D.D. Gross Motor Sales: 1949 – The Golden Anniversary Advertising

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Packard’s first car was built in Warren, Ohio on November 6, 1899.

The first vehicles produced had a single cylinder engine. By late 1902, Packard Motor Car Company was reorganized and relocated to Detroit, Michigan.

1949 was celebrated as the 50th anniversary of the Packard automobile. D. D. Gross Motor Sales ran a series of fifteen advertisements in the Perrysburg Messenger to promote the 1949 models. The dealership also offered free advertising merchandise for the event. This included a commemorative wipe rag. It included images of the 1899 Packard and the 1949 Packard. When soiled, the customer was supposed to return it for a clean one.

Image provided by Scott Gross.

One of the best gimmicks was the wiping cloth that was offered. When you bought a new Packard, you got a wiping cloth that said, “when soiled return to D.D. Gross for a clean one”. This kept the customers stopping by. The soiled rags just ended up in our rag bin for use out in the shop.

Roger Gross

1949 was a good year for new car sales at D. D. Gross Motor Sales.

Dan even earned the “Ten Percent Club Leadership Award” from Packard for the 1949 year. This award stated, “In recognition of distinguished sales performance as evidenced by attaining or surpassing Packard’s goal of ten percent of price class in the community”.

Image provided by Scott Gross.

Was the Packard Golden Anniversary promoted at the dealership? I don’t have any substantive information about promotions at the dealership. I do remember my grandfather telling me that the golden anniversary was a big event, but he did not provide me with any other details. He did give me a Packard Golden Anniversary key.

Image provided by Scott Gross.

This key could have been a leftover at the garage or it could have been from his car. My grandfather purchased a used 1949 Golden Anniversary car a couple of years later. It may have been one of the gold painted cars, but by the time he owned it, the car had been painted tan.

Of the fifteen advertisements found in the Perrysburg Messenger, here are four examples which ran between May 12, 1949 and October 27, 1949.

Images provided by Scott Gross.
Images provided by Scott Gross.

Click here to read Part 6.


  • Emily Benoit

    Lover of research and writing, libraries and archives. Graduate of Oakland University's MA of English Literature program; and Wayne State University's MLIS program with an additional certification in archival administration.