What Wasn’t New In 1946

” Packard —
Brand New For 1946 “.

That’s what a brochure
for the first post-war Packard automobiles

as everybody knows –
civilian motor car production
was cut off in early 1942 ,
subsequent to the U.S. entry
into World War II, and new
car development and design
hadn’t yet restarted in time
for the 1946 models.

which was it?

Simply put,
they lied, like
any ‘good’ advertising
agency did back then.

Put in their parlance,
they made lemonade
out of already squeezed

I’m usually shocked when
it’s so obvious, but these
examples from the 1946
Packard advertising brochure
really take the cake.

Packard officials later
admitted there was
little or no ‘new’ content
in the 1946 models- and in
the “Standard Catalog of
American Cars, 1946-1975,”
G. Marshall Naul noted:
“The 1946 Packards were
an extension of the 1942 Clipper line with practically no changes.”

And of course, plenty of
automotively-savvy folks
caught on right quick —

Which caused Packard to
take a different tack —

In a later ad , they explained
their reasons for all the
non-changes in the ‘all-new’
Packard ‘strategy’ :

1. “By continuing to build this superlatively fine motor car over into 1947, we do not have to stop production to ‘tool up’ for changes. This means more cars sooner for people who are so eager to become Packard owners.”

2. “By continuing the present styling,
Packard fully protects the motorist
who buys today’s new Packard.
knows that the stunning new Packard he buys today
will not become ‘dated’

in appearance tomorrow.”

3. “The stacks of orders now on hand are gratifying evidence that today’s new Packard is the car America wants.”

4. “Because of its advanced Clipper
styling, today’s new Packard is not
only conceded to be the best-looking
car on the road, but is actually
ahead of its time.”

5. “No car we have ever built, in all our 46-year history, ever won such spontaneous, enthusiastic, nationwide acclaim as today’s beautiful new Packard Clipper.”

Still, with all these non-reasons,
they managed to convince
over 30,000 folks to buy a
‘brand-new’ Packard in 1946.

But one wonders if this
kind of overtly-false advertising destroyed the car-maker’s credibility with buyers in the end —

— which came for Packard in 1957.

!! HOY !!


The Postcard Art of Achille Mauzan

I have repeatedly
been told in the past
by readers and
collectors alike,
that my tastes in
postcard art run a
bit into the obscure –

that’s probably true.

I’ll admit,
for instance,
that there are certainly
artists a lot of folks
have never heard of –
who nonetheless
consistently created
pieces that really sing
to me.

It could be a matter
of color, shading, lines,
or just a witty sense of
humor or an interesting
perspective that grabs
my initial attention —

(and of course,
a pretty girl with a hint
of stocking never hurts )

but there are relatively
few that can combine
all those elements to
create a lasting impression.

One of those artists
would be Achille Mauzan –
I must add,
his work does have
a very large following internationally.

Born in the scenic town of
Gap in the French Alps
in 1883, and a graduate
of the École des Beaux-Arts
in Lyon, he quickly became
one of the leading lights
of the Art Deco movement
in the first part of the
20th Century.

This style and influence
can clearly be seen in his
best poster and postcard
work .

And of course,
flappers, galore.

Although many remember
his advertising posters for
Italian products, and is
often thought of as an
Italian himself, he actually
divided the time of his
working life between
nationalities —

–working for years in
Milano and Turin,
several more in
the Argentine,
and finally back in
Paris and Lyon.

He is especially adept
at communicating
a simmering sense
of sensuality in some
of his saucier postcards–

and while the pastel
colors in the cards are
generally muted,
dabs of bright hues bring
the point of focus exactly
where he wants it to be.

After producing literally
thousands of beautiful
posters, lithographs,
illustrations and postcards,
he finally retired to his
hometown of Gap,
where he spent all
his remaining
time painting until his
death in 1951.


!!! HOY !!!


The Triumph TR Series

One of my favorite cars
from the early 1970’s
was the
Triumph TR-6
with the British racing
green exterior, and rich
brown leather interior
with walnut veneer dashboard –

— it was hard to
beat the car
for looks and
outright style.

A (posh) friend of mine
owned one, and I was
constantly trying to
borrow it,
despite not having a
drivers license yet,
or having anything
to trade with him.

I did get one or two short
drives, anyway –
– his sister liked me –
but the car made a permanent
impression on me; and I still
love that car – despite not
being able to fit in it
comfortably anymore –
they were, after all,
very small roadsters.

They moved out pretty good,
were built reasonably well,
– but –
the series all began with a car –
the TR-1 – that was described
by a test engineer as :
” … the most bloody awful
I’ve ever driven. “

Hmmm… not exactly an
auspicious beginning,
I’ll grant you – but the
1952 TR-1, alternately
called the 20TS, started
the ball rolling toward
Triumph’s much better
designed cars to come.

The TR-2 – introduced
in 1953, really represented
the basis for the TR’s from
that point on – compared
to the 20TS, it had upgraded
suspension, brakes,
and handling characteristics.

It also featured
a slightly more powerful
twin-carbed 121 CID in-line
4 cylinder engine, which could
make about 90 horsepower.
It was said to be the least
expensive British car of it’s era
to exceed 100 MPH top speed.

The TR-3, which came
quickly upon the
TR-2’s heels, was built
for 7 years – and was
an important
part of the TR evolution —
sold as a open two-seater with
an optional hard-top and even
a third seat available, it also had
a more powerful engine setup
making just over 100 horsepower,
and front disc brakes.

Some issues were notable –
handling was still pretty rough,
with wheel lifting on corners
at speed a real possibility,
and the optional heater was
a lost cause in winter.

A very popular car in the world
of road racing, the TR-3
underwent several face-lifts
during it’s manufacture…

TR-3A was basically a grill re-do,
new windshield fittings, and such.

The TR-3B upgraded
the horsepower
ratings up to around
110 miles per hour using
a 2 liter engine that was
also used in the TR-4.

The TR-4 was another huge leap
forward – designed by the
famous sports car engineer
Giovanni Michelotti, it featured
full size doors with roll up
windows which replaced the
cut-ways in the previous models,
a wider, more secure handling
package and stance, an angular
rear that made the trunk
much more accommodating,
and an optional ‘Targa’ style top
was even available.

It was built between
1961 and 1965.

There was also a TR-4A made-
which were equipped with
either a live axle or independent
rear suspension, in 1965.

The first British production
sports car with fuel injection,
the TR-5 and it’s U.S. market
bound cousin, the TR-250,
were released in 1967 —
these had a well known defect
in the fuel system that caused
the cars to cut out when the
fuel tank was down to a 1/3,
and were replaced by the TR-6
a year later.

Ahhhh — the TR-6 –
now, there was a motor car.

Built between 1968 and 1976-
with design elements from
Karmann – it featured the
2.5 liter straight six engine
with a 4 speed manual tranny
and optional overdrive, making
around 150 horsepower.

Quick, nimble, stylish.

Then, they backpedaled –
releasing the wedge-shaped
and grossly underpowered
TR-7 in 1975- it’s four cylinder
Dolomite 1850 couldn’t really
take the car anywhere very fast,
making a mere 95 horses.

Oh sure, they realized what
they’d done to American Triumph
fans , but by the time the TR-8
was ready in 1979, featuring a
Rover built 140-HP 8 cylinder
engine, the mystique was gone.

Now, in fairness –
other considerations
also killed the TR series —

— the majority of imported cars
on American roads
in the 1960’s were
British made
(Triumphs, MGs,
Austin-Healeys) —

but by 1977-
that was no longer true.

Toyotas, Hondas, Datsuns, etc
were now the preferred imports.

it doesn’t make the absence
of a good, reasonably priced
British sports car in our
market any less painful.

!! HOY !!




From Italy With Love

Italian food and art —

– a couple of things
that most folks can’t
help but love.

And I am a huge fan
of both.

Art goes back a long
way in that part of
the world, as I’m sure
you know —

— as you probably
know the names of
the truly great
Italian artists like:
Da Vinci, Botticelli,
and Caravaggio.

I love them, sure.

But one of my favorites
ain’t on that list.

His name was Adolfo Busi,
and he did a lot of work
on postcards around the
turn of the 20th century.

Born in Bologna in 1891,
he studied art at the famous
Accademia della Felsinea-

— he initially got his career
started illustrating children’s
books like:
“Puss In Boots”,
“Little Red Riding Hood”,
and ” Cinderella “.

Posters were a favorite
medium for Busi-

— his advertising art for
products like “Baroni”
and “La Ducale of Parma”
are very well remembered.

He also created
postcard art
in every description
and purpose-

– from World War I propaganda
to romantic and humorous

And today, we have
two wonderful series
which I like a lot and
wanted to share –

The first set is called:
“All Is Fair In Love And War”,

—and were issued
around 1920.

(pics # 2-5 )

They illustrate several allegories
of a lovely maiden undergoing
the challenges and dangers
related to an affair of the heart.

Here she is launching
an all out attack with
her heart cannon upon
her potential love-mate.

Busi certainly has an
interesting and
rather straightforward
approach to it, for sure.

His message is clear –
– the pain and struggles
involved in romance can be
a matter of life and death.

Something that should
always be handled seriously.

IS love
really a battlefield?

Only Busi
and Pat Benatar
know for sure, I guess.

But our second set today
( pics # 6- 9 )
sends a different message –

a man and a woman so
involved with each other
( and their silky pajamas )
that their passion could
possibly light the whole
house on fire –

— and will, if they’re not
more careful with
those candles.

I like this set much better –

– it’s simply a happier setting…

but both sets are beautifully
done and represent some of
Busi’s best illustrative work.

( I might mention that both sets
are missing individual cards, at
least one from each. Anybody ? )


!!! HOY !!!


The Saturday Car Post: 1954 Plymouth Explorer

In the early 1950’s,
Chrysler’s head stylist
Virgil Exner was looking
for a way of updating
Chrysler’s rather
old-fashioned image,
by introducing some
new concept cars ,
developed and built
by Italian automotive
designers at Carrozzeria
Ghia in Turin.

The six or seven years 1954PlymouthExplorer
immediately after the war
hadn’t really seen a
lot of important styling innovations
among the big car
makers of the time,
and Chrysler–

— which included:
Desoto, Dodge, and
Plymouth lines as well — 

especially certainly
needed a boost.

These cars were designed by
Exner and Ghia’s Luigi Segre,
and were built on existing
Chrysler, Dodge, Desoto
and Plymouth chassis.

They included the Chrysler K-310,
and C-200, the Dodge Firearrow,
Desoto Adventurer I,
and this car–
the Plymouth Explorer.

Despite being only 54 inches high,
the Explorer was built upon a
standard 114 inch wheelbase
Plymouth chassis…

… and it’s sleek hand-formed
looks belied the fact that it
was sorely underpowered
by a 230 cubic inch straight-six
that only made about a
104 horsepower, with the
semi-automatic gearbox  .

(There was a ‘Red-Ram’
‘Hemi’ V8 engine made
available for the Dodge
Fire-Arrow III, later in 1954 )

Underpowered, certainly,
and not good gas mileage
to speak of, even for the time.

Still, for early 50’s styling,
it certainly was a beauty.

!!! HOY !!!