AUTOS: The Ultramatic

On its soth anniversary this week, Packard proudly unveiled its first 1949 models. On the outside, they looked much the same as the old ones. But under the floorboards there was something to send rival automakers back to their drawing boards. Packard had come out with a new automatic shift—and those who had driven it gave it the edge on Buick's Dynaflow. The shift will be standard on the highest-priced line, the Custom 8s, optional on the lower-priced Supers.

Packard had developed the shift three years ago but kept it out of its...

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