James Packard

Inducted 1999

Founded the Packard Motor Car Company Introduced several automotive innovations, including the hook-up accelerator pedal, the hand throttle, the “H” gear slot, and automatic spark advance The Packard brothers’ fascination for original work led them repeatedly into new adventures. Before establishing their name in the automotive world, William and James Packard successfully operated their own business, Packard Electric, in Warren, Ohio. Although James had made drawings of a “horseless carriage” as early as 1893, financial difficulties prevented the brothers from building their first automobile until 1899. In 1900, they applied for a patent for their innovative car design, which included a flexible shaft drive that could be used in place of the chain drive. The Packards formed the Ohio Automobile Company in 1900, changing the company’s name to Packard Motor Car Company in 1902. Always looking ahead, James and William Packard were adamant in securing resources for testing and design. No matter what the endeavor, they were quick to establish laboratories, departments for creating improvements, and experimental rooms for testing.

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Class of 1999

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