Antique Auto Advertising: Packard Proving Grounds

We’ve written about the Packard Proving Grounds and about car events held there a few times. As a matter of fact, their Cars R Stars show was just a few days ago and we’ve already started posting photos from this year’s show. I found this promotional film from 1953 called The Watchdogs, produced for Packard just to publicize what they did at their Proving Grounds. The 25 minute film was narrated by veteran actor Addison Richards, playing himself fictionally filming a movie about an automotive engineer on location at the Proving Grounds. Packard didn’t just road test cars at the facility. There was also a large engineering lab there that worked closely with the engineers at Packard’s sprawling plant on Detroit’s East Grand Blvd, now a ruined symbol of Detroit’s decay. Unlike the factory, the Packard Proving Grounds are not a ruin and are being restored by the Packard Foundation and Packard owners’ club. The film gives a nice look at what the proving grounds were like in their heyday, showing cars at over 100mph on the high speed oval, the timing shed that still stands by the track, and engineers testing components in the lab.

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