Packards and “Orphans” in Free Classic Car Show at Lyceum September 22

1935 Packard 1207 Coupe Roadster

Packards and “Orphans” Will Show 

Join antique car lovers and fans from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 22, 2018 in the parking lot of The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum for a classic car show featuring a variety of Packards and other “orphan” vehicles. Orphan cars are any marque of vehicle built by an out-of-business manufacturer. The show is free, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., and is co-sponsored by Packards Virginia and The Lyceum.

On display will be Packards, Austins, Oldsmobiles, and others, primarily from the 1930s – 1950s. Among the Packards being shown is a 1933 Packard model 1001 Coupe Roadster. It is one of only 10 known to exist and is rarely shown. It is fitted with a 320 CID, nine main bearing, straight 8 engine producing 120 hp. In the small body, this provided a fast, sporty ride! Wood cappings and dashboard, and jewel-like instruments rounded out the design of this beautiful, rare car. Other examples include a 1955 Packard Constellation with Packard’s first V8. Prior to 1955, Packard used a superbly designed straight 8 engine, but an updated power plan was needed to face the competition. Also showing is a 1935 Packard V12 Club Sedan – a legendary car and undoubtedly the finest car Packard ever built. The Club Sedan designated a limousine-like body on a slightly shorter chassis which made them easier to drive in urban areas.

1947 advertisement for the new Clipper sedan.

Joining these Packards will be a 1947 Custom Super Clipper Touring Sedan, which was first produced in 1941. Because of the war, production was limited to cars being produced for the military and were used as staff cars such as those for Generals Eisenhower and Patton. After the war, the same car resumed production to meet high post-war demand. At the high end of the model line, a lavish sedan was produced with wood grain interior moldings and wool mohair upholstery. Other touches included door panels with stainless steel, wool mohair and leather accents. A massive chrome dash and the legendary 356 cubic inch straight 8 engine whose idle was so smooth that a nickel could be balanced on its edge when placed on an idling engine. The Clipper was the most expensive American luxury car sold in 1947.

Advertisement for 1953 Oldsmobile 88.

Among non-Packards on display will be a 1953 Oldsmobile Super 88. The car had the new “Futuramic” B-body with the new 303 cu. in. (5.0 L) Rocket V8 engine producing 135 hp. This combination of a relatively small, light body and large, powerful engine made it widely considered to be the first muscle car! The 88 enjoyed a great success, inspiring a popular 1950’s slogan “Make a Date with a Rocket 88” as well as the 1951 song, “Rocket 88,” considered by some to be the first rock and roll record. The Super 88 not only ushered in the age of the muscle car but also rock and roll! In the foreign car area is a British Austin A70 Hampshire. This car is like a mini-limousine and was packed with many lovely details on a very small chassis. Britain was recovering from the war and needed income from exports, and this was an attempt to fill the need for the British economy. It reflects the tastes of the British middle class to have an upper-class car that was affordable.

The Lyceum is located at 201 South Washington Street in Old Town Alexandria. For more information, visit  packardsva.org or call 703.424.5871.