PACKARD'S RARE CONCEPT CARS FEATURED AT 'THE AMELIA'Company press release.
'Ask the man who owns one' was Packard's slogan from the earliest days of the marque. On March 9, 2014, Packard fans visiting the 19th annual Amelia Island Concours can ask the man who owns 58 Packards.
Ralph Marano, Sr., an orthodox Packard man of long standing, has been seized by one of the most dignified, delightful and elegant obsessions in the car collecting hobby. Ralph really likes Packard show cars. He likes them so much that he has collected all ten.
Marano's Packard collection numbers an astonishing 58 cars. His Packard show car inventory, all ten Packard concept cars from the 1950s, will become The Packard Concepts of Ralph Marano at the 19th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance on March 9, 2014.
Touchingly, Marano's newest Packard show car is the 1955 Request, the last of Packard's concept cars. The car earned its unusual name from the unexpected avalanche of letters delivered to Packard headquarters during the fifties asking for a return, or at least a reprise, of Packard's distinctive and famous vertical grill design of the thirties and forties. Packard's Chief Stylist Richard Teague acquiesced.
After a tour of Packard dealers following the 1955 car show season, the Request returned to Detroit just in time for the company to close its doors forever.
The Request was driven out of the factory and vanished for more than two decades. Marano found the car, with accident damage, sitting in a field. In 1983 it was restored and it re-debuted at the Packard Club annual convention in Oakland, CA wearing proper and correct Packard ivory and copper paint.
'Ralph Marano's Packard show car collection is something that can't be seen anywhere else,' said Mark Becker, Vice-Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. 'The Marano Packard Concept class is the first time 'Amelia' has featured a class dedicated to the cars of a single personal collection. This is so rare that we even named the class for him. With the Chrysler Concept Cars class and Marano's Packards, there might be a light element of fifties-themed time travel to the 19th annual 'Amelia'.'