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Studebaker-Packard Astral

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Astral
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Packard: Astral

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A concept car produced by Studebaker/Packard in 1957 and unveiled in 1958.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Packard page on 10 April 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

One very unusual prototype, the Studebaker-Packard Astral, was made in 1957 and first unveiled at the South Bend Art Centre on January 12, 1958, and then at the March 1958 Geneva Motor Show. It had a single gyroscopic balanced wheel and the publicity data suggested it could be nuclear powered or have what the designers described as an ionic engine. No working prototype was ever made, nor was it likely that one was ever intended.[44][45]

The Astral was designed by Edward E Herrmann, Studebaker-Packards director of interior design, as a project to give his team experience in working with glass-reinforced plastic. It was put on show at various Studebaker dealerships before being put into storage. Rediscovered 30 years later, the car was restored and put on display by the Studebaker museum.


Photographs

1958 Studebaker-Packard Astral Photo ©2016 Heidi Walczak
View photo of 1958 Studebaker-Packard Astral at the Studebaker National Museum - 1.5MB


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