Click here to see 1 book about Packard automobilia.
Click here to see all 21 Packard history books.
All books are listed alphabetically by author.
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Packard by Dennis Adler
(Motorbooks International; Minneapolis, MN; 2004)

With an introduction by Jay Leno (America's Most Well-Known Classic Car Fan), this book is a very accessible, easy-to-read history of the Packard Motor Car Company.

Lots of black-and-white + color photography. Lush and gorgeous.

Hardcover, Used: in the $40-$50 range
Paperback, Used: in the $100-$125 range
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James W. Packard: Creator of the American Rolls Royce by Daniel Alef
(Titans of Fortune Publishing; Santa Barbera, CA; 2009)

Less of a book and more of a long multimedia article, this biographical profile of James Ward Packard's life is perfect for students writing a term paper or for the new Packard fan.

Unlike many of the automobile pioneers who received their primary training with blacksmiths, or under watchful eyes of mechanics in wagon, bicycle or railroad shops, Packard and his older brother William learned their trade as engineering students at Lehigh University. However, like the other pioneers, the path they first traveled did not begin with the horseless carriage; there were several pit stops along the way before they made their transition into that nascent industry.

Keep in mind: this book is digital only. You can download it to your Amazon Kindle. You can also download it through the Kindle app on your iPad or other tablet device.

Kindle Edition, $1.99

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Packard Gold Portfolio 1946-1958 by R. M. Clark (compiler)
(Brooklands Books LTD; Cobham, Surrey, England; 1988)

This book is a compilation of vintage British car magazine road tests, specification and technical data, new model introductions, long term tests, development.

Models covered include: Clipper Eight, Station Sedan, Super de Luxe, Custom, Convertible, Sedan, 200, 300, 400, Pan American, Clipper, Cavalier, Patrician, Constellation, V8, Executive, Hawk.

Paperback, Used: Look for this used book in the $10-$20 range.
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Packard (Crestline Series) by George Dammann and James A. Wren
(Motorbooks International; Minneapolis, MN; 1996)

The Crestline Series is essentially a group of picture books with some captions. Not bad. Just not very in-depth.

Packards from every year are shown. This book is for the novice or the collector who wants a very quick and handy reference.

Hardcover, Used: Prices vary widely. Look for this used book in the $90-$130 range.
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The Hemmings Motor News Book of Packards by Terry Ehrich (Editor) and Richard Lentinello (editor)
(Hemmings Motor News; Bennington, VT; Bloomington, IN; 2001)

I haven't had a chance to check out this book. However, if it's like other Hemmings titles, it contains a collection of Packard articles that Hemmings has published over the years up to the year 2000. (The fact that the authors are listed as editors is a pretty good tipoff.)

Paperback, Used: Look for this used book in the $20-$35 range.

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"Ask the Man Who Owns One": An Illustrated History of Packard Advertising by Arthur W. Einstein, Jr.
(McFarland; Jefferson, NC; 2010)

This book traces Packard’s advertising history from 1900 through 1958, based on original research that includes several first-hand interviews with the people who made it happen.

Filled with reproductions of Packard ads (some in color), the book looks beyond the surface to examine how the advertisements reflect and interpret the company’s management and business convictions, how they were influenced by business conditions and competitive pressure, and how they changed with the times.

Hardback, New: $47.71
Kindle Edition: $16.19

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Packard: The Pride by J.M. Fenster
(Automobile Quarterly Books; New Albany, IN; 2005)

I laugh when some Packard fans dismiss books like this with the comment that "there's no new information here." They don't get it.

There are reasons that we're attracted to things, and I guarantee you that it's not because the facts and statistics about them make them sexy. No, friends, it's the way something makes you feel.

Through absolutely beautiful photography, this book communicates the pride, prestige, and craftsmanship of Packard automobiles from an 1899 Model A to a 1956 Caribbean.

If you want to remember how owning a Packard makes you feel, buy this book. It'll work wonders on you. That's a fact.

Hardback, New: $39.95
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Packard: A History in Ads...1903-1956 by Gwilym Griffiths
(Self-Published; Timonium, MD; 1970)

A very early look at Packard print advertising. Griffiths reprints 65 vintage print ads from the Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, Fortune, Country LIfe, Holiday, and National Geographic.

Griffiths tries to frame the ads within the context of their places in Packard history and in U.S. history. Brief text accompanies each ad.

Heads up: color print advertising began in 1926, and Packard used it right up to the end. However, this book is printed in black and white.

Good for the Packard completist, but Arthur Einstein's book (see above) might be more insightful today.

Paperback, Used: Look for this used book in the $10-$15 range.
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Packard: 1940 a Pivotal Year by James Hollingsworth
(Self-Published; 2004)

There's no florid prose. No overt expressions of lust or longing. No breathless yearning. But don't kid yourself. This book is a love letter to a car made 64 years before Hollingsworth published it.

Everything you need to know about 1940 Packards is here: introduction, sales, features, advertising, dealers, extras, photos, factory reprints of Packard correspondence, etc. There's even a very detailed chapter about Packard's air-conditioners, which were very early automotive innovations.

This is the kind of book that will make non-1940 Packards envious. And wistful for a day when a suitor comes along and pens a love letter to them, too.

(Try to get this book in its third printing. There are at least 10 additional pages.)

Paperback, Used: Prices vary. Look for this used book in the $275-$300 range.
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Packard Motor Car Company by Evan P. Ide
(Arcadia Publishing; Charleston, SC; 2003)

This book features 207 ridiculously rare Packard factory photos. In fact, they're so rare that the historian who discovered them in a filing cabinet in 1957 traded a Packard for them.

The filing cabinet was donated to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in 1966. It sat collecting dust for decades until Museum Curator Evan Ide rediscovered it.

The photos are artfully composed and annotated by first-person sources like James Ward Packard, among other Packard luminaries.

For the hardcore Packard fan who knows thinks he's seen it all.

Paperback, New: $14.95
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Revived from the Dead: a Packard's True Story of Life After Death by Billy E. Kennerly
(Kennerly Enterprises; Charleston, SC; 1999)

Kennerly describes the restoration of his 1955 Packard 400 this way: "The car itself tells the story of its restoration and personal stories through being in a junk yard to winning its first prestigious trophies." Hmm. A true autobiography.

Personally, I think it's fun to have stories like this. There are too many people in the classic car hobby who take themselves WAY too seriously. That includes Packard fans.

So when a guy comes along with a restoration story that sounds like a zombie movie, I'm all in.

Buy a used copy of this book just to snap yourself out of the inflated, self-important tone of many classic history books.

Hardcover, Used: Look for this used book in the $40-$50 range.
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Packard: A History of the Motor Car and the Company by Beverly Rae Kimes
(Automobile Quarterly Books; New Albany, IN; 1978)

Quite simply, this is the go-to Packard history book.

It's a great blend of facts and storytelling. Very accessible not only for the gearhead but also for the casual fan who's interested in a compelling narrative.

Fantastic blend of compelling pictures and prose about one of America's most famous luxury car makers.

A classic.

Hardback, Used: Prices are all over the map. Look for a used copy in the $25-$125 range.

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Packard: A Chronology of the Company the Cars and the People by Robert B. Marvin
(R-Mac Publications, Limited; 1994)

Marvin tells Packard's story year by year and month by month. Need visuals? How about 237 photos? (Many of them are full page.)

You'll also find a database of known cars and owners.

Look for the Notables section in which Marvin tells the stories of the people who designed, built, and sold Packards.

This book was self-published and limited to 1,000 copies. (Availability will be unpredictable.)

Hardcover, Used: Look for a used copy in the $60 range.

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Master Motor Builders: The Inception, Design, Production, and Uses of the Non-Automotive Engines of the Packard Motor Car Company by Robert J. Neal
(Aero-Marine History Publishing Co.; Kent, WA; 2000)

Warning: this book is for hardcore Packard wonks. (It's not for the beginner.)

It's an extensively researched and extravagantly illustrated history of Packard's Liberty engine + its commercial and aviation engines + diesel engines + World War II engine designs and output + statistics + short biographies of notable engineers.

Like the title says, this book is not about the cars. It's about all the other stuff that Packard was building for airplanes, boats, and the military.

If engines jump start your soul, then this book is a total defibrillator. And don't be put off by the high prices this book fetches when it's available. If you love Packard and its engineering efforts, the book is worth every penny. Ask the fan who owns one.

Hardback, New: from $79.95

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Packards at Speed by Robert J. Neal
(Aero-Marine History Publishing Co.; Kent, WA; 1995)

Packard engine fan Robert Neal wrote the "first book devoted entirely to Packards in performance."

After doing four years worth of research on the subject, Neal's examination of Packard engines in competition is unparalleled. You'll learn endless facts about Packard engines race cars, airplanes, and speed boats.

Look for the appendices filled with racing statistics, records, and engine tech specs. There's also a section devoted to the personalities associated with the high-performance Packard engines.

Packard performance fans: stomp on it, and buy this book (if you can find it.)

Hardback, Used: Look for a used copy in the $50-$80 range.
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Packard Motors Cars: 1935-1942 Photo Archive by Mark Patrick
(Iconografix; Osceola, WI; 1996)

Nineteen Thirty Five marked Packard's move from a purely luxury car builder to a builder of luxury & medium price cars, in a effort to broaden its market.

Shown in this book are the Twelfth to Nineteenth Series Packards, including the 115, Packard's first 6-cylinder car in nearly a decade, the 120, 160, 180 and the last of the fabled 12-cylinder Packards.

Many unpublished photos from the collection of the National Automotive History Collection of The Detroit Public Library.

Softcover, Used: Prices vary widely. Look for a used copy in the $15-$50 range.

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Packard Motors Cars: 1946-1958 Photo Archive by Mark Patrick
(Iconografix; Osceola, WI; 1996)

A continuation of Packard publicity stills and behind-the-scenes photos. This book starts when Packard resumed car production after World War II.

Many unpublished photos from the collection of the National Automotive History Collection of The Detroit Public Library.

Paperback, Used: Look for a used copy in the $20-$30 range.
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The Coachbuilt Packard by Hugo Pfau
(Motorbooks International (2nd Edition); Minneapolis, MN; 1992)

Pfau was a young draftsman when he worked with Raymond Dietrich, Frank Pease, Ralph Roberts, and Roland Stickney. He was also a lifelong fan of coachbuilt cars.

He preserved his memories and experiences in this book about Packard coachbuilt cars. This book is primarily a photo album with Pfau's captions providing context and insight.

You'll find valuable information about the custom-bodied cars from the Packard Custom Body Division as well as well-known names like Brewster, Darrin, Derham, Dietrich, Fleetwood, Holbrook, Judkins, LeBaron, Rollston, Waterhouse, and Willoughby.

Although heavy on the visuals, Pfau's memories might have been lost forever if not for this book.

Hardcover, Used: Prices vary. Look for a used copy in the $70-$95 range.

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Packard: Ask the Man Who Owned One by Otto A. Schroeder
(Post-Era Books; Arcadia, CA; 1974)

You might consider this a companion volume to Packard advertising books by Arthur Einstein, Jr., and Gwilym Griffiths. (See both books listed above.)

Schroeder starts his book with a short history of Packard up to 1901. The rest of the book is all ads from 1902 to 1942. The reprints are all in black and white.

This book is light & easy with a heavy reliance on visual nostalgia.

Hardcover, Used: Look for a used copy of this book in the $25 range.

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The Packard Story by Robert E. Turnquist
(Oak Tree Publications; San Diego, CA; 1965)

Packard owner. Packard lover. Packard restorer. And Packard author. In his lifetime, Robert Turnquist was an über-Packard fan.

He published this history of Packard more than a decade before anyone else had much more than a rough draft. It went through nine printings.

This book + Beverly Rae Kimes' Packard book are the McGuffey's Readers of Packard history books.

Hardback, Used: Look for a used copy in the $12-$25 range.
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The Fall of the Packard Motor Car Company by James A. Ward
(Stanford University Press; Palo Alto, CA; 1997)

Just what the title says. In great detail Ward examines the last decade of Packard. It's primarily a business history.

You'll learn how fate, misfortune, and bad management combined to drive one of America's most prestigious car makers right off the cliff.

Hardcover, Used: in the $30-$50 range
Paperback, Used: in the $15-$50 range

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