Corvettes and basic vehicles come to the Packard Museum | Information, sports activities, jobs
WARREN – For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the National Packard Museum’s annual auto show featured an abundance of cars for enthusiasts on Saturday afternoon.
The museum has partnered with the Mahoning Valley Corvette Club to present the Corvettes and Classics Car Show.
Corvette fan Bob Lanning from Warren was among the crowd. He said it was his first visit to the National Packard Museum, but his life has turned since he was 16.
“I like to meet people, talk to the car owners and find out about the cars. Almost everyone here will have a story about their car, be it a short story or something they bought a long time ago and had it forever, ”Lanning said.
While walking around and inspecting the classic cars and more than 80 different Corvettes, Lanning put his knowledge of cars in the foreground and was able to determine the year of manufacture of the vehicle without having to read the description provided.
For the museum’s executive director, Mary Ann Porinchak, and the museum’s president, William Dennis Jr., the event on Saturday was a very welcome change from the museum’s parade last year.
“We are excited. It’s great to see the people on the site, all the cars and the band playing. It’s so important to us, ”said Porinchak. “Taking a year off was tough for us, but seeing it all come together is like the party after the break.”
Jason Mauro, a Mahoning Valley Corvette Club officer, agreed that it was amazing to see the crowd at the event.
“It is overwhelming how many people have taken the time to support the National Packard Museum. We have people from all over the area with Corvettes, classics, trucks, and people who brought their cars in from Michigan and Minnesota to support the museum, ”said Mauro. “It shows what the museum means for the people.”
Porinchak added that the event will serve as a source of income for the museum, so a year off will not only harm the museum but also those who take their vehicles to the exhibitions.
“There are a lot of guys who haven’t had their cars in a while,” she said. “Shows like this are very important for the culture of the car clubs and also for the individuals. This is their social outlet. They worked really hard on these cars, kept them in pristine condition, and letting them sit is not good for the cars. “
Dennis said this year’s event serves as a respite for auto enthusiasts.
“I think people are ready to come out after the COVID-19 mayhem and I think they are chewing on the top. There are people who haven’t seen each other in a while, a chance to gather together and show what they’ve been working on, ”Dennis said. “It is socially important to them and it is important to us for sales.”
With COVID-19 dampening every facet of life, Lanning said it was a disappointment not to have shows.
“Absolutely disappointing. I’ve been a car guy since I was 16. I stayed home and played it safe, ”Lanning said. “I hardly went anywhere. 2020 is a lost year in my life. “
Last year the museum and the Mahoning Valley Corvette Club held a parade to raise funds for the museum and give car enthusiasts a sense of normalcy. That year, however, Dennis said that talking to those who wanted to come to a personal show was part of the driving force behind this year’s event.
“I have said throughout the whole thing that caution is important, but to be paralyzed by fear and to be in your house for over a year, when are you coming out? It’s important for mental and physical health, ”he said.
Dennis added there were minimal concerns about hosting the event this year.
“I wasn’t too worried. I thought people would get out because some of these guys have been stuck in their garages for over a year. Many of them are very, very excited about their cars, ”said Dennis.
One man, Robert Workman of Warren, previously went to the shows as an enthusiast, but now he has one of the cars to look at – a 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII, the last of its kind according to Workman.
“I only got that three months ago. I think this is the fourth time I’ve shown the car, ”he said. “It feels good. I spent too much time at home and too much time alone (during the pandemic). That gives me a break,” he said.
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