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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Shelby Charter Township in Macomb County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Packard Motor Car Company / Packard Proving Grounds

 
 
Packard Motor Car Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Garman, June 22, 2019
1. Packard Motor Car Company Marker
Inscription.  
Packard Motor Car Company
In 1899 brothers James Ward and William Doud Packard founded the Ohio Automobile Company in Warren, Ohio. In 1902 Detroiter Henry Joy and several other local investors purchased the company, moved it to Detroit, and renamed it the Packard Motor Car Company. During the 1920s and 1930s, Packard set the standard for luxury and design. Under the direction of chief engineer Jesse G. Vincent, Packard, known as “America’s Master Motor Builder”, also made advances in aviation technology. Vincent contributed to the development of the Liberty aircraft engine during World War I and predicted the growth of commercial aviation. He considered a proving ground to be essential to high quality.

Packard Proving Grounds
The Packard Motor Car Company began building a proving ground on this site in 1926. Packard, like its competitors, had previously tested cars on city streets. Architect Albert Kahn designed the principal buildings. By 1929 the complex included the Gate Lodge, warehouses, laboratories, a high-speed test track, and twelve miles of roads simulating the worst conditions of
Packard Proving Grounds Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Garman, June 22, 2019
2. Packard Proving Grounds Marker
the day. During World War II (1942-1945) Packard built aircraft and marine engines while leasing the grounds to Chrysler for tank testing. Packard ceased production in 1958, and the Ford Motor Company purchased the site in 1961. In 2000 Ford and the Packard Motor Car Foundation began working to preserve the design complex portion of the site.
 
Erected 2005 by Michigan Historical Commission - Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number S686.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
 
Location. 42° 39.684′ N, 83° 2.053′ W. Marker is in Shelby Charter Township, Michigan, in Macomb County. Marker is on Van Dyke Ave. (State Highway 53) 0.4 miles north of 22 Mile Rd., on the left when traveling north. The marker is in the median between two driveways leading to the two main gates entering the Proving Grounds. Very easy to see from Van Dyke Ave. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 49965 Van Dyke Ave, Utica MI 48317, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Packard Proving Grounds (here, next to this marker); Base of Operations (within shouting distance of this marker); The Vincent Family (within shouting distance of this marker); "Quality First" (within shouting distance
The Lodge of the Proving Grounds image. Click for full size.
By John Garman, June 22, 2019
3. The Lodge of the Proving Grounds
The Lodge is a landmark just north of the main gates.
of this marker); In Times of War (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Packard Takes Flight (approx. 0.2 miles away); Extreme Testing (approx. 0.2 miles away); Made for Speed (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shelby Charter Township.
 
More about this marker. This facility hosts many large events and sometimes the historical marker can be obscured by vehicles parking for the event.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Packard Proving Grounds Water Tower and Maintenance Building image. Click for full size.
By John Garman, June 22, 2019
4. Packard Proving Grounds Water Tower and Maintenance Building
The South Main Gate leading into the Packard Proving Grounds image. Click for full size.
By John Garman, June 22, 2019
5. The South Main Gate leading into the Packard Proving Grounds
 

More. Search the internet for Packard Motor Car Company / Packard Proving Grounds.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 24, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 23, 2019, by John Garman of Rochester Hills. This page has been viewed 57 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 23, 2019, by John Garman of Rochester Hills. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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