Every young guy has his fantasy girl. Mine, growing up, was Candice Bergen. She gave way to Cybil Shepard, then Helen Hunt and her puppy dog eyes, and then Jennifer Anniston. But my fantasy car, a 1933 Victoria Convertible, never wavered or changed. I knew I would never have her, just like my fantasy girls. One could hope though. I first met Margaret, pictured above, in 1981 under a tent at the Hershey Region AACA show in Hershey, Pennsylvania. There she proudly sat, shiney black with her beautiful lines and her white top. She actually looks better with her top up. She made my trip to Hershey that year worth all the effort. The next time we crossed paths was in 1984 or 1985. Kaye and I and Ben, who was about three years old, were on our way back from her parents’ home in southern Indiana and I talked her into letting us stop at the ACD Museum in Auburn, Indiana. I had never been there and wanted to check out the Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs. To my surprise, among the ACD cars sat two Packards, a 1936 and a black with white top 1933 Packard Victoria Convertible. We both recognized each other immediately. Again, it was sad to say good bye.
In 1998, Charles and Margaret Blackman of Okemos, Michigan concluded a transaction with the ACD Museum and very shortly called to inform me that he had a 1933 Packard that he wanted to sell to me. I thanked him and informed him that I was not in the market for another Packard at this time in my life. He insisted that I at least come and look at it. He insisted every week for nearly six months until I finally gave in. Once again Uncle Jim and I went to Okemos to see what this so important Packard was that Charles wanted me to buy. When he opened the shed door, I saw my dream girl again. No, not Candace or Cybil or Helen or Jennifer, but a black with white top 1933 Victoria Convertible. Third time is a charm they say. I was in love, but told Charles I could not afford a car like her. So I went home a heart-broken man. Charles did not give up. He kept calling me on a regular basis until I agreed to come back in the day time. So on a Saturday in 1999, my dad and I went back and Margaret came home with me that day. I enjoyed her until it was obvious that she needed an extensive face lift. Seven years later she rolled out a beauty to behold. Today she is still with me and every time we go out for a drive, I am thankful to Charles and Margaret for hounding me until I gave in. Margaret’s vehicle number is 21 and she, like Rose, is a pin up calendar girl from back in her black and white days.
To be continued.