It’s hard to imagine that back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, some vehicle manufacturers were building their cars with wood frames (nobody cared too much about safety standards back then).

The long defunct Packard Motor Car Company was one of those who touted ‘Luxury’ using wooden frames. A series of silent films posted on YouTube from the King Rose Archives details the process of how the company built their bodies for their automobiles.

It begins with sawing down hardwood tress (Maple, Ash and Birch) that were hand cut, bundled, milled and hauled to their Detroit factory. The wood is then cut to the desired shape and dimensions before being assembled into the automobiles body, bracing and even the doors.

Suffice it to say, the process is more detailed than what was mentioned and the films really do a good job at showing the viewer exactly what is being done…the process was long and involved hundreds of men to get the vehicles on the road.

…it’s almost night and day compared to the robotic assembly lines we use to manufacture vehicles today.

Part I

Part II

Part III


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