It’s not every day that you see an automobile that is literally fit for a king and queen. A 1930 Packard Model 740 with a Super 8 engine that was used to chauffeur King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during their stay in Victoria B.C. will be displayed at the Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance on July 19th.
But it’s not the royal connection that makes this automobile so fascinating. Instead it is the current owner’s quest to locate, purchase, and restore the Packard.
The story begins in 1930, when Chris Yarrow’s grandfather, Norman Yarrow, visited the Plimley’s dealership in downtown Victoria B.C. In the wake of the depression, sales of luxury cars where slow, and Norman was able to strike a favorable deal for the car. He sold it on to a new owner after a few years.
In 1939, King George VI of England and Queen Elizabeth were scheduled to visit Victoria on their tour of the Dominion and the United States. The stately Packard became their transportation from their ship’s berth to the Empress Hotel to Government House.
Fast forward to 1972, when a 14-year-old Chris Yarrow went searching for his Grandfather’s car. His first stop was the old Classic Car Museum in downtown Victoria. Murray Gammon, the owner of the Museum, provided the name of the Packard’s owner and his phone number. Chris contacted Mr. Art Fulawka, and began a friendship between the two families. Chris visited the car in storage in Port Coquitlam, and reunited the original trunk and fitted luggage with the Packard.
Many years passed, until one day Mr. Fulawka called out of the blue. “I always promised you first refusal,” he remembers the owner saying. “Do you want it?” After 14 years, Chris Yarrow’s quest was over.
The Packard was fully restored and will be on display at the Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance on July 19th. It will be part of the Grand Classic, a premier show for Classic Car Club of America members, that is being held in conjunction with the Forest Grove Concours. Over 50 ‘full classics’ are expected from all over the west coast and Canada. Special thanks to Chris Yarrow’s Packard friends Bhagwan Mayer and Michael May for arranging to transport the automobile from Victoria B.C. to Forest Grove.
More event information can be found at www.forestgroveconcours.org .