Members: Leo and Jennie Shedden
Packard currently owned: 1937 Packard 115C Touring Sedan 1082
How long have you been a MCP member?
Since about 2008.
What drew you to Packards in the first place?
Leo writes: I grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania. When I was about 5, the family car became a Packard, a 1949; later, a 1950 and a 1951. By the time I was old enough to drive, the 1951 had been replaced by, of all things, a 1955 Chevy and then a 1958 Ford Fairlane 500, all of which seemed pretty cool to me at the time. From my perspective today, I wish my parents had replaced the 1951 with a 1954 Packard 300 with manual transmission.
What was the first Packard you owned?
My one and only Packard is the 1937. Its dash plate indicates delivery to Poughkeepsie, NY late in the 1937 model year. The story goes (not confirmed) that it was a car from the Roosevelt compound in Hyde Park. FDR had a leaning to Senior Packards in the White House fleet; at best, this 115C may have been a car for the house staff to run errands. I feel I need to put a Wendell Willkie sticker on the bumper (FDR’s opponent in the 1940 election).
What made you buy it?
On one hand, I had the childhood memories of the family Packards; then, at work, I became acquainted with now fellow MCP member Bob Carpenter. At that time he had a 1940 Packard Convertible Coupe. That helped rejuvenate my interest and I zeroed in on the first generation “Juniors,” 1935 to1937, and found this one on eBay.
What is your favorite Packard-related memory?
When I was about 6, the family (total of 7 people) drove the fortunately very spacious 1950 Packard from Pennsylvania all the way to Colorado to visit relatives and do sightseeing. I remember the trip including the drive up Pikes Peak with attendant worries about the lack of guard rails and the concern all cars had with overheating. (the Packard did not overheat)
What do you get out of Packard ownership?
I really enjoy working on the Packard. A now passed friend of mine was a WWII vet, and I would sometimes use the Packard to drive him home from Rotary Club meetings—providing great memories for both of us. We do take it for drives though Ann Arbor occasionally and to local shows.
Assuming you don’t already own it, what’s your dream Packard?
I admire what Packard did with the introduction of the 1941 Clipper—a design well ahead of the then-competition. A second Packard could be a prewar or postwar Clipper with overdrive. Or, it could be another 1937; a 115C Convertible Coupe could be a nice complement to our current car.
What do you enjoy most about being a part of MCP?
Our fellow members. Jennie and I have hosted the Tech Session at our house and enjoy these events very much. We have come to know several admirable people through the club. There is a great deal of restoration expertise available through these relationships. Another positive aspect of MCP is the variety of top-condition Packards owned by members, too many to mention.