Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Crystal Park Packard "jitney buses"

This is a photo of a 1910 Packard "jitney bus", one of six built specifically for use in Crystal Park.  This photo was taken near the Packard plant in Detroit.  The back of this photo has "Proctor Keefe Body Co." on it.  Their predecessor company was Motor Truck Body Company, whose President was Frederick Proctor.  Frederick Proctor was previously the head of the Packard "body drafting" department.  It might seem that the custom work on the Crystal Park Packards was done by the Motor Truck Body Company, except that what records have been found so far indicate that the company wasn't formed until 1912, well after these vehicles were delivered.  Perhaps Mr. Proctor took the photos with him when he left Packard.  Further research is needed.

Two more photos of Packard "jitney buses" taken near the Packard factory.  The lower is not a Crystal Park vehicle, but a very similar one.  The upper photo may be a Crystal Park vehicle.  In the handwritten notation (lower right), it appears that the first word is "Manitou".

A Crystal Park Packard in Manitou

After the Crystal Park Auto Road went bankrupt, the Packards were sold to repay creditors.  This photo shows one at the Golden Cycle Mill (located near 21st Street and the current Hwy. 24).  These vehicles were built on a Packard "3-ton truck" chassis and so were stout enough for a variety of uses.  Kind of a sad place for such vehicles to be "demoted" to.
This photo was taken on March 16, 1918.  The driver is a man named Jimmie Druitt, Old Colorado City.  Several of the Crystal Park Packards were bought by the Pike Coal Company to haul coal.