captures enough people’s imagination and begins to make money.
Because at the end of the day most of these efforts don’t do that, balancing the passion you need to start something with the ice cold decision making you have to do to be profitable is very difficult. Cheers to the companies that can do it and I feel for the people that have poured their souls and fortunes into brands and ventures that never could quite get off the ground.
exc911ence
New Driver

Finally a car that makes the 6000 SUX look good.
Ajakeski
Intermediate Driver

Buy all the shares of Packard and own nothing...I find it difficult to believe any luxury car buyer would be jumping at the chance to own a car named Packard. Nice of Hagerty to help try to sell it along...
Bertone780
Intermediate Driver

The most successful revival of a dormant brand is surely Bugatti.
Maestro1
Instructor

I think the interior is stunning, with the exception of the guages which look out of place in the dash,
and the exterior I'm sorry to say is awful. I applaud Gullickson for his ambition and desire.
okfoz
Intermediate Driver

The Pre-war Packards were beautiful cars, even today I look at them and think they are just good looking cars, The Post war cars not so much... Of course I do not much care for the styling of a Bentley or Rolls, but if you could compete in that arena it would be interesting to see. Not a fan of this car, seems too bubbly, of course that was the styling at the time it was made and did not age well IMHO.
MoparMan
Advanced Driver

I'm sorry, but aside from the performance stats (Impressive for a car of this bulk, (uh, size that is!) there is nothing remotely impressive about the looks. And let's face it, LOOKS play an important role in the purchase of a vehicle. Had this vehicle actually been produced (IMO) people of sufficient means to purchase it would have been put off by the looks. It has mass and presence, but not the presence of a Caribbean or a 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special, for example. Being an aging boomer, I just barely remember Packard (only the 50's versions), and I don't see a viable return for the marque.
warrene
Intermediate Driver

The young today don't want a big car or comfort, otherwise they'd still be making Lincoln Town Cars.
However ... there might be plenty of rich guys pure sick of this same ol' same ol' look of these non-classic punch-out 'cookies', all looking the same as blobs of nothing. This Packard stands out, brings a look you won't find in any showroom, it's the one they'd remark about, want to look at and sit in, wow ... a comfortable seat ...
Who knows ... anything can happen.
Todd_Z
Pit Crew

Mr. Gullickson gave a presentation on Packard and this car (it may have even been there on display, I don't recall) to our local AZ Section of SAE many years ago - the late 90s or early 00s, most likely. We may have had a few Packard fans still alive and with us in those days. I didn't find the car attractive then and it hasn't aged well since then although I admired Mr. Gullickson's passion for what he was trying to do. It's day has most certainly passed by now.
PackCLE
Pit Crew

Reading through the challenge of the trademark at the USPTO, it appears Mr. Gullickson is trying to sell this off before he has to prove it’s validity. The other party in the challenge has presented compelling evidence after almost being duped into buying it. Again, anyone who wants buy this package will have all the problems that come with it. Research with a good IP attorney is definitely required before purchase. I think PACKARD could come back in another way while keeping the marque DNA. After all, best comebacks are all about the original founders.
Solosolo
Intermediate Driver

The Packard Twelve prototype must be the ugliest American car ever!
roadio55
Intermediate Driver

Regarding the question of other brands being revived, didn't the modern Bugatti start with someone buying rights to the name? I don't believe they have any other connection to the original family or company. Maybach may be in the same position. Aren't the current Triumph motorcycles also a badge acquired by a prior competitor?
tadg47
Pit Crew

Somebody had to work very hard to design one of the ugliest cars I've ever seen. To put the Packard name on it is a disgrace.
OMPguy
Pit Crew

Go look at the Maybach 6 coupe and convertible!
TG
Instructor

chrome grilles and sagging plastic bumpers do not go together
JBaguley
Intermediate Driver

Maybe someone in Green Bay, Wisconsin can buy the brand, then we can call it the Green Bay Packards !!
acooper529
Intermediate Driver

Looks a lot like my 1997 Oldsmobile Aurora (close to 4000 lbs) with some superficial body work. The front end and grill design are really suspect? Look like they were "added on" at some point? Also looks like the engine sits to the starboard side of the engine bay? That, for me, is a deal breaker right up front.
This is a car with no apparent market research done or any possible connection to an original Packard.
Biggest question is simply... WHY?
Tinkerah
Technician

I had to take a second look to confirm you are right; the engine looks offset but maybe to place the front driveline? If so the balance may not be adversely affected but I agree, that asymmetry can not be unseen. Occasionally high performing AND beautiful products have been born precisely because no market research was taken but tragically too few people agree with Gullickson on his aesthetic choices.
RSHMottoGuzzi
Pit Crew

Is this really a Packard? It looks like a 1964 Grand Prix or a MB Maybach. Nice thinking of bringing Packard back but this design would not sell.
RSHMottoGuzzi
Pit Crew

Sorry I meant a 1965 Bonneville Pontiac!
BobH
New Driver

I've loved the Packard Automobile Brand for all my life, but I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I'd ever be contemplating buying the Brand, in it's entirety. I am willing to give you; 1 U.S. Dollar, in cash, along with 4 Classic Jaguars, each in various stages of restoration. You could possibly find a way to absorb your losses (i.e. taxes?), and make up for it with the completion of the Jags. Let me know something if your interested. Thank you. BobH
PackCLE
Pit Crew

I've like Packard quite a bit my whole life. I looked into this during the New Year downtime. When building a brand, it's utmost important to get necessary trademarks and complimentary ones to build a proper IP portfolio and protect the brand. The Packard trademarks are owned by at least a few different entities and this one looks to be out of compliance with USPTO standards. The Packard name is a surname and would never be approved. This one was approved due to some sketchy filings it appears. I wouldn't buy this package because 1) Gulickson's PMC Arizona company is defunct - hasn't filed state filings for at least a few years, 2) the trademark itself has multiple issues, 3) the brand cannot be protected like a car company needs and 3) the Packard core audience is around 84 years old and the younger generations are not buying Packard collector cars. It would take many, many millions of dollars to make a go of this and the hobbyist would be wasting their money, even if paying a few hundred thousand for it all. In times like these, best to hold on to your cash and invest it much wiser. Nevertheless, long live Packard and it's amazing legacy and beautiful cars! Happy New Year everyone!
Tinkerah
Technician

I appreciate the sobering research. When Gullickson claims the company has no debt or encumbrances that evidently doesn't reveal some critical details.
PackCLE
Pit Crew

Happy to oblige. A trademark's dollar value is all about brand value - how much it's perceived in the public's mind. When you ask someone "what's your opinion of PACKARD"? More than likely they will think of Hewitt-Packard computers or something else. In fact, they will probably have no idea a Packard car company or "Packard holding" company exists. That means you have a "dead mark" in the eyes of the USPTO because there is no likely-hood of confusion in the marketplace. When I talk about Packard cars with my son or other young people, and even some folks in their 50's, they have no idea Packard ever existed let alone someone tried to revive it. Further, the mark may lose an infringement case if a new owner tried to sue for infringement - there are other "Packard" companies doing automobile-related commercial products and activity for quite some time. It wouldn't pass the SCOTUS trademark smell test let alone the USPTO's. Regardless, the original Packard is awesome and would have it's day back in the spotlight with great professional marketing and seasoned entrepreneurs - and different trademarks. Have a word mark that hasn't been in commercial use much if at all doesn't mean you automatically dominate the marketplace. Now, time for a drive to the recycle bin with the Christmas boxes!
Tinkerah
Technician

It's always sad seeing someone's dream die so publicly.
Michaelmotorcyc
Pit Crew

Why doesn’t one of the big three American companies buy the name and donate the trademark And rights to the Smithsonian for historical preservation.
PackCLE
Pit Crew

My guess is because there's nothing to buy and the legacy is already preserved by Packard's official museum, the National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio where Packard was founded. Many Packard fans and collectors have high respect for it and donate to it. The Packard family lived and is buried there and the museum has the most historical artifacts of the company. From what I heard, Gullickson tried to sell it 20 years ago however the museum lawyer's found the selling price was far higher than the brand's real value in the marketplace (e.g. was asking $1.5MM for it in 1999 when IntraBrand stated it's worthless even back then). Further, originally he was trying to sell it on Ebay, got some bids around $275k (1999 dollars), then flipped it into buying shares in his company in an attempt to give it another go. It was a total turn off by the respective buyers, a bait and switch perhaps. Maybe the museum and buyer's lawyers back then found the same issues that have arisen today via the USPTO challenge? I found all this in articles online - I enjoy investigative journalism about cars and marketing, so much intriguing history!

https://sometimes-interesting.com/2011/08/15/largest-abandoned-factory-in-the-world-the-packard-fact...

https://carzhunt.blogspot.com/2013/12/packard-motor-car-company.html

https://packardmuseum.org
Soapy
New Driver

When I was freshly out of college, and accustomed to driving old Fords, I bought a 1937 Packard 120 and it was my daily driver, and only 3 years older than me. Say what you will, it was a beautiful car and fun to drive, and only cost a couple of hundred dollars to buy. While I was in college, I had an opportunity to buy one that was several years older. It had an engine bay that was nearly as long as my then current old Ford. It was a very nicely preserved limo, with a window that separated the driver from the passengers, a speaking tube, crystal bud vases and beautiful maroon paint. It drove nicely, although its size was a little intimidating. I can still remember how that huge engine sounded when running it through the gears. The asking price (1960) was $1,500.00 but I couldn't dig up the money. I told my father that it would be the best investment he could ever make and would one day be worth $1,000,000.00 but he laughed at me, and it was back to the old Ford for 3 or 4 more years.