WARREN, Ohio – Crowds returned to the National Packard Museum in 2022 and the visitors were younger and more diverse than ever. Guests to the Warren museum, which showcases the Packard automobile, arrived from 41 states and 14 countries, according to Mary Ann Porinchak, executive director.
“They experienced a museum that is more vibrant and dynamic, with new colorful exhibits and increased educational programs and collaborations,” she says.
As a result of the increased attendance, revenue from admissions and museum store sales exceeded the totals forecast in the budget, Porinchak says.
Highlights of the year include joining the national Museums for All initiative, which offers free or reduced-price admission for economically disadvantaged persons. The Packard also joined the Blue Star Museums initiative, which offers free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families.
The museum presented another vintage motorcycle exhibit, received another vehicle for its collection, and collaborated with the Mahoning Valley Corvette Club to present the Corvettes and Classics car show.
Its Early Warren exhibit was revamped, marking the first major overhaul of one of the museum’s standing exhibits in 20 years, Porinchak says. The overhaul included the addition of a 20-footlong immersive space that includes a Packard family tree, created by using various gauges of Packard Electric wiring.
Also in 2022, the museum acquired an elegant 1948 Packard Super Eight seven-passenger sedan that was used by the Bellevue Hotel in Washington, D.C., as a limousine for more than 30 years. The vehicle shuttled U.S. senators, congressmen and VIP guests to Capitol Hill from Union Station and Washington’s Reagan Airport. It was also used in the inaugural parades of presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Three vehicles in the museum’s collection were evaluated and repaired, thanks to donors to the Historic Vehicle Conservation Fund.
For the first time in three years, the museum went on the road in 2022. Three of its vehicles represented the post-war Packard lineup at the Detroit Concours d’Elegance automotive event at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Porinchak credits volunteers, in-kind donors and financial supporters for the museum’s successful year.
“An army of 57 volunteers dedicated an estimated 5,585 hours to the tasks, events, programs and activities hosted during the year,” she says.
In-kind donations contributed nearly $61,000 in services, supplies and materials toward operations, including camera installation and monitoring, product donation, and landscaping, and allow the museum to operate on a lean budget.
Behind the scenes, Porinchak says, the museum made progress on making the archives more accessible for research and digitizing artifacts.
Pictured at top: This 1948 Packard Super Eight seven-passenger sedan was acquired in 2022.