Years Active: 1899-1958

Complex Says: James Ward Packard was the American Ferruccio Lamborghini, in that his car company was born of anger toward another company. Packard had purchased a Winton car, did not like it, and wrote to Alexander Winton with his complaints and suggestions. Winton challenged Packard, an engineer, to build a better car, so Packard did just that. Packards introduced innovations like the modern steering wheel and the 12-cylinder engine. Packard built expensive, opulent cars with a reputation for mechanical sturdiness and reliability, which is something Mr. Lamborghini could have learned from. Unfortunately, in 1958 Packard succumbed to poor management and political tensions with potential partner AMC.