Cars from acclaimed Astor collection at Russo and Steele

A handsome 1932 Packard 902 coupe roadster is part of the Devotion Collection | Russo and Steele photos
A handsome 1932 Packard 902 coupe roadster is part of the Devotion Collection | Russo and Steele photos

Broadcasting pioneer Art Astor was a remarkable presence in Southern California, and the entire country, for that matter. As broadcaster and owner during the heyday of rock ‘n roll AM radio in the 1950s and ’60s, he built the presence of his stations, which eventually became the Astor Broadcast Group, and they continued their power and appeal into this century.

As his wealth grew, Astor became an inveterate collector of cultural artifacts, such as vintage radios, toys, slot machines, juke boxes and autographed photos of Hollywood stars. Most notably, Astor was a collector of great old cars, which numbered into the hundreds. Astor died in December at the age of 91. Continue reading

New AACA award to pick the best Restoration of the Year

A 1930 Packard at the AACA meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania | Andy Reid
A 1930 Packard at the AACA meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania | Andy Reid

The Antique Automobile Club of America has initiated a new annual award, the Zenith Award for the Restoration of the Year, which will be chosen this year from 20 vehicles selected from AACA meets held during 2016.

Two exquisite cars from each of last year’s meets were chosen to compete for the award, with 13 manufacturers represented. The earliest car is a 1903 Holley and the newest a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette. Of special interest is a 1934 Duesenberg and a faithfully restored 1964 Ford Galaxie Holman & Moody NASCAR race car. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1936 Packard 120 rumble-seat coupe

The beautiful Packard 120 in a beautiful setting
The beautiful Packard 120 in a beautiful setting

The fascination with pre-war classic cars, which after all started the collector car hobby, has been fading during the past decade as new generations of enthusiasts have come on the scene. Yet there are still those who love and collect the special-interest automobiles of their grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ eras.

The Pick of the Day might not be a “true classic” as defined by the Classic Car Club of America, but the 1936 Packard 120 three-window coupe is a beautiful craft that evokes the lush styling of the 1930s. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1948 Packard Super 8 Victoria convertible

The Packard super 8 convertible was the automaker's most expressive car
The Packard Super 8 convertible was the automaker’s most expressive car

Packard’s first modern redesign after World War II appeared in 1948 with polarizing “bathtub” styling, meant to be sleekly streamlined but which critics said looked like a pregnant elephant. The Packard did look bulbous, but today’s collectors see something majestic and appealing in the rounded-off form with its striations of glittering chrome that encircle the front end.

The Pick of the Day is a 1948 Packard Super 8 Victoria convertible, the Detroit automaker’s halo car of the era. In case you’re wondering, that chrome-plated bird taking flight from the prow of this luxury yacht is a cormorant. Continue reading

Mulholland Speedster wins top prize at Sacramento Autorama

The custom 1936 Packard racked up a number of top awards | Sacramento Autorama
The custom 1936 Packard racked up a number of awards at Autorama | Sacramento Autorama photos

The stunning Mulholland Speedster, a custom 1936 Packard roadster built to emulate the grand coachbuilt cars of the 1930s, has claimed its second top prize this year, winning Custom d’Elegance honors Sunday at the 67th annual Sacramento Autorama.

In January, the V12-powered Packard, built by Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods, claimed the honor of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster at the Grand National Roadster Show in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Ladd is the first builder to achieve both prestigious awards in a single year. Continue reading

Custom ’36 Packard is America’s Most Beautiful Roadster

A Packard named the 'Mulholland Speedster' was picked at the 68th annual Grand National Roadster Show | AMBR photos
A Packard named the ‘Mulholland Speedster’ was picked at the 68th annual Grand National Roadster Show | AMBR photos

Low and long, and emulating the great coachbuilt cars of the 1930s, a custom 1936 Packard called the “Mulholland Speedster” was selected as America’s Most Beautiful Roadster at the 68th annual Grand National Roadster Show in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

The winning Packard special, built by Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods and owned by Bruce Wanta, was selected at the culmination of the three-day show that featured more than 1,000 hand-built street rods and custom cars. More than 40,000 people attended the show. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1939 Packard 1708 Limousine

3944792-1939-packard-1708-limousine-std
1939 Packard 1708 Limousine

Being at SEMA, I’ve seen a lot of interesting creations, most of them intricate and interesting to look at, but at times they can feel overwhelming. Sure, SEMA is about the aftermarket which means a lot of mods and restoration components, but sometimes it’s good to just step back and appreciate the beauty of the original car without so many visual distractions.

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Pick of the Day: 1953 Packard Cavalier

Packard produced its Cavalier model for only three years
Packard produced its Cavalier model for only three years

Pick of the Day is a 1953 Packard Cavalier offered with only 71,831 miles since new, and with its exterior in original condition.

“During the mid-1950s, Packard needed to reinforce its identity as a premium luxury car manufacturer in the face of challenges from the Big Three,” the private seller from Trabuco Canyon, California, writes in the advertisement on ClassicCars.com. “With the ever newer car designs of the decade, the visual distinctions that had defined Packard were disappearing, interior luxury and performance were harder to express, and Packard management was regretting its decision to produce the entry-level Clipper series. Continue reading

Fire razes building used by America’s Packard Museum; classic cars, artifacts, equipment destroyed

Part of the destruction after the fire at the America’s Packard Museum facility | Jim Noelker/WHIO TV
Part of the destruction after the fire at the America’s Packard Museum facility | Jim Noelker/WHIO TV

A devastating fire destroyed a warehouse used by America’s Packard Museum near Dayton, Ohio, consuming a number of classic cars, irreplaceable parts and artifacts, and restoration facilities. The building is separate from the museum itself, which is located in the city of Dayton. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1958 Packard coupe

1958 Packard coupe has been owned by the same family since new
1958 Packard coupe has been owned by the same family for 45 years

The 1958 model year was the last for Packard and the seller of our Pick of the Day notes that only 675 of these coupes were produced.

According to the seller, who placed an advertisement for the car on ClassicCars.com, this 1958 Packard coupe is from South Dakota and is all original except for its 289 cid engine, which came from a 1964 Studebaker Lark. Continue reading