Motor Car Foundation
Providing for the Future
The Foundation was founded in 1997 as a non-profit section 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, the first dedicated to the preservation of the products, history and properties of The Packard Motor Car Company. It is managed by a Board of Trustees from a broad spectrum of the old car hobby who donate their expertise and skills from a wide range of business backgrounds. All funds that are collected are held in trust and used strictly for the projects of the Foundation. Overhead of the Foundation is covered by the Trustees. Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible according to the rules of the I.R.S., as applied to the individual's own tax situation.
Our First Major Project -
The Packard Proving Grounds Historic Site
The Packard Proving Grounds was built in 1927 at a cost of over one-million dollars. It contained beautiful Tudor-revival buildings, grand entrance gates, parkways, and a timing tower, all designed by famed-architect Albert Kahn. One of the planted areas between the front driveways was shaped like the famous Packard radiator shell. After Packard's demise, the property changed hands several times and eventually ended up being owned by the Ford Motor Land Development Corporation. They used the property down through the years for various purposes, but were good custodians of the important artifacts -- thus saving them from the fate of so many other historic automotive treasures. By the year 1998, Ford determined that the best use of the over 300-acre property would be for development. A group of interested historians from many walks of life including members of Packard clubs, the Classic Car Club, and the Antique Automobile Club joined together with the elected officials and citizens of Shelby Township to save a significant portion of the Proving Grounds as a historic site. The Packard Motor Car Foundation offered to open negotiations with Ford. Extensive negotiations and re-negotiations taking place for several years led to Ford's offer to gift the seven acres of land containing the grand entrance gates, the Lodge building, the Garage building, the elevated water storage tank, and the Chrysler Defense building to the Foundation for restoration and perpetual care. An additional seven acres was acquired that contains the timing tower, a 458-foot section of the test track, and the relocated Lindbergh hangar. Ford handed over the keys in 2002 and the Foundation began an immediate campaign to raise the funds necessary for the project. Please see our "Projects in Progress" web page for details.
Automotive collectors are dedicated enthusiasts who have collected not only automobiles and commercial vehicles, but large libraries of related materials. Many are beginning to consider the proper disposition of their collections, realizing that their heirs may not be interested or have the knowledge to make the decisions that will see to their proper care and usefulness for the future. This is where our Foundation can help, by making arrangements for placement in our own archive to be established at the Proving Grounds, a specified one, or in one of our participating museums.
Partners in Preservation
All interested historians are invited to consider the benefits afforded through the tax advantage, but more importantly the peace of mind in knowing that your collection will be properly cared for, treasured, and displayed for the benefit of future enthusiasts. Of course, not everyone has a collection to donate, and by becoming a "Friend of the Foundation" you can help with the restoration of the Packard Proving Grounds Historic Site, thereby saving a place where all automotive history can be displayed for future generations.
Become a Friend of the Proving Grounds
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