Rare prototype antique cars on display at Fall Hershey

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 1954 Packard Panther

1954 Packard Panther

HERSHEY, Pa. – The 57th Annual AACA Hershey Fall Meet and Car Show, hosted by the Hershey Region, will be held October 10-13 on the Hersheypark Grounds in Hershey, PA. This 4 day event features a flea market with over 9,000 vendor spaces, a car corral with 1,000+ antique vehicles for sale, and car show on Saturday with more than 1,300 historic and one-of-a-kind antique vehicles on display.

At the show field, spectators will have a chance to view three very rare vehicles; a 1954 Packard Panther (pictured), 1953 Packard Balboa and 1937 Lincoln Zephyr.

1954 Packard Panther was Packard's experimental design for the 1954 year, with only four examples ever made. Built for performance, the car featured a 35 CID in-line Eight engine and McCulloch supercharger which, Packard claimed, made the car capable of 275 HP. Originally, the car was named the Gray Wolf II in honor of the 1903 Gray Wolf racer's speed setting record of 1904. However, the name was changed to Panther Daytona after the car set its own record of 131.1 mph during Speed Week at Daytona Beach. Once the hype surrounding the record subsided, "Daytona" was dropped from its title.

Designed by Packard's Chief of Styling, Richard Teague, the 1953 Packard Balboa was a collaborative effort by Packard's styling studio and coachbuilder Mitchell-Bentley. Although a concept car, it was modeled after the Caribbean. One thing that set it apart from this car was its unique rear roof visor. While press releases referenced a single Balboa, recent research has indicated a second blue and white model was made for Don Mitchell of Mitchell-Bentley.

The 1937 Lincoln Zephyr was a recent "garage find" by a young car enthusiast and will be displayed for the first time in nearly half a century. It was the only one of its kind. This car was patented in 1936 by Willard L. Morrison, who has been best remembered for developing the "deep freeze" freezer in the early 1940s. Morrison chose this style purely out of aesthetics, believing the double grille preferable to the narrow front ends of 1930s automobiles. In addition to the Zephyr, similar bodies were made for a Packard and 1940 Ford convertible. Morrison had several patents under his belt, many of which were for the automobile. In 1934, he created a streamlined car nicknamed the "bug," with unusual features such as a roof mounted periscope rearview mirror. To protect itself from a lawsuit, GM bought both the patent claims and original car from Morrison in 1953.

Public admission for viewing of the Car Corral, Flea Market, and Car Show is free, however, parking is subject to a fee. The car corral and flea market will be open Wednesday through Saturday.

For questions and further information about the event contact AACA National Headquarters at 717-534-1910 or visit the AACA Hershey Region website www.hersheyaaca.org for a complete listing of events.

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