Edward Macauley 1896-1973


    Macauley, Edward (Packard) There were two Macauleys who worked at Packard, and they were father and son. Edward Macauley was the son of James Alvan Macauley and the grandson of James Alexander Macauley. Sadly, some who worked for Packard and some who did not work for Packard, concluded that Edward Macauley got his job at Packard because he was the son of Packard's President. Actually, Edward Macauley was a gifted automotive designer, and, like his father, he was a skilled manager. James Alvan Macauley (known generally as Alvan Macauley) knew that, but, even more than that, he was able to look beyond the criticism that would come his way if he hired his son because he knew that through his son he could keep a close eye on Packard styling. Alvan Macauley was keenly interested in automotive design, but the executive responsibilities of his job would not allow him enough time to take an active role in Packard styling. His son, however, could do that for him. Thus, when the Packard Custom Body Shop came into being, it was Edward Macauley who was placed in charge. The young Macauley was then the Manager of Styling. Edward Macauley worked closely with Packard's design staff including Archer L. Knapp, Raymond Birge, Werner Gubitz, with whom he was particularly close, and with outside designers such as Ray Dietrich. When Dietrich left in 1931, Edward Macauley hired Alexis de Sakhnoffsky to replace him. Alexis de Sakhnoffsky added a fine finishing touch to the work that Dietrich had done at Packard, including the elongated hood and the slanted "A" post which gave a new "cleanness" to his designs. Side mounts, for example, were out. Spare tires went to the rear which further accented the long hood and fender line so evident in de Sakhnoffsky's designs. The changes that de Sakhnoffsky made to Dietrich's designs, however, did not endear either de Sakhnoffsky or Edward Macauley to Ray Dietrich. Dietrich was a great automotive designer, and I guess that automotive designers of his ability do not generally pass praises to one another. Thus Dietrich was critical of Edward Macauley and apparently did not think much of his abilities as a designer. In truth, however, Edward Macauley had many good ideas, and he worked very well with de Sakhnoffsky as evidenced by the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition Cars. After World War Two there were new challanges for Packard. Time did not allow much retooling which meant that old designs had to be reworked. Under Edward Macauley's supervision, the 1941 Clipper design was reworked time and again. First it was reworked for the 1946 and 1947 Packards and then again for the 22nd and 23rd Series cars made in 1948, 1949 and 1950. In 1947, when Werner Gubitz stepped down, John Reinhart became Packard's Chief Stylist, which meant that the difficult task of revamping the old designs for the 22nd and 23rd Series would be his problem and that of Edward Macauley who was still the Director of Styling. It was not an easy task but the so-called "bath-tubs" won many awards including the top design award for 1948. In the later years Edward Macauley tried to balance Packard's decline by adding a number of exceptional cars to the Packard roster, including the Panther of 1951 which started out being Edward Macauley's personal car. In 1952, when James J. Nance came to Packard, the order for the Pan American show car had already been given to Henney. Behind the project is Edward Macauley who has to surmount the internal difficulties at Packard at the time. Ferry is President, but he is cautious and doubts his own abilities to lead Packard. John Reinhart has resigned and is replaced by Richard Teague, and Nance is just around the corner. It was a difficult time at Packard, and Macauley was in the hot seat, but out of that period came the Panther, the Pan American, the Caribbean, the Monte Carlo and the final revamping of the evolutionary body design. Finally, in 1955, Edward Macauley retires almost unnoticed. He is not a member of the team in power then, and there are few left who will miss him, but his contribution to Packard was a big one.

 

   

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