The final Packard was a Studebaker
I am writing about 'A Packard in the Future?' in the Briefly column of your March 8 issue.
It said the last original Packard was sold in 1957. Actually, the last original Packard was 1956. In 1957, the so-called Packard was nothing more than a 'badged-over' Studebaker product that bore no resemblance to the Packard line at all.
I know that because my father was a Packard dealer from 1928 until the end. We are the oldest Mercedes-Benz dealership in California and the second-oldest in the United States.
WILLIAM H. STAHL
Stahl Motor Co. Inc.
GM should study Camry and Accord
Let's face it, Charles Child: Even if General Motors chose to produce both the Chevrolet Impala and the Pontiac Bonneville on the same platform, as he said in his March 8 column, they are still GMs.
It appears that GM engineers need some schooling in ergonomic design, and they need to go back to the basics of building a practical car like the Toyota Camry or the Honda Accord.
GM thinks its designs are on the cutting edge of styling, but overdone and ingenuous thinking has only caused GM to lag behind in thinking about the big picture.
GM should make better-quality parts and stop trying to be so flamboyant. Plastic-looking cars are for toddlers!
The writer works for a captive car finance company.
They're doin' what comes naturally
In his March 8 column, perhaps Charles Child was too harsh on General Motors' Generation X brand managers with nonautomotive backgrounds. They seem to be consistent with their backgrounds.
Candy bars, chewing gum and soda pop are pretty much differentiated only by the color of their wrappers. Styling doesn't seem to be an issue there.
NORMAN E. SHIER
AM General Corp.
Bethel Island, Calif.
Hats off to Chevy for 'See the U.S.A.'
Regarding Chevrolet's decision to bring back the 'See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet' jingle, this child of the 1950s says, 'Way to go, Chevrolet!'
How can anyone forget Dinah Shore's weekly engineering lessons? 'See the U.S.A.' must stand as one of the most memorable automotive messages.
I never could figure out what 'The Heartbeat of America' meant. Surely, a Corvette and a Suburban cannot share a heartbeat. And the sad decision to retain the 'Genuine Chevrolet' tag line is, to be charitable, more than somewhat disingenuous considering General Motors' continuing practice of badge engineering.
Perhaps, if we are lucky, we will soon find ourselves 'Somewhere West of Laramie with a broncho-busting, steer-roping girl who knows what I'm talking about.' Automotive advertisements are, after all, about dreams.
ANDREW C. HIRSCH
Cathedral City, Calif.
The writer is an engineer.