During the Great Depression, the luxury car segment, serving the upper class, faced severe challenges in the automotive market. Intense competition prompted luxury brands to slash prices and offer a wide array of options to attract buyers. Among these contenders, Packard, positioned at the pinnacle of the luxury car market, showcased some of their most iconic automobiles.
To counter the economic downturn and fierce competition, Packard introduced their V-12 Twin Six, featuring a classic multi-cylinder large-displacement engine designed for quiet operation, durability, and substantial torque to minimize gear-shifting. Boasting an impressive 160 bhp, the power effortlessly propelled the premium Packard chassis, regardless of the coachwork’s size.
Packard not only provided a diverse range of elegant custom bodies but also brought coachbuilding in-house, allowing better control over costs, quality, and design. This strategic move increased margins and operational efficiency, although they still outsourced some designs to renowned studios like Dietrich Inc.
The V-12 Twin Six primarily targeted the remaining wealthy clientele, upholding Packard’s tradition of crafting grand, commanding, stylish, and opulent automobiles. Unlike many other marques that succumbed to the economic turmoil, Packard weathered the Great Depression well due to its strong financial standing and healthy cash reserves. By the late 1930s, several prestigious names like Franklin, Marmon, Ruxton, Stutz, Peerless, Duesenberg, Stearns-Knight, and Pierce-Arrow had sadly vanished from the automotive landscape.