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AACA MUSEUM EXPERTS ?
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Joined:
2006/11/30 18:18
From PA
Posts: 1272
When this time of year comes around I always go to the new car show at in Harrisburg Penna. As is the case every year the AACA Museum located in Hershey allways has small display of cars. Again this year they were there putting on the same pitch for the AACA Museum. One of the cars that was on display that caught my attention was a Packard which they claimed was a 1936 Packard. I took a few pictures of the Packard which I posted earlier in another thread. In front of the car was a display sign telling about the car which I took a picture of but never bothered reading at the time.

Yesterday I went throught and did a review of the pictures I took. I decided to take a look at the picture of the sign they had in front of the Packard. After reading the information they posted and doing some more research, I just shook my head in dis-may and starting laughing at how dumb some so-called experts realy are.

They stated that Packard was founded by James Ward Parker, and that he purchased his first car in 1899. They also gave some history of the Packard claiming that the Packard was a 1936 Packard Convertible Sedan. Here is what I found wrong with the information on the sign. Below in this thread are three pictures one of the Packard, the other of the dispaly sign in fornt of the 1937 Packards. The last picture posted is a side view of the Packard to proof that it is a 1937 as I have stated.

1. James Ward Parker never founded Packard as far as I know.

2. James Ward Packard who help found Packard purchased his first car in August 1898, which was a Winton.

3. The Packard they had on display turns out not to be a 1936 as they claimed. The Packard on display in actually a
1937 Convertible Sedan.

There is just no excuse for this kind of mistake by the AACA, considering all the research material that they have in their library.

John F. Shireman

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Posted on: 2007/1/29 17:20
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Re: AACA MUSEUM EXPERTS ?
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Joined:
2006/4/17 11:22
From North Aurora, IL
Posts: 9236
I'm sure the AACA relies on volunteers to help out with the displays and events.

I would imagine that not all of volunteers are experts in all of the cars. This was probably just a typo or an oversight by whomever was helping out with the sign creation.

I agree that someone should be fact-checking those kind of things as it does reflect badly those kind of things happen. But hey, thats why pencils has erasers.

Posted on: 2007/1/29 18:26
_________________
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan | Project Blog

"While it's nice to be important, it's important to be nice."

"Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end."
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Re: AACA MUSEUM EXPERTS ?
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Joined:
2006/11/30 18:18
From PA
Posts: 1272
Kevin: I know that the people at the display that day were
volunteers who certainly wouldn't have known. However I have been to AACA Museum a couple of times. I know that some of the people running the museum are paid employes, and the people from the museum probably transported the cars there to Harrisburg from Hershey and setup the display, being as the cars are part of the museums collections. There for the information printed on the signs also had to have been printed at the museum.

I know every body makes mistakes, but having said that, the paid people running the museum and incharge of setting up the display are just being plain sloppy in doing there jobs.

Its not the volunteers fault for the screw up, its the paided staff of the AACA that is the fault for this. If they are going to be paided to put fourth the history of this hobby, then they should pay attention to the fine details of things.


John F. Shireman

Posted on: 2007/1/29 19:14
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Re: AACA MUSEUM EXPERTS ?
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John,

I'll contact the Museum Director and point out their error. If you like you can contact them. Here is their contact information:

AACA Museum
161 Museum Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone:717.566.7100
Fax:717.566.7300

e-mail:info@aacamuseum.org

Either way I'm sure they'll fix it if neccessary.

Thank you so much for pointing it out and being a gentleman about it.

Peter

Posted on: 2007/1/29 20:10
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AACA Museum's Packard
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Hello John and the others who have commented on the AACA Museum's Packard:

First, thanks for visiting the Harrisburg Auto Show and taking time to view our exhibition. Attracting positive attention for the Museum is the reason we were there! I hope you liked the other cars we had on display with the Packard.

As a museum professional I take my job seriously. I am a trained museum curator with a long history of employment in this field. If I am an "expert" on anything that is it. I am also a long-time antique automobile enthusiast and a member of the AACA.

You guys on this forum are here because of your specific knowledge and interest in Packards. At the Museum we are fortunate to have a large and diverse antique vehicle collection, all donated by folks like you. This collection grows every year. To write a meaningful 8 line label for each car is sometimes challenging. All of us here are basically generalists doing our best to get it right. We do not object when enthusiasts and visitors kindly point out our mistakes and oversights. If an error is documented, it is quickly corrected.

In the case of the Packard, there are obviously a couple of typing errors and an incorrect date. These have been corrected and a new label is in place for this vehicle. As for whether the car is a 1936 or 1937, I honestly don't know. All of our registration and donation information for this car lists it as a 1936. That is the information I inherited and no one has ever questioned its year until now. If it truly is a 1937, we will correct that as well.

To do this, I will need to know the distinguishing differences between the two years. Or, if someone who has commented on this lives close to us, I would welcome the opportunity to have them go over the car with me, pointing out the differences and possibly checking the VIN, if that will help in identification. I welcome the opportunity to increase my knowledge of Packards.

Again, thanks for your interest in the AACA Museum. I look forward to receiving your help with this matter.

Jeffrey Bliemeister, Curator
jbliemeister@aacamuseum.org

Posted on: 2007/1/30 7:48
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Re: AACA Museum's Packard
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Joined:
2006/4/23 14:14
From Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1823
I am not familiar enough with the Packard 120 to be able to distinguish between 1936 and 1937 years based upon these two photos. The Convertible sedan was offered in 1936 and 1937. Perhaps John or someone will be able to explain what they are. I am familar enough with Packards of the era to recognize the car as being a 120 Model. The information sign states that the car is an eight cylinder so if it is indeed a 120 model it should have a 120HP engine not 130 HP as stated. I believe that the 130HP, 320 CI engine engine was exclusive to the Eight in 1936 and the Super Eight in 1937. It is very nice of Mr. Bliemeister to respond in such a timely manner.

Posted on: 2007/1/30 10:23
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Re: AACA Museum's Packard
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Joined:
2007/1/10 19:12
From Deee-troit
Posts: 1141
Jeffery--I work in an automobile museum, and the one axiom we have about labels here is that "those who should read the labels won't(the general public), those that do are experts in one make,model and year, and they want to find all of your mistakes". No museum official wants to misrepresent objects on display. The best method is to aviod "catch-all" books like the "standard catalogue of American cars 19XX-19XX" (good books, but no book containing that much data can be 100% correct) and instead get all of your facts and figures from period sales brochures from that manufacturer for that make, model and year. Sales brochures are printed later than salesman's data books and tend to reflect last minute production changes. It also helps to have more than one person double check the text.

Posted on: 2007/1/30 10:33
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Re: AACA Museum's Packard
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Joined:
2006/4/17 11:22
From North Aurora, IL
Posts: 9236
Well one good thing about Packard was the fact the the door pillar tag and/or the firewall body plate usually makes it very clear what model, and series the car is. The engine number helps to verify that the engine is correct for that Model, Series also.

I often find people get screwed up because they look at the delivery date on the pillar tag. A car could have been delivered on Oct 15, 1937. But that car is really a 1938 for example. Some people just don't understand that, and I think that is where some of the confusion can set it for people.

Posted on: 2007/1/30 12:26
_________________
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan | Project Blog

"While it's nice to be important, it's important to be nice."

"Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end."
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Re: AACA Museum's Packard
Home away from home
Joined:
2006/11/30 18:18
From PA
Posts: 1272
I will post my answer tonight when I have more time


John F. Shireman

Posted on: 2007/1/30 13:04
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AACA Museum Packard
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Hello Again to All Who Have Commented on the Museum's Packard:

A check of the Packard's VIN (as found on the manufacturer's tag on the firewall) revealed an identification number beginning with "997." This is in keeping with the car's current identification as a 1936 Convertible Sedan, Five-Passenger.

Again, I appreciate everyone's interest in our car. I hope you will take the time to visit the Museum next time you are in Hershey.

Jeff

Jeffrey Bliemeister, Curator
jbliemeister@aacamuseum.org

Posted on: 2007/1/30 14:00
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