Skip to comments.Woman, 102, dotes on 82-year-old car
Posted on 09/18/2012 6:20:58 AM PDT by JoeProBono
CANTON, Ohio, - A 102-year-old woman who brought her 1930 Packard 740 Roadster to an Ohio car show said she still changes her own oil and spark plugs.
Margaret Dunning of Plymouth, Mich., said at the 18th annual Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles at Glenmoor Country Club in Canton the car was in rough shape when she bought it in 1949 but it has since been restored with four upholstery jobs and 22 coats of hand-rubbed lacquer, the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal reported Monday.
Dunning said she still often finds herself crawling under the car, which was the first vehicle to ever receive a 100-point score by the Classic Car Club of America, with a funnel and an oil pan.
"I love the old cars," she said. "I love the smell of gasoline. It runs in my veins."
"The lines of a Packard car are very artistic as far as I'm concerned. My family drove Packards, and I was very proud of the fact. I guess I got indoctrinated," she said.
Dunning, who has been driving since she was 8 years old and was about 20 when her Packard rolled off the assembly line, said motoring in her everyday car, a 2003 Cadillac, sometimes gets her in trouble for speeding.
"I have lead in my feet," she quipped. "It disturbs the policemen very badly, but it doesn't bother me at all."
I saw a story about Dunning last year. When asked if she had lived in Plymouth her whole life she said “Not yet” LOL
My dad went to work for Packard after WW II.. My first real recollection of a car.I was 6.. was when he brought home a new 1953 Packard Caribbean Coupe..The hood ornament was gorgeous..
Packard license built the v-12 Merlin engine during WWII. Too bad they went out of business.
She just moved out of her home last year, I think. It’s a pretty charming salt box style home on the road into Plymouth just about a mile from me. Our local library is named after her family, due to their part in helping to establish it.
1953 Packard Caribbean Coupe
1953 Packard Cavalier sedan hood ornament
I assume the three photos in post #1 are all of the same car, so what is that red thing behind the car in the third photo?
The story I read last year said her father was friends with Henry Ford and he often had dinner at their house.
Is this the 102 year old woman Obama said is “too old” and he would just give her a pain pill to die? Get her in a Romney commercial.
Are you talking about the rumble seat?
It's called a rumble seat. Extra seating in the trunk, neat concept, huh?
"Rumble Seat". A 1930's jump seat for when you needed more passenger seating area. You have to remember, this car was built before it became illegal to take risks and have fun.
My dad’s last car was a 1955 red and white Packard Clipper.
59 seconds. I owe you a Coke.
“Packard. Ask the 102-year-old woman who owns one.”
I wish they made cars that looked like this, again.
59 seconds. I owe you a Coke.
Well, my husband has seen a ticket, or two, in his 2003 Cadillac. Those caars can get away from you because they are so quiet and smooth. It idles at 40mph. LOL.
Remarkable lady. The first thing my husband said was “That car doesn’t have power steering.” I though my mother was something because we got her to give up her car at 99, but Margaret Dunning is something else!
My folks owned an especially ugly ‘49 Packard when we were stationed in Japan in the mid 1950s. Most roads outside the cities were unpaved and it took a tank like the Packard to survive any kind of countryside travel.
One day in May (May 1st) the Packard was parked in front of our house when an anti American demonstration took place. The rioters spotted the Packard and with great effort, flipped the massive sedan over on its top and set it on fire.
Dad was out of town that day but when he returned, he walked right past the big scorch mark on the pavement (and ignored the hammer and sickle painted on our front door) and his first words were, “What the hell happened to the Packard?”
That was the Rolls-Royce aircraft engine.That engine made the P-51 Mustang the premier fighter of WWII!
My grandfather always bought used Packards (pre WWII) for his teen-aged sons to drive because he said he “wanted people to see them coming!”
The rumble seat is open.
They would probably get it wrong. What were those horrible retro cars of the 70's, Excelsiors? All the proportions were wrong.
Old car bodies used to sit on top of the frame rails. Hot rodders would "channel" them to lower the body between the rails. Now, all new cars are effectively channeled in their unibodies.
You'd probably have to build the replica car on a truck chassis to get it to look right at all, and it probably wouldn't pass any of the regulations.
Best scenario, save an old car.
Yes,she could drive to her death panel meeting in style!
Bless her heart. Neat lady. Is she still available?
In one of the shots, you can see the ole' gal has pretty good arm muscles. And I say that with utmost respect and admiration.
It is called a rumble seat. Commonly used to transport your mother-in-law or children you don’t want to listen to. It is an antiquated concept since people bring their kids everywhere with them these days.
Indeed! But, I’m a lot younger; and I couldn’t heft a big car around without power steering! My mom, at 99, is in pretty good shape, despite her recently broken leg, but this woman looks like she’s 75 — not 102.
Disregarding the remarkable Margaret Dunning — that is one gorgeous car. No wonder she babies it.
Do you mean the Excaliber?
Whoa! Nice curves.
Yeah, that's probably it.
I believe “that red thing” is the rumble seat.
Have Americans lost all sense of their literature and culture? I knew about them when I was 6 years old.
That's me in the rumble seat at sweet sixteen along with my best friend and my dog (you figure out which was which.....LOL)
“Rumble” because you were sitting right over the rear axle.
My mother’s friend was killed in a rumble seat when the car was in an accident and the rumble seat folded up (closed) on her. They might have been fun, but they were dangerous, too.
Thanks, had never actually seen or noticed one, so didn’t know what to make of it in the one photo that had it.
Absolutely true. Unfortunately, lots of if not most things which are the most fun are also potentially very lethal.
Great! I’ll make sure she sees that.
Didn’t they make engines for PT boats also?
My dad worked at a Packard dealership, and the first car I can remember riding in was a 1936 Packard coupe.
Dad always told us that Cadillacs were nothing but Chevys with chrome plated lock washers. ;~))
True story. About 10 years ago, in Long Island, an elderly lady was killed under well, weird circumstances. She had a Jack Russell which she took everywhere with her. One day she was going out. Her garage door opener wasn’t working. She put the dog in the car, opened the garage door manually, backed the car out, stopped it, and got out to close the garage door. The Jack Russel, as they are want to so, jumped up, to put his front legs on the dash board. He hit the shift lever , on the steering column, knocked it into DRIVE. The car went forward, crushing the poor woman between the car and the garage door, which she had just finished closing.