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Cars 'R' Stars @ PPG to feature Fins and Family Haulers

Cars 'R' Stars @ PPG (at the Packard Proving Grounds), returns to the historic setting of the legendary Packard Proving Grounds on Van Dyke South of 23 Mile Road in Shelby Township, MI on Sunday, June 12 . It will feature hundreds of vintage vehicles from all eras. And this year, there are two special features at the event that represent the most iconic cars of American Popular Culture: Fins and Family Haulers.

The Cars R Stars show at Historic Packard Proving Grounds

Featuring: The Most Iconic Cars in American Popular Culture:
Finned Cars and That Great American Classic: The Station Wagon
Cars Range from An AMC Rambler with Fins to The First and Last Finned Cadillacs and From Mad Men: Betty Draper’s 1968 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon

If ever there were cars that scream the 50's and 60's and represent two opposite sides of the era, it is the aerodynamic finned autos that Detroit built, in response to the post World War II Jet Age, as well as the "must-have" vehicle of the new burgeoning suburbs, the station wagon. Cars ‘R’ Stars will delight visitors when they present an array of finned automobiles ranging from the first and last produced super finned Cadillacs, the beloved 1960 Chevrolet Impala and 1957 Ford Thunderbird and an incredible Imperial Speedster 2 door Custom Hot Rod, redesigned and built from the 1959 Imperial 4 Door Sedan. Examples of stock Imperials will also be on view for comparison with Murray Pfaff’s wonderfully conceived and executed custom hot rod Speedster.

Imperial Speedster Burn Out, Murray Pfaff of RO at wheel
Chrylser Imperial revamp compared to original
Murray Pfaff's Imperial Speedster

Murray Pfaff's Imperial Speedster

Station Wagons will range from the very earliest Packard 120 Station Wagon built in 1941 to a 1977 AMC Pacer Wagon and direct from the set of Mad Men, Betty Draper’s 1968 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon.


“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. The post -World War II era, from 1949 to 1964, is most vividly seen in the cars that were most popular at that time. The beloved and opulent finned vehicles of the era and the family station wagons tell the story of America’s great aspirations, as servicemen and women returned home from the War,” 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 and depth of automotive knowledge to Cars‘R’Stars @ PPG.

1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk owned by Brian and Renea Butler of

“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.”

Cars 'R' Stars @ PPG is one of the oldest classic cars shows in Michigan, formerly known as Carnival of Cars. In the last seven 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. Now, the Repair Garage, Gate Lodge and the beautiful grounds have become a sought-after wedding and special event venue, especially among those with automotive history in their hearts.

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.

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.

Autos that want to participate are encouraged to preregister. 

Preferred car club and class parking can be available for pre-registered cars. The pre-registration fee is just $15 for non-judged cars and $20 for judged cars. “This is a wonderful venue for car clubs,” said Sommer. “By registering early they get savings and are assured of a great location to show off their cars in the company of their club friends. “

Registration the day of the show is $20 for non-judged and $25 for judged cars.

“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 organizers are offering a variety of activities including:

  • The CAR SHOW featuring in-place Concours judging and class awards.
  • A SWAP MEET with outdoor areas and over 200 vendors as well as free shuttle service to your car with heavy or bulky purchases.
  • A CAR CORRAL with a great selection of cars for sale
  • NEW THIS YEAR – A display of historic bicycles
  • Class Awards
  • Custom Collectible Trophies
  • Handicap Shuttles
  • Expanded food choices by Metro Beverage Co. and Mastro’s hand dipped Stroh’s Ice Cream
  • Music by DJ Scott Kuhl

In addition, the public will have the opportunity to view the beautifully restored Miss America X race boat that Gar Wood piloted to Harmsworth Trophy victory in 1932. This boat, powered by four 12-cylinder Packard engines, was clocked at 124.9 mph on the St Clair river. Representatives of the Algonac/Clay Historical Society will be on hand to provide background on Gar Wood, his 38-foot mahogany masterpiece, and to answer questions. The Gift Shop will be open in the Lodge Garage after 9 AM to all Cars ‘R’ Stars @ PPG visitors.

Walk – in admission to Cars‘R’Stars @ PPG on June 12 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.

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

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