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The Old Car Dealer dept.

Buffalo Evening News ad

As you can see from this old Buffalo Evening News ad, the Ostendorf Motor Car Corp. was having a sale on November 2, 1954: nine different 1951 Packards, each at a mere $995.

1951 Packard Patrician

When new, the ’51s were priced from $2,302 for the business coupe, on up to $3,662 for the Patrician 400 four-door.  Meanwhile, in their showroom at 1325 main St. in Buffalo, the new 1955s were on display, which included the lower-priced Clipper models, starting at $2,586. Top-of-the-line Packard for 1955 was the Caribbean convertible at a pricey $5,932.

1955 Packard Four-Hundred

A year before, Packard’s problems (its lineup was aging and sales were dropping like a lead balloon) prompted them to go looking for a partner. Although it’s widely thought that Packard merged with Studebaker in 1954, Packard actually bought Studebaker — along with all of its own financial and production problems. One thing led to another, and the 1956 models were the last true Packards — 1957s were Studebakers with different grilles and taillights (really different!).  After a model run of less than 2,500 1958s, the Packard name was put to rest.

1325 Main St., Buffalo, N.Y. today

The building at 1325 Main St. not only still stands today, but in the past couple of years underwent a major rehab, with commercial space on the ground floor and living space upstairs. The old water tower with the Packard logo is still visible up on the roof, and the Packard name is still engraved high on the first floor.

— Jim Corbran, You Auto Know

Ostendorf Motor Car Corp. mid-20th century photo ( web page)

water tower atop building today

  • Max

    Jim- good to see that building has sustained gracefully and regret I wasn’t around in ’55 to pick up one of those ’51s @ &995…what a deal. Of course, that would have been a real feat; I was all of 2 years old that year!

    Those were great cars and undoubtedly as you point out, this period marked Packard’s swan song on the American automobile scene.


    • Jim Corbran

      It’s sad how many fine buildings are no longer around!