The Itasca Vintage Car Club will be part of First Friday Art Walk Friday, Sept. 6 in the parking lot at the corner of Highway 2 and 151 Ave. NW, in Grand Rapids. All vintage or special interest cars are welcome.
For more information on the club contact Carl Wegner at 326-5965 or Stan Watson, president, at 259-7320.
This month the club is featuring Lauren and Kathy Lampi's 1947 Packard Custom Super Clipper. With its 356 cu. In. straight eight and long list of special amenities, it was considered the top of the line during the immediate post war years of Packard production. Today it's recognized as the last true classic Packard in a long line of quality cars built by that Detroit manufacturer.
Lauren, as many of us know, has had a longstanding love for Packards of most any vintage so when this one appeared for sale, it peaked his curiosity as a potential long-term restoration project. He purchased this car about 10 years ago from an attorney in the Twin Cities who, as it turns out, had been raised in Grand Rapids and had attended school here, so things sort of worked about in a pattern of common interest.
The car was a very complete, original example in what seemed good running order so Lauren was able to drive it back to Grand Rapids, which proved to be a good chance to do an assessment of what would be required during the planned restoration.
The first concern was the engine, which was torn down for a top end rebuild soon after arriving home. This having been completed, the rest of the project proceeded along at a fairly leisurely pace during summer months until Lauren's retirement when the restoration sped up to full time.
As it stands today, the complete car has been rebuilt and restored from the ground up using as many of the original parts as possible with N.O.S. or reconditioned used items where required. The body was returned to its original gray finish matching a small portion of original paint found on the firewall during restoration.