black and white image of the north east curve of the test track taken in 1998 at the Packard Proving Grounds Historic SiteThis is the point in my story where the knight in shining armor rides up to rescue the princess from the dastardly dragon (or wicked witch or ruthless rogue).

Word about the plight of the PPG had indeed spread through more channels than I could count.  The dominoes, put into motion by the first attempt at selling land to the US Postal Service, were starting to fall.

Among the many that had become aware of the PPG were Packard automobile enthusiasts and clubs.  They got together and formed the Packard Motor Car Foundation with the intention of saving and restoring the PPG.  Things started happening very quickly at this point and there were a number of important players involved.  I was not one of the players in this particular arena so I don’t have all the details.  That part of the story will be told by those involved on the front lines.  But essentially, this group of extremely dedicated people worked long and hard with the Shelby Township government officials, the State Historic Preservation Office, and Ford Land Development to save at least part of the PPG.  And save it they did.

Ford Land donated the seven-acre portion of the PPG that fronts Van Dyke Avenue to the Packard Foundation and gave the organization the option to buy an additional seven acres to the west, thus preserving the buildings, the gates, the boulevard, and a section of the test track.  Before the rest of the test track was demolished to make way for residential and commercial development, the airplane hangar was moved onto the site.

Soon the enormous task of bringing the site and buildings back to their former glory was underway.  Much has been accomplished over the past two decades.  And the work goes on.

To be continued.