Gear Head Tuesday – A Most Unusual Packard

Gear Head

Text adapted from articles at Kustomrama

Lt. Arthur Cooper’s Packard Comet

Spohn-Packard

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In the 1920s in Ravensberg, Germany, Hermann Spohn formed custom coach builder Karosseriebau Hermann Spohn. The company soon found favor with Bugatti, Mercedes-Benz, Steyr and particularly with Maybach. After World War II, the company re-invented itself by building customized cars for American servicemen. One such example is the 1951 Packard-based Comet built for Lt. Arthur Cooper.
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The Spohn creations of the early 1950s drew heavily on GM’s LeSabre concept car that toured with GM’s Motorama, particularly the show car’s rear fenders.

LeSabre

GM’s 1951 LeSabre show car

Quoting from the article at Kustomrama:
It took seven months for Spohn to finish Arthur’s Packard. The car featured a sliding safety-glass roof over the front compartment. The rest of the roof was removable; it was attached by 6 bolts. In front the car featured a grill-bumper combination made of aluminum. Ordinary headlights were sunk into the fenders, giving the car a (ahem) “distinctive look.” Foglights were integrated into the bumper-bombs. Once the bodywork was done the car was painted light grey.

The seats inside Cooper’s car formed a bed. A central pedestal held a five-band short-wave set and an icebox. Rear fender vents functioned as the rear window defroster.

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Spohn

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Step Up With Studebaker For 1962

A 3 minute promotional video touting the virtues of the ’62 Studebakers.
(Click on the headline.)

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3 Comments

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  1. All I can say is Cooper had great tastes. I love that design. But then I am old and like the idea of having a cool designed TANK!

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  2. christofear 07/10/2015 — 20:45

    The view from the front reminds me of the best / worst parts of the ’53 – ’55 Studebaker in one jumbled mess.

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  3. The Cooper Comet is based on a 1941 Packard 110 chassis retaining the original drivetrain. It is not known what year Spohn completed the coachwork but likely ’52-54. The car has traveled over the decades spending some time in Texas and is currently under restoration in Australia. There is a Facebook page constantly discussing these cars and following the restoration of the Spohn Palos, completed in 1952. “Spohn Custom Enthusiasts”

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