Packard classic car show coming to Newport Beach

This 1941 Packard 160 Convertible is owned by Louis J. Horvitz, Emmy-winning director.
This 1941 Packard 160 Convertible, shown on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, is owned by Louis J. Horvitz, Emmy-winning director for television shows such as the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards and many others.
(Courtesy of Louis J. Horvitz)

The Packard luxury car brand, manufactured in Detroit until 1956, had a slogan that spoke to its reputation: “Ask the man who owns one.”

Well, plenty of men who own some variation of the classic car will be in Newport Beach this weekend.

The Packards International Motor Car Club will be hosting a free All-Packard Car Show and Parts Exchange on Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon, at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach hotel.

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 they’ve always respected Packard as the American Rolls Royce,” Escalante said. “A lot of these folks, their grandfathers or their fathers raised them in a Packard … and they’re wanting that life back. I think that’s really the culmination of what keeps this show on the road.”

Escalante is the owner of Custom Auto Service restoration shop in Santa Ana, where the Packards International headquarters is based. Cathy Hull, the nonprofit social club’s secretary and treasurer, said more than 100 club members are expected this weekend for a membership meeting that includes the car show.

A 1934 Packard Standard 8 Convertible Sedan is owned by Mike Spera.
A 1934 Packard Standard 8 Convertible Sedan is owned by Mike Spera. He drives it to work, where he and best friend Mike Berria take care of the steam locomotives and steam powered stern-wheel riverboat at the Disneyland Resort.
(Courtesy of Mike Spera)

Hull, who lives in Costa Mesa, said there will be a members only meet-and-greet at Custom Auto Service on Friday evening. Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento is scheduled to attend.

The club will have a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency on Saturday, which will feature special guest speaker and classic car enthusiast Aaron Weiss, the co-founder of the San Marino Motor Classic. An awards ceremony will be held that night, and the weekend concludes with a Sunday morning cruise to Las Brisas restaurant in Laguna Beach.

“It’s just a chance to get together,” Hull said. “We haven’t seen each other in over a year because of the pandemic.”

As for the car show, which is open to the public, Escalante said to expect Packards from the 1920s to the 1950s, of all different types and colors.

He added that he is very excited for the weekend’s events.

“They made a million Packards, and there’s only like a 10% survival rate,” he said. “With just 100,000 of these cars floating around the world, you can imagine how many cars that leaves per state.”

For more information on the Packards International Motor Car Club, visit the club website or call (714) 541-8431.

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