|Welcome to Lone Star Packards|
Sell / Wanted
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Featured Member Car Archive
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|Lone Star Packards was formed in the
Houston area in 1964 and it is the third oldest region of the Packard
Club in the country. Since we were the first Packard club in
Texas, we laid claim to the Lone Star name and had members
from all over the state. Today we have three other regions in
Texas so most of the Lone Star Packards members reside in the
Houston Gulf Coast area. Our club welcomes anyone with an
interest in Packards whether they own a Packard or not. We are a family
oriented club and many of our children have grown up in the club and
now bring their children to the meetings and activities. One of
the reasons for the success of Lone Star Packards has to
be related to the many activities we offer through out the
year. Every month we have a meeting held in rotating areas
of the greater Houston area. We have a Christmas party at an
upscale facility, we have an annual fall tour, and we have a
huge contingent of our membership that makes the annual trek to the
Texas Packard Meet in April in Salado. In addition, our club does
at least two public service activities each year. We have a
rich history of which we are very proud. We are not only one of
the oldest regions, we were the co-founders of the Texas Packard
Meet. We have hosted two national meets, one in 1984 and the
other in 1998 and we were able to have James J. Nance (the last
president of Packard) to attend and speak at our national meet in
1984. We have been successful in establishing several national
projects and we, along with the other Texas Packard
regions, secured a WWII Packard PT boat engine for the
Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg. Having an award winning
quarterly publication, THE OWNER'S MANUAL, as well as having an
informative website also contribute to our success.
|Featured Member Car|
Meet the "The Queen" a 1948 Deluxe Super 8 LWB "Sedan for Seven"
The "Queen", Queen of the Fleet, is the first acquisition in our current collection, but it was actually preceded by a '52 200 Deluxe and a '46 Custom Clipper. I think it joined our family in late 1979. It has an interesting history, all based in Houston. It was sold new at Meador Motor Company in Houston which was also the Packard distributor for the southern half of Texas. According to the title, it was sold to a fellow by the name of Howard Torrible. I assume he had something to do with the local Gray Line Tour franchise business. It served as a VIP limo taking visitors from the old Houston Municipal Airport, now Hobby, to the Rice and Shamrock Hotels. Gray Line had the airport limo franchise at the time and they had three of these lwb, long wheel base, Packards and two lwb Chryslers. The old art deco terminal has been restored and they occasionally ask us to bring the Queen out for special programs etc. Our "sedan for seven" as they are officially called by Packard, had very low mileage as it had been reserved for VIP service and did not make daily trips into town as the other four sedans did. These five cars were used by Gray Line in this capacity from 1948 until 1955. In '55 the new terminal opened and new vehicles were acquired for the service. Long time Houston Packard collector, Jim Tagliabue (now deceased) bought all five of the lwb cars from Gray Line and they went into his warehouse on Little York Rd. behind a funeral home in which he had part interest. Jim was a retired anesthesiologist but he had a huge collection of cars, mostly Packards, and he bought and sold them across the country. I think in addition to us he sold cars to the Wandermans and the Jordans. Anyway, one by one, all were sold except ours-to-be and a '49 lwb Packard. I choose the Queen simply because the mileage was so much lower.
The car had actually been sold to an airman in San Antonio first. Jim agreed to a time payment but when no payments came after the down payment in a couple of months, he went to get it. He then sold it to a local a Lone Star Packards couple who put new tires on and did some chrome work and then they lost interest when they found a '47 Clipper. It went back to the warehouse and then entered the Baccaro's. I brought an electric fuel pump and installed it on the driveway between the warehouse and the funeral home and it fired right up. We drove it home and drove it to several LSP meetings over the next couple of months without any problems. Then it developed a blown head gasket. We decided to start the restoration. A complete engine rebuild was done since it had sat for so long in that warehouse and then we moved on to the interior. The wine color is an original color but it was not the original for this car. It was "fawn" but a black car with brown interior did not appeal to me! Several years later it got a paint job.
The Queen is really the favorite car in our collection. The kids grew up in it waving to parade crowds from the jump seats and we still use it. On the recent fall tour all seven of the Baccaro's rode in comfort. Interestingly, Packard never intended to build this car, 2222-70, and you will find no references to it in any product planning meetings etc. It was only after the Custom Super 8 was introduced that the decision to build it was made. Commercial customers such as limo services and funeral homes were complaining to the dealers about the cost and the dealers approached Packard about a reduction in the Custom 8 price. They refused but realized they already had the 141" chassis used on taxi cabs ( the Custom was a 148") and they would replace the 288 CID with a 327 CID, add the deluxe trim on the outside, use the custom interior, and drop the price $800 below the Custom. Bingo, they had a "sedan for seven" or a formal limo depending on the configuration preferred well below the Custom price. The plan worked and many were sold to commercial customers just like ours.
This car is often seen at LSP meetings and it has attended at least 33 of the 37 Texas Packard Meets and will probably attend many more. It also is a feature car with many great pictures in Robert Neal's new book about the '48 to '50 Packards