Classic Cars, Legendary Warbirds and a 1950's Retro Diner just outside Wanaka, NZ.

Packard Rally 2018

Posted by Ed Taylor on 26 April 2017

Possibly the best line up ever outside the United States of classic Packard motor vehicles will be on display at next year’s Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.

The South Pacific Packard Car Club of New Zealand has organised a rally which will culminate with the cars being on display over the three days of the airshow at Easter 2018. Among the 50 vehicles coming to Wanaka will be ten which are being shipped from the United States especially for the event.

Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, says there is a strong link between the cars and some of the WWII aircraft which will also be displaying at Wanaka.

“During WWII the Packard company made an American version of the famous Rolls Royce Merlin engine to power fighter aircraft and bombers. The Packard Merlin V12 engine was fitted to many aircraft types, including the P-40 Kittyhawk and P-51 Mustang. A number of these will be flying at Warbirds 2018. So we’ll have Packard V12 engines both on the ground and in the air,” says Ed.

Ed says over the years there have been numerous classic car displays at Warbirds Over Wanaka. “It’s fitting that for our 30th anniversary celebrations we have such a world-class collection of cars on display.”

Back in the late 1920s early 1930s you could buy 20 Model A Ford for what it would cost you for just one Packard. The value of the cars on display in Wanaka will run into the many millions of dollars.

The cars coming to the rally from the United States all belong to members of the Classic Car Club of America. “You can’t just buy any old Packard and apply to be a member of this club. There are strict entry requirements which means cars in the club are really the best of the best.”

Along with some of the world’s best examples of Packard engineering will be some other rare cars including a 1936 Cadillac Town Car from New York believed to be one of only a handful still in the world.

The 30th anniversary Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow is being held on March 30th, March 31st and April 1st. Information and tickets are available from Warbirds Over Wanaka

For further information contact:

Ed Taylor, General Manager 0274 307 519

Mandy Deans Event Manager  03 443 8619