D.D. Gross Motor Sales: Packard Dealership Advertising

Click here to read Part 7.

In the 1950s, D. D. Gross Motor Sales relied heavily on newspaper advertisements as their main source of advertising.

In the early to mid-1950s, hundreds of advertisements were run in the Perrysburg Messenger. This included ads for a wide variety of products including housewares, paint, vacuum sweepers, fishing supplies, radios, televisions, yard tools and lawn mowers.

New Packards were also heavily advertised during this period. For the model years of 1950 through 1955, 117 advertisements for new Packards were found in the Perrysburg Messenger. This period was clearly the height of print advertising for Dan Gross and his business. The following are a small sampling of advertisements from the Packard model years of 1951 thru 1955.

The 1951 advertisements generally promoted the new body design. The December 12, 1950 ad featured another photograph that was taken at the Packard Proving Grounds. The October 4, 1951 ad featured the Thunderbolt engine.

Image provided by Scott Gross.

The first 1952 ad ran on December 5, 1951 and promoted the collaboration with Dorothy Draper, “internationally famous decorator and color stylist”. The July 17, 1952 ad listed the sticker price for a brand new “200” four-door sedan at $2,544.

Image provided by Scott Gross.

The November 27, 1952 ad introduced the 1953 models with great fanfare. The July 23, 1953 ad listed the sticker price of the Clipper at $2,614.

Image provided by Scott Gross.

The January 14, 1954 ad announced the Packard Clipper and included a list price of $2,561. This advertisement referenced the Packard Proving Grounds and instructed the customer to obtain their copy of the “Packard Pocket Proving Ground” from their dealer.

Image provided by Scott Gross.

By the 1955 model year, the new car advertisements were quickly coming to an end.

Archival newspaper research only uncovered three ads from the 1955 year. The February 24, 1955 example promoted the new torsion-level ride and the V-8 engine.

Image provided by Scott Gross.

This is a small sampling of the D. D. Gross Motor Sales advertising for new Packards. In my newspaper research, I found approximately 150 new Packard advertisements from 1940 thru 1955. Print advertising was clearly the primary form of advertising used by Dan for his business.

In the next installment, Roger Gross shares some of his experiences working as a young Packard mechanic in the 1950s. Click here to read Part 9.


  • 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.