In US automotive history, the name “Packard” once stood for fine engineering, long life, great 12-cylinder luxury cars, early racing success and, in its last years, technical innovation. Clearly identified by their yoke-shaped radiators and fluted hoods, Packards projected an aura of prestige and excellence (especially in the years between the two World Wars) that was unmatched by any other make in North America.
In most of the years from World War 1 until its merger with Studebaker in 1954, a span of more than thirty years, Packard was America's only entirely independent auto company dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of the finest possible cars. For this reason, and also for its accomplishments in the design and production of aircraft engines, Packard was the only company in the United States whose work could be compared with that of England's Rolls-Royce organisation.
From 1899, when the first Packard car was completed, until the last one was made in 1958, the company produced 1,610,890 automobiles. Its largest production in one year was 109,518 in 1937, approached, but not equalled, by the best post-World War 2 year in 1948, in which 104,593 Packards were sold. Less famed was Packard's production of trucks, amounting to 43,484 units from 1908 to 1923.