September 22, 2020


Packard Motor Car Co. (1905-1923)
Detroit, Michigan

This is a Packard 3-ton truck emblem (c1911-1915)     mjs
Size: 139mm wide 120mm high    MM: None

James Ward Packard had been making passenger cars since 1899 before he reorganized his business to establish the Packard Motor Car Company in 1902 and move his manufacturing plant to Detroit in 1903 (see Packard).

The Packard was quickly recognized as an excellent, high quality automobile and was bought by some wealthy customers, including William Rockerfeller. The Packard Model L introduced in November 1903 was the first to have the distinctive Packard radiator configuration that would be the Packard hallmark for decades to follow.  

Packard used the Model F car chassis as the basis for some delivery trucks in 1903 and began to build truck chassis for a few test trucks in 1904. Production of commercial vehicles began in 1905 with a 1-1/2-ton truck with double chain drive and powered by a 15 hp engine located under the driver's seat. This was replaced by a 3-ton capacity truck in 1908, which was powered by a 24 hp four-cylinder engine located under a hood. In 1911, one of these trucks carried a 3-ton load in the first crossing by truck from New York to San Francisco. The Packard truck range was widened in 1912 to include 2-ton and 5-ton capacity units. The lighter Packard trucks moved to worm drive by 1914 but the heavier trucks used chain drive until 1920. 

Large numbers of Packard trucks were bought by the US Army for use in World War I and many more were exported to Allied countries involved in the conflict in Europe. Packard E-Series trucks were used by Goodyear in 1917 in a nationwide program to improve the performance of pneumatic tires for use on trucks. By 1920, Packard offered a five truck models ranging from 1-1/2-ton to 7-ton capacity. The 2-ton Model X was fitted with four-speed transmission and used pneumatic tires. Packard truck chassis were also used to build some charabancs and buses. 

Packard truck production ceased in 1923, although some body building companies later used Packard passenger car chassis to build ambulances and funeral cars.  


Packard did not use emblems on its automobiles until 1928 and, although Packard had a trademark script, it did not use radiator scripts on passenger cars until about 1924-1925 and even then mainly for export models. Instead, Packard relied on its distinctive radiator shape, first used in 1903, as its main external identification feature for its passenger cars. This was not quite the same for Packard trucks.

The first Packard trucks in 1905 and 1906 did not have a radiator, so, instead, displayed "Mnf by Packard Motor Car Co., Detroit, Mich" painted on a side panel under the driver's seat, with the "Packard" name in the trademark script style, see original photo from 1905 shown below:

Packard Model TA truck showing "Packard" side script (1905)  dpl

Close-up showing "Packard" side script (1905)    dpl

However, not all Packard trucks displayed the "Packard" name externally at this time, see the following original photo of a 1906 Packard truck below, which has no external identification:

This is a Packard truck (1906)    dpl

The "Packard" name was displayed on Packard patent/serial plates similar to the plates used on Packard passenger cars, see example below:

Packard passenger car patent/serial plate (c1907)    ms

By 1908, Packard trucks used the distinctive Packard radiator, similar to the Packard passenger cars, see original photo shown below:

This is a Packard truck with distinctive radiator shape (1908)  dpl 

By 1911, Packard trucks began to display a triangular Packard truck emblem on a side panel just forward of the driver's compartment, see original photo example below:

Packard truck showing side emblem (1911)    dpl

This Packard truck side panel emblem is seen more clearly on the following original photo of a 1915 Packard truck:

Packard truck showing side panel emblem (1915)     dpl

Close-up showing side panel emblem (1915)    dpl

Some Packard trucks in this period also had the "Packard" name and the triangular emblem painted on the side of the hood, see example shown below:

Packard truck with hood side emblems (c1915)    tom

Close-up showing triangular emblem & hood side emblem (c1915)

The Packard truck side emblem shown in the above original photos is the same as the triangular, painted brass Packard truck capacity emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This triangular Packard truck capacity emblem is rare.

This is a Packard 3-ton truck emblem (c1911-1914)     mjs
Size: 139mm wide 120mm high    MM: None

This triangular Packard truck capacity emblem is for a 3-ton truck. Similar capacity emblems were used on Packard 2-ton and 5-ton trucks in the period 1911 through 1914.  

From about 1917, some heavier duty Packard trucks displayed the "Packard" name on a metal Packard script cast in the radiator tank top, see examples shown below:

Packard Express truck with script radiator emblem (1917) i.pinimg

Packard 7-ton truck cast in radiator emblem (1920) oldcarsandtruckpictures 

Packard trucks also had a Packard script stamping on the truck side panel under the driver's seat, see original photo shown below:

Packard truck with side script stamping (1917)    dpl

Close-up showing side script stamping (1917)   dpl

Packard dump truck with rad emblem & side script stamping (1922) iowa80

The following is an example of a Packard side script stamping:

This is a Packard side script stamping   lktec

However, I note that not all Packard trucks after 1917 displayed the "Packard" script radiator emblem. Indeed, the majority of original photos of Packard trucks in the period from 1917 to 1923 show no emblem and, presumably, Packard relied on the shape of the radiator for their identification, as did Packard passenger cars in this period.

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