Hi, Steve. Here are some pics from a nice, little vintage bike display at Warren, Ohio's Packard Auto Museum. But first, a little background on WHY there is a Packard auto museum in Warren, Ohio. Well, James Ward Packard, founder of the luxury auto giant bearing his name, was born in this small city, which is located in the NE part of the state. Among his other business interests, Mr. Packard opened Packard Electric in 1890. A manufacturer of electrical components for the automobile industry, Delphi Packard Electrical Systems as it is known today, became a part of General Motors in 1932, and is still located in Warren. By contrast, the Packard Motor Car Company, which began production of automobiles in 1900, moved operations to Detroit, Michigan, in 1902.
The Packard MCCC became known the world over as a manufacturer of some of the finest, most innovative cars in the world. Among other things, Packard is known for standardizing the use of steering wheels in automobiles (as opposed to tillers), as well as introducing the first V-12 engine in production cars. Packards were among the cars of choice for the rich and famous during the 20's and 30's. During the war years, Packard produced Merlin engines for use in P-51 Mustang fighter planes, plus the V-12 engines which were used in PT boats. Unfortunately, following the war, a combination of dated engineering and poor marketing choices, plus a changing customer base, left Packard lagging behind the Big Three auto manufacturers. Falling further and further behind in market share, Packard released its last models in 1958.
But, we're here to talk bikes. Although automobiles and other products featuring the Packard name, plus a historical record of the company, all have a permanent place in the museum, local collector and motorcycling historian Bruce Williams, organizes a supplemental motorcycle display every winter, which helps to bolster attendance at the museum. Featuring a different theme each year, this season's display is called "Ready For The Road". Following are few highlights.
There is much more to see at the Packard museum, plus they are preparing to open a huge addition. Note that the motorcycle displays run from January - April, each year. For more information, go to: http://packardmuseum.org