Thanks, Larry. Now you got me imagining the scene back in the day.
She'll be hittin' the books. (In between polishing the car )
Margaret, a lifelong auto enthusiast, grew up on a dairy and potato farm not far from Henry Ford's residence, and her father taught her to drive at the age of 8. After graduating from high school, Dunning set off to U of M, but was forced to drop out during the Great Depression to help her widowed mother. Auto products manufacturer The FRAM Group decided to help send Dunning back to U of M's School of Business, after seeing a story about her lifetime devotion to cars.
Originally Posted by PattonOriginally Posted by Einstein
Somehow, the combination of those lacey wire-spoked wheels in that deep red finish, the fine chrome trim rings, and the wide whites combine to make the wheels on her Packard among the most lovely round objects I've ever enjoyed looking at.
BTW, has it ever fascinated anyone else, the way a wire-spoked wheel is like a rolling suspension bridge? The car is hanging by the upper spokes, while the lower spokes are at rest. Amazing, even on something as simple as a bicycle.
It is becoming a lost art to true those wheels, too. American Arrow, maker of replacement wheels for classic cars, has an old truing rig. Unlike Ford wheels, with welded spokes, most have threaded ferrules for adjustment and truing. I completely took apart the wheels for my '33, sand-blasted all the parts, chased the threads and loosely reassembled. He was able to get them within .020 of true taking a wobbly car to a smooth one.
Margaret is going to resume her college career at U of M, where she started 60 years ago.
Pebble Beach '12
Among the other winners, none stood out quite like Margaret Dunning of Plymouth, Mich., who steered onto the stage the 1930 Packard 740 Custom Eight Roadster she bought 82 years ago and has kept in running condition ever since, with emcee Jay Leno quipping that she still had three payments left
Originally Posted by Harry S. Truman
“I love the old cars,” she told the Journal. “I love the smell of gasoline. It runs in my veins.”
To this day, Dunning still changes her own oil and spark plugs, and isn’t afraid to drive fast.
“It disturbs the policemen very badly, but it doesn’t bother me at all,” she said.
Originally Posted by cartalk
And a big steering wheel it most certainly is.These days, Dunning continues to drive her Packard, but the big steering wheel has turned into something of an obstacle.
She now uses a 2003 Cadillac for her everyday driving.
Aside from her love of classic cars, Dunning has become a philanthropist in her town, and built a library to honor her mother and donated over $1 million to the Plymouth Historical Museum.
“My mother kept telling me what a beautiful old world this is, and as I gain a few years, I realize what she was talking about, because each year I see more beauty in the things that I observe,” she said.
If you need a part and have money anything can be reproduced. If there's a market there seems to be a supplier. There is great support for Packards as they are so collectible and were built in surprisingly large numbers. Packard was a boutique builder and while they made most of the parts themselves many were off-the-shelf parts used on a multitude of other cars. There are many books that cross-reference parts of that era.
Understand too, that at the time that car was built it was fairly typical for a buyer to purchase a rolling chassis without passenger compartment to be bodied by an outside concern.
You have to also understand that these were not terribly technologically advanced vehicles and had bushing and bearings and seals that are still off the shelf, as they have many industrial uses. I needed new front axle seals for my '33 Continental Flyer. I simply measured the OD of the shaft and the ID of the seal retainer and picked from a catalogue.
Today I was at Fort Lauderdale Antique car Museum, dedicated to Packards.
There was one practically identical to this one (1930 Coupe, same color). Beside the car, there was even an July 2011 article on that Lady, so I thought that it was the actual car. However looking above, I see red leather but I remember having seen gray velour....not positive.... different cars or not?
That's a shame that America can no longer compete with world's best luxury cars. That museum was very good and I didn't know that Packard was so dominant at its time.
Last edited by Saintor; 02-11-2013 at 08:22 PM.