From the time Packard Motor Car Company opened its doors in 1899 to the moment when the last Packard rolled off the line in 1958, the brand has been well regarded in the American automotive industry as a symbol of speed, luxury, and quality. With time, the industry changed, and Packard had to shut down operations. But the company was recently revived through the singular vision of a watchmaker and inventor, Scott Andrews—who believed so deeply in the value of American manufacturing that he acquired the rights and intellectual property to the brand and jump-started the company from scratch.
Now Packard Motors, a new company founded in 2019, has taken it upon itself to become Packard Motor Car Company’s successor in the world of luxury cars and timepieces. American Essence spoke with Packard Motors founder Scott Andrews to find out more about how he unexpectedly discovered the company’s story and revived the brand.
Q: When did your love for Packard cars and timepieces begin?
A: My love for Packard cars began in 2019 and timepieces long before then. My great-uncle taught me how to fix clocks. I applied my skills to watchmaking as a hobby. In 2010, I decided to do watchmaking for part-time income. In spring 2019, I was driving to an event and saw a 1951 Packard for sale. I stopped, studied its unique design, then called my father who is a retired auto mechanic. He explained how Packard was the pinnacle of the U.S. auto industry for years—the one all others looked up to. I researched the company and found Packard is an American automobile industry icon that made amazing inventions which defined exclusive American elegance and automobiles for generations. I fell in love with what the company came to represent: pure American beauty. I then learned how one of the two Packard brothers who founded the company had a watch collection and high interest in mechanical watch movements.
Q: What’s the story leading up to your decision to found Packard Motors in 2019?
A: I found both my passions in Packard: elegant artwork expressed by stunning innovation. Given the amazing American icon Packard is, I knew if properly nurtured back to life, it will thrive and be enjoyed once again. Also, I didn’t want its history to fade away with the passing of the prior American generation. To save and revive Packard is to save and revive America, and give my fellow Americans a new hope and inspiration. I decided to go for it, and it’s been amazing to watch this American prime rise again.
Q: What does the legacy of the Packard Motor Car Company mean to you?
A: The legacy means the “north star” of durable innovation seamlessly woven together with pure beauty and elegance. It represents the bravery and perseverance required to keep our heritage and traditional values. A legacy many can identify with and become a part of. We are continuing the standards of honesty, good business ethics, and goodwill within the company and with our clients and visitors.
Q: How similar is Packard Motors’s processes and products to those of Packard Motor Car Company’s? What kinds of upgrades or unique touches may we see from Packard Motors in the future?
A: Similar to the first Packard company, we listen to what people need and want and make it better than anyone else. We then add wonderful surprises to delight and bring joy in owning and using something we make. There will always be one more thing when you think you’ve seen it all.
Q: What is your hope for your company?
A: My hope for the company is to be the shining light on the hill: a liberty-focused heritage, luxurious style, and absolute good moral values for the next generation to embrace.
Q: What does a day at Packard Motors look like for you?
A: Absolute joy and fun. From drawing up a new creative masterpiece for the retail shop to the amazing work on automobiles together with the entire team of people. All for the delight of our clients and visitors.
Q: What’s been your reaction to the feedback you’ve received from the automotive industry and community?
A: A big smile. Many wonder what we’re going to do next, and wonder they should. They know the legend has returned and are watching closely. Will we repeat its demise, or return to its roots and be the guiding light once again? I can’t help but smile knowing the best is yet to come from Packard.
Q: Packard Motors has released a limited edition debut timepiece, the 1899 model. Is there anything specific that went into the design to make it special as Packard’s original debut timepiece?
A: Yes, it was inspired by the very first Packard car. It was designed by J.W. Packard in 1899. He was challenged to make his own car after complaining about the poor quality of another brand he bought. Challenge accepted, and the response changed the world forever.
- Packard cars were the first to have factory-installed air conditioning.
- The first U.S. car to use tubeless tires was the 1954 Packard Clipper.
- The 1901 Model C Packard was the first in America to feature a steering wheel.
- Packard built the world’s first V-12-engine-powered production car, the Twin Six of 1915.
From July Issue, Volume 3