The last true Packard rolled off the production line at Packard's Detroit plant 55 years ago today. The company had once been the standard of American luxury, but by the early 1950s Packard was having a hard time fighting dwindling car sales. Packard merged with the also struggling Studebaker in the 1954 in an attempt to solve their sales woes.
In doing so the two companies created the fourth largest car company at the time and sealed the eventual fate of Packard. Within two years it had been announced Packard production in Detroit would be shut down. Although the name was used for two more years on rebadged Studebakers, the last "real" Packard was the one built on this day five and a half decades ago.