Six of the Packard Concept cars are owned by New Jersey collector Ralph Marano. The seventh and last Packard Concept Car produced, the 1956 Packard Predictor, is coming from the National Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana.
While one or two of these concept cars were built in numbers of two or sometimes four, most of them exist only once. Marano has been collecting Packard Concept Cars for over 20 years and has displayed some of them on and off, winning concours awards where he showed them, but the Fairfield County event will be the first time all of these cars will be seen together.
The collection includes:
The very first of the concept cars is the 1948 Vignale. The car actually started as a 1939 model in Italy and remained carefully hidden during the war. The Vignale was completed in 1948 and turned up in a used car lot in San Diego in 1953.
1952 Pan American
This was Packard chief designer Richard Arbib's personal car. Originally intended as a race car, it is now painted the original green gold paint, which contains 24 carat gold. Six Pan Americans, the basis of the Packard Caribbean, were made in five to six weeks as promotional cars and sent to different parts of the country.
1952 Macauley Coupe
This coupe was built for the son of Ed Macauley, who was head of Packard styling at the time. It features a unique supercharged engine that was painted red, and is the first coupe to be equipped with a rear windshield wiper.
1953 Packard Balboa
Only two Balboas were made, both of which are now part of the Ralph Marano collection. He is the third or fourth owner of the car he will be bringing, and the car is next on his list to be restored.
1954 Packard Panther
Marano owns no less than two of the original four Panthers. Made of fiberglass, both cars were subsequently modified by Creative Industries.
1955 Packard Request
The Request’s grille reflects the Packard customers' requests for a return to the vertical prewar radiator grille. This car features a fiberglass hood , a V-8 engine and Caribbean trim on the rear quarter.
1955 Packard Predictor
The Predictor represents the end of postwar Packard Concept Cars. It remains today at the National Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana, who after learning that Ralph Marano was displaying all of the other Packard Concept Cars, generously agreed to let the car go to the Fairfield event.
More information regarding the Fairfield County Concours d'Elegance and the Packards display can be found on their website.
Suggested Reading: Packard - Producing Quality and Elegance for 53 Years.