Many classic car enthusiasts consider the ’56 models to be the last real Packards, the final cars worthy of the name. See the full model line for 1956 in all its glory here.
There’s some irony in the tagline of this two-minute theatrical commercial for the ’56 Packard: “The greatest Packard of them all.” Actually, the 1956 models would be the last real Packards, as things turned out. There were cars wearing the Packard badge in 1957 and 1958, but in truth they were thinly disguised Studebakers with minor sheet metal changes. Among the true believers of the Packard collector world, these ersatz Packards are mockingly called “Packardbakers” and “Spackards.”
Still, there’s some merit in the claim that the ’56 Packards were the best ever. They were certainly the most advanced. Although the automaker was at death’s door financially, it continued to introduce innovative mechanical features like Torsion-Level Ride (see how this fascinating system works here) and brand new for 1956, an electric push-button shift console for the Ultramatic transmission. All these state-of-the-art features and more are proudly touted in this original Packard promotional spot. Enjoy.