In 1983, Raymond Plaster went to a collector car auction in Tulsa, Oklahoma, hoping to bring home a V12 Packard that was supposed to be on the docket. When that car didn’t show up for the sale, Plaster bought another Packard, a 1939 Super Eight Derham Phaeton in sorry shape.
Plaster and his wife, Carol, would spend much of the next 19 years restoring the car in their garage in Bull Shoals, Arkansas. During that process, Plaster’s research revealed that the car originally was purchased by the Argentine government and was the parade car that frequently carried Juan and Evita Peron.
Plaster died in 2014. His widow has consigned their car for sale at an auction scheduled for November 7 by SoldASAP, Tasabah & Associates, a company based in Paragould, Arkansas. According to its website, SoldASAP specializes in real estate and farm auctions, primarily in Arkansas and Missouri.
The auction, which includes several other cars, plus automobilia and petroliana from other consignors, will be held in Jonesboro, Arkansas, at the Nettleton Baptist Church Community Center.
The Plasters reportedly spent 7,000 hours on the car’s restoration. In a video interview, Carol Plaster notes that she not only helped with the process but probably spent more time beneath the car than did her late husband, a grocer and car collector who enjoyed restoring vehicles.
“The story of this car is almost as remarkable as that of the Perons,” John Malone, auction company president, said in a news release.
“After Peron was turned out of office in 1955, the Packard was sealed in a garage at a dog farm away from Buenos Aires, and ended up in an auction in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Raymond and Carol Plaster bought it in 1983. They stored it in the garage of their home in Bull Shoals, Arkansas, and began the restoration, which took 19 years and more than 7,000 hours.
“The authenticity of the Packard is well established by the body modifications, the presidential seal marks at the rear doors and the motor number,” he added, citing a 2004 article in The Packard Cormorant.