The luxury car brand Packard, which was manufactured in Detroit until 1956, had a slogan that spoke its reputation: “Ask the man who owns one”.
Well, a lot of men who own a variation on the classic will be in Newport Beach this weekend.
The Packards International Motor Car Club is hosting a free all-Packard car show and parts exchange at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach hotel on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Packards International vice president Robert Escalante, a Newport Beach resident, said up to 55 Packards will be on display.
“Our people come from all walks of life and have always respected Packard as the American Rolls Royce,” said Escalante. “A lot of these people, their grandfathers or their fathers raised them in a Packard … and they want this life back. I think that’s really the culmination of what keeps this show on the road. “
Escalante is the owner of the Custom Auto Service restoration facility in Santa Ana, where Packards International is headquartered. Cathy Hull, the secretary and treasurer of the nonprofit social club, said more than 100 club members are expected to attend a general meeting that includes the auto show this weekend.
A 1934 Packard Standard 8 convertible sedan is owned by Mike Spera. He takes it to work, where he and his best friend Mike Berria take care of the steam locomotives and the steam-powered stern wheel riverboat at Disneyland Resort.
(Courtesy Mike Spera)
Hull, who lives in Costa Mesa, said there will be a members-only meeting at Custom Auto Service on Friday night. Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento is expected.
The club will host a lunch at the Hyatt Regency on Saturday, which will be attended by a special guest speaker and classic car enthusiast Aaron Weiss, the co-founder of the San Marino Motor Classic. There will be an awards ceremony that evening and the weekend will end with a Sunday morning cruise to Las Brisas restaurant in Laguna Beach.
“It’s only a chance to get together,” said Hull. “We haven’t seen each other for over a year because of the pandemic.”
As for the public auto show, Escalante said to expect Packards from the 1920s to 1950s in all sorts of types and colors.
He added that he was very much looking forward to the events of the weekend.
“You made a million Packards and the survival rate is only about 10%,” he said. “With only 100,000 of these cars on the road around the world, you can imagine how many cars per state are driving away.”
For more information about the Packards International Motor Car Club, visit the club website or call (714) 541-8431.
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