Yes, and in the movies, many people remember these luxury cars luxury, impressive forms, brilliant chrome and varnish. After all, most of the famous American films of the 40s and 50s were rented in the Soviet Union a decade or more later than in the West.
In the 30s, Moscow knew a lot of luxury limousines, this is reflected in the then literature.
In one of Kassil's novels (an avid motorist, by the way), the car of a famous filmmaker is described in some detail - low, with recessed headlights, in color reminiscent of a bronze beetle, with a folding seat in a sloping “tail”.
In the “Goalkeeper of the Republic” a significant place is given to a girl in a fur coat, carelessly leaning on the side of an elongated, shiny, “thoroughbred” machine.
Ilf and Petrov, who made a creative business trip to the North American United States, quite a few pages in the description of this trip, no doubt, rich with impressions, were given to the automobile salon in New York and cars in general.
Among the car brands, as you can see, two friends who gave us the unforgettable images of the Great Combinator Ostap Bender, “the son of Lieutenant Schmidt” Shura Balaganov, Mikhail Samuelevich Panikovsky and the immense soul driver Chauffeur Adam Kazimirovich Kozlevich, pay tribute to the esteem of respect.
This car, undoubtedly, symbolized not even success or luxury - it personified the dream. And the dream does not have to come true. It should just be - for what is life without a dream?
The dream to drive faster than by horse was visited by a successful electrical engineer James Ward Packard at the very end of the 19th century. He found time to go for 80 miles - to neighboring Cleveland, where Alexander Winton, having gained experience in the manufacture of bicycles, decided to switch to cars. (Automobile - this term was preferred by the Americans as opposed to the English Motor Car.)
Mr. Winton easily gave him the 13th light motor carriages produced at his factory, typical for America's design at that time - a small motor under the frame, bicycle wheels, a curved steering lever - a cow's tail, a mud guard at the front ...
Whether the cause is an unfortunate serial number, but James was never able to get a new purchase to his home in Warren. Presumably, Winton’s stroller was flimsy for the roads that were in those days in Ohio. The motor began to boil already in the second mile, bicycle tires were obviously not designed for use on a motorized vehicle, the drive chains jumped off, the steering linkage broke…
Finally, at the roadside farm, Mr. Packard called out the owner, and, putting the front end of the “miracle of modern technology” on the farm doorway, they moved back to Cleveland in order to return the goods to the manufacturer, collect the money paid from that, and at the same time reproach the consumer quality new items.
This last thing caused Mr. Winton a clearly negative reaction. He himself considered himself an excellent carmaker, was proud of his products and did not quite correct Mr. Packard’s remarks about constructive errors in the heat of the voice: “Since you yourself know everything, why don't you build the car yourself ?!”
Mr. Packard frankly did not like the aplomb of Mr. Winton, and, with the utmost restraint, said: “I will follow your advice,” he turned and left. Naturally, the construction of the car was a matter of honor for him, because he was a man of high principles.
Mr. Packard did not just swagger - the following year, the first ten cars came out of the gates of his workshop. They had a motor located in front, a steering wheel on a sloping column, tires-pneumatics ordered by Goodyear - evidence that Mr. Packard did not lose sight of the most advanced trends.
In 1901, Mr. Packard brought his cars to the exhibition in Chicago. He modestly put them at the entrance - the halls were already overflowing with the wonders of science and technology. Just at this time, Chicago businessman Henry Joy was looking for a new-fashioned “horseless carriage” at the exhibition. He became interested in a steam car. The driver put to the exhibit obviously didn’t have enough experience in handling the technical novelty. Having parted the pair, he awkwardly turned off the tap, as a result of which a strong jet of steam escaped. Scalded Mr. Joy is not much, but he was scared thoroughly and darted to approach the steammobiles.
The next day, Mr. Joy drew attention to how Mr. Packard himself started his car. Catching Mr. Joy's glance, James offered to take a ride. With some caution, he climbed onto the seat, the car confidently pulled off and drove down the street. Just at that time, the fire brigade raced past. Mr. Packard easily caught up with them and found out from the firemaster what was burning and where. After that, he turned the car around and returned to the exhibition. So gasoline cars began to show their advantage over the steam.
As a result, Mr. Joy did not just buy a car. He undertook to fund the Packard enterprise. A year later, the Packards were already leaving the assembly line at a new plant in Detroit.
The management of the company decided to try its strength in sports, putting the car to the prestigious cup race, established by a passionate fan of technical innovations William Kissam Vanderbildt, Jr., who inherited the billionth state.
A French engineer Charles Schmidt was invited to create a racing car. Schmidt did not design a super-power monster. His car resembled the 20-strong Mors created by him for the well-known in Europe athlete Count Fournier. Schmidt from scratch created a lightweight frame and suspension. Only a 24-horsepower motor was serial.
In principle, such a machine was easier to manage, but on the huge Locomobile, Pierless, FIAT, Peugeot, Case were sturdy men - Barney Oldfield, Dario Resta, Jimmy Murphy, “Cannonball” Edwin Baker ... They literally wiped out a small car named “Gray Wolf". As a result, the car lived out its age as an advertisement in front of a cinema in Dallas - then a provincial city, because Texas was not yet known either as a cowboy or as an oil state. Subsequently, the company tried again to use the name Gray Wolf, but more on that later ...
In the race continued rivalry Packard and Winton. Winton put out at the start powerful machines under the names "Bullett I" and "Bullett II" - that is, "Bullet-1" and "Bullet-2".
In 1904, a certain doctor, Comrade Winton, made a run of $ 50 on a bet of $ 50 in San Francisco - New York. Mr. Packard questioned this result, for which Mr. Winton sued him. Then Packard himself prepared the car for the trans-American run. Newspaper reporters were closely following the course of the race. After the finish, when after 63 days thousands of miles of American roads were left behind, and for the most part - off-road, prairie, sand, scree, impassable mud, everyone acknowledged - the result of Uinton is undoubtedly blocked. The trial of "Winton v Packard" meanwhile considerably delayed. As a result, the court left the parties with their own interests - in 1926, a year after the liquidation of Mr. Winton’s enterprise.
James Packard left the company of his name in the same 1904. At the same time, a uniquely packard-shaped “gendarme hat” radiator appeared on the machines.
The company has chosen the direction of its production of solid and high-speed cars. They were produced in line, but this allowed achieving cost reduction and achieving quality that is inaccessible to small companies with semi-handicraft production. As a result, Packards confidently took a position in the market.
The Packards were equipped with custom-made bodies such as Lando, Town Car, Limo and Phaeton, which implied driving with a hired driver. However, their owners often found pleasure in self-driving, and the Pakkarda with phaeton bodies were considered sports experts.
In the nomenclature of bodies installed on the Packard, there was one very distinctive type, the so-called. "Victoria". He was of English origin, his name was derived from the favorite crew of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. This body is interesting because the side door provides a very convenient access to the rear sofa and the driver's seat, the benefit of the front passenger seat in this car is not, unless - in an extreme case - a folding chair.
Doors from the driver could not be. The top on such a machine, as on the crew of the same name, was formed and raised fairly easily, while on cabriolets the top was formed only in special cases, since this operation required considerable effort. There was a closed version of such a body, very elegant in appearance.
Having undergone changes over the years, this body survived until World War II, and even after that there were hunters before exotic “victoria”, “sedanok”, “bromems”, and “town cars”.
But these were the quirks of individual eccentrics.