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Cars 'R' Stars at Packard Proving Grounds

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Cars 'R' Stars @ PPG (at the Packard Proving Grounds), returns to the historic setting of the legendary Packard Proving Grounds on Van Dyke and 23 Mile Road in Shelby Township, MI on Sunday, June 11. It will feature hundreds of vintage vehicles from all eras, and, this year, a most interesting special feature entitled, “Hoods in the Rear.” This is a variety of unusual cars built, over the years, with the engine in the rear of the car.

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Among the featured cars in this group will be three different Stout Scarabs from 1935 to 1936. The Stout Scarab was an iconic art deco vehicle that is considered the original minivan! Only nine were ever built and it is historically significant to have three Stout Scarabs on view at once in one place, since only five are believed to still exist. Show goers will have the opportunity to witness, in person, the subtle differences in these cars, which were essentially hand-built and never offered to the general public.

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Additional cars featured in this special feature are the famous Tucker automobile of 1948, also considered ahead of its time and the infamous Corvair of the 1960s that came under attack by Ralph Nader. There will be a number of examples of the VW Beetles and Mini Buses from the 1950s and 60s.

Additional unique cars will be an Amphicar that runs both in the water and on land, the futuristic Tatra T87, a Delorean DMC 12, the mini BMW Isettas and a Fiat Jolly as well as several Porsches.

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“The Goal of the Cars 'R' Stars Show at the historic Packard Proving Grounds is to honor the role of vehicles in our collective history. By featuring some of the most unique cars in automotive history, we are telling a fascinating part of that story. In addition it is quite significant to be able to show three of the most famous Stout Scarabs together in one place at one time,” said Don Sommer Cars ‘R’ Stars @PPG board member. ”This will be a great opportunity for whole families to share memories and history together with the “actual vehicles” there to inspire stories. Sommer was founder of the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance. He brings his considerable network of contacts to Cars‘R’Stars @ PPG.

“Cars‘R’Stars @ PPG is known for welcoming all examples of collectible transportation as well as the special features," he continued. “Our field includes everything from 2 wheeled to 4 wheeled, brass era and pre-war, post war, hot rods, muscle cars, trucks, racers, customs, military vehicles and even bikes.”

This Year Car ‘R’ Stars vintage bicycle exhibition will feature well known Whizzer motorbikes. These motorized bicycles became especially popular during World War II when they were billed as a great way for defense workers to travel to and from work. There will be some 17 vintage bicycles on view including various motorized bikes.

Cars 'R' Stars @ PPG is one of the oldest classic cars shows in Michigan, formerly known as Carnival of Cars. In the last eight years, the show has enjoyed resurgence, in tandem with the ongoing preservation and restoration of the famous Packard Proving Grounds. Built 84 years ago by the legendary Albert Kahn, the Proving Grounds features a beautiful Tudor style Lodge with an 8-bay garage and temporary dormitory for engineers and test drivers as well as part of the original test track. This is where the high performance vehicles of the 20th century were tested. The 6,500 sq. ft. Repair Garage is where much of the disassembly/reassembly and bench testing occurred. 

Vehicles will be judged in static (in-place) Concours fashion and participants will get awards uniquely crafted from the wood of the historic Packard Plant in Detroit making a distinctive keepsake.

“The historic significance of the Packard Proving Grounds makes it an important and ideal setting for a collector car meet and celebration,” continued Sommer. “The unique proving- grounds is a piece of Michigan history where the greatest American autos ran their paces. The beauty of this event is that everyone is invited to show off their vehicles and enjoy the setting and the camaraderie of fellow automotive lovers.”

Organizers of the Cars‘R’Stars @ PPG automotive show and celebration are a collaboration of the Detroit Chapter of the Veteran Motor Car Club of America, Motor City Packards and the Packard Motor Car Foundation.

The public will have the opportunity to enter and see portions of the beautiful 83 year old Albert Kahn designed Packard Gate Lodge, under restoration by the Packard Motor Car Foundation as both a Michigan and National Historic Site. The Lodge is a Tudor Revival style residence that served as the home for the proving grounds manager and his family and features three fireplaces, nine bedrooms, four bathrooms and a multi colored slate roof. There is a dormitory about the 8-bay garage that served as temporary living space for test drivers and engineers.

The Lodge and famous entrance gates served as a backdrop for much of Packard’s advertising and symbol for the company. Visitors will be able to enter the Lodge and associated buildings for free throughout the day and The Gift Shop will be open in the Lodge Garage after 9 a.m. to all Cars ‘R’ Stars @PPG visitors. The Tank Test Building will be open for viewing of Gar Wood’s Miss America X race boat, a 1917 Packard, an extensive Whizzer motorbike display and some of the most interesting Rear-Engined Feature cars.

The Historic Packard Proving Grounds is located on Van Dyke, south of 23 Mile Road in Shelby Township. The show takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Walk – in admission to Cars‘R’Stars @ PPG on June 11 is just $5 and children under 12 are free when accompanied by a paid admission. Gates open at 8 a.m.and close at 3 p.m.

Autos that want to participate are encouraged to pre register. Registration the day of the show is $20 for non-judged and $25 for judged cars.

For information call: Tom Mitchell at 586-247-5921 or go to .

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