Exploring America’s Packard Museum: A Showcase of Classic Cars

Welcome, car enthusiasts! Have you ever heard of America’s Packard Museum? If not, get ready to be amazed! This museum, located in Dayton, Ohio, is a showcase of classic cars, particularly those produced by the Packard Motor Car Company. The museum houses over 50 Packard vehicles, ranging from sedans and convertibles to limousines and hearses. Each car has its story, from the Packard Model 18 Twin Six Roadster (which may have been owned by notorious gangster Al Capone) to the Packard Clipper Touring Sedan, which was used in the filming of the 2013 movie “The Great Gatsby”. Let’s take a closer look at this impressive collection of classic cars!

America’s Packard Museum: Celebrating the Legacy of a Classic Car Brand

America’s Packard Museum is a staple in the Dayton, Ohio community and automobile enthusiasts alike, attracting visitors from all over the country, and the world. The museum has been dedicated to preserving the rich history of the Packard automobile brand since 1992. Visitors can explore the museum’s impressive collection of Packard vehicles, rare artifacts, and memorabilia, as well as learn about the brand’s journey from its humble beginnings to its status as one of America’s most prestigious luxury car brands.

The History of Packard

Packard began as the Ohio-based Packard Electric Company in 1890, creating electrical equipment for industries such as railroads and mines. As the automobile industry began to grow, Packard Electric began to provide electric components for some of the earliest automobiles to hit the market. In 1899, James Ward Packard and William Doud Packard designed and built their first car, the Model A. The brothers quickly realized their passion for automobiles and founded the Packard Motor Car Company in 1902.

Initially producing four-cylinder engines, the Packard brand quickly gained recognition for its stylish, high-quality automobiles. By the 1920s, Packard was considered one of the most prestigious luxury car brands in America, catering to the wealthy and elite. In 1932, Packard became the first American automaker to offer air conditioning in their vehicles. Despite the financial challenges of the Great Depression, Packard continued to innovate and produce elegant and powerful automobiles until the brand’s decline in the late 1950s.

The Creation of the Museum

America’s Packard Museum was established in 1992 at the suggestion of Dayton, Ohio native, Robert Signom II. Signom was a lifelong Packard enthusiast and collector. He wanted to establish a space dedicated to preserving the Packard legacy and showcasing the brand’s rich history. He donated his extensive collection of Packard vehicles, artifacts, and memorabilia to the museum’s collection.

The museum is located in the historic Packard Dealership building, which was constructed in 1917. The building was designed by renowned Dayton architect Albert Pretzinger, and many of its original features have been preserved, including the beautiful tilework, terrazzo floors, and the original staircase. America’s Packard Museum underwent extensive renovations in 2019, adding additional exhibit space and modern amenities while preserving the building’s historic character.

The Collection

The museum’s collection features over 50 Packard vehicles, ranging from early models to unique and custom vehicles. Some of the most notable vehicles include the Packard “Short Eight” speedster, the 1916 Twin Six “Pancake” touring car, and the 1941 Clipper Deluxe touring sedan. In addition to the vehicles on display, the museum houses an impressive collection of Packard memorabilia, including advertising materials, brochures, and original promotional films.

Visitors can also explore the museum’s restoration shop, where a skilled team of technicians works on restoring Packard vehicles to their original condition. The museum also offers educational events and programs for aspiring mechanics and collectors, including workshops, lectures, and demonstrations.


America’s Packard Museum is a must-visit destination for automobile enthusiasts and anyone interested in the rich history of America’s luxury car brands. The museum’s collection showcases the beauty and innovation of Packard vehicles and pays tribute to the brand’s legacy of quality and craftsmanship. Through its exhibits, events, and educational programs, America’s Packard Museum is preserving the brand’s legacy for future generations.

Visiting America’s Packard Museum: What You Need to Know

With hundreds of Packard automobiles and artifacts on display, America’s Packard Museum is a must-visit attraction for car enthusiasts and history buffs alike. If you’re planning a trip to the museum, here’s what you need to know to make the most of your visit.

Hours and Admission

America’s Packard Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 pm to 5 pm, and is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and major holidays. Admission prices are affordable and offer an excellent value, with adult tickets priced at just $8, and discounts for seniors, students, and military members.

If you’re planning a visit with a group of ten or more people, the museum offers discounted prices for group tours. Additionally, visitors who purchase an annual membership can enjoy unlimited visits to the museum, as well as discounts on merchandise and special events.

Tours and Events

One of the most exciting aspects of America’s Packard Museum is the variety of tours and events that it offers throughout the year. For visitors who are interested in learning more about the museum’s collection and the history of Packard automobiles, guided tours are available for both individuals and groups.

Car enthusiasts will also appreciate the museum’s calendar of events, which includes car shows and exhibitions that spotlight various models and eras of Packard automobiles. From hot rods to vintage classics, there’s always something new to see and learn at America’s Packard Museum.

Getting There and Parking

Located at 420 S. Ludlow Street in Dayton, Ohio, America’s Packard Museum is easily accessible by car or public transportation. If you’re driving to the museum, there is ample parking available in the adjacent lot. Visitors who are traveling from outside the Dayton area can also take advantage of nearby hotels and transportation options for a convenient and hassle-free trip.

Whether you’re a lifelong car enthusiast or simply looking for a unique and engaging museum experience, America’s Packard Museum is a must-visit attraction that is sure to impress. With its extensive collection of Packard automobiles, artifacts, and memorabilia, as well as a range of tours, events, and exhibits, this museum offers visitors a journey through the rich history and legacy of one of America’s most iconic automobile brands.

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