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Deep-purple 1935 Packard wins AACA Zenith Award

Deep-purple 1935 Packard wins AACA Zenith Award

Second-year national prize for best-restored vehicle goes to a Super 8 convertible

A 1935 Packard 1204 Super 8 convertible with purple paint so dark that it appears black has won the second-year Zenith Award as best-restored collector car by the Antique Automobile Club of America.

The Packard was chosen from a slate of 16 magnificent show winners, two each from the AACA’s eight regional shows held throughout the year. The 16 cars and trucks, ranging in age from a 1919 Walker LA-10 electric delivery truck to a 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport, were gathered in Greensburg, Pennsylvania for the judging that took place during the 2018 Grand National Meet.

The luxurious Packard is powered by a straight-8 engine

The luxurious Packard is powered by a straight-8 engine

A team of AACA judges along with three guest judges – Mark Lizewskie, executive director of the Rolls-Royce Owner’s Club; Jeff Broadus of Grundy Insurance and former publisher of Car Collector magazine; and Graham Kozak, Autoweek magazine features editor – examined the vehicles for six hours, according to an AACA news release.

“The three extra judges were brought into the mix to provide a greater spectrum of thought,” AACA said in its release.

The 16 Zenith Award entries were lined up in a building for judging

“Wow, was my first thought when I entered the building to see the Zenith cars,” Broadus was quoted in the news release. “First to catch my eye was the obvious quality of the vehicles and then I noticed the variety of the vehicles we were to judge. A challenging task, but one that was thoroughly enjoyable.

“It was a very competitive group, but the winner was just one of those cars that spoke to you and surely would be top dog in any show.”

The winning car is owned by Greg and Cheri Haack of Freeport, Illinois, who received the massive, one-of-a-kind crystal Zenith Award trophy.

Owners Greg and Cheri Haack of Illinois with their crystal trophy

Owners Greg and Cheri Haack of Illinois with their crystal trophy

Greg Haack and an 87-year-old friend performed the restoration themselves, along with some outside help with paint and chrome, spending an estimated 11,000 hours to bring the Packard to its show-winning glory, according to the AACA description.

The Zenith Award runner up was an impeccably restored 1953 Nash Healey owned by Ed and Rita Koch of Flemington, New Jersey.   

The recently created Zenith Award augments the AACA’s comprehensive awards program held at its regional and national competitions each year. For more information about the AACA. vision the organization’s website. To view all the Zenith Award competitors and their descriptions, visit the award listing.

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