Marshall Packard update
Wanaka: Craig and Nicky Marshall came agonisingly close to completing the first leg of their epic journey to the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow without having to use the ‘truck of shame’. After setting out three and a half weeks earlier from New York in their recently purchased 1928 Packard Roadster, the Kiwi couple were just 250 kilometres from the finish line of their 4,500 kilometre journey across the US, when the car broke down.
As Craig explains they had set off at 5am on what was going to be their final run into Los Angeles. “We had a great trip across the Mohave Desert that morning but as we turned onto Interstate 10 the engine started to misfire. We pulled over and soon found the problem. A set of points in the distributor had closed as a result of the main distributor drive shaft becoming unstable.”
“These distributors are quite rare and so there wasn’t much else we could do that day other than call for the ‘truck of shame’ – a tow truck. Our misfortune didn’t stop there as it took eight hours for the tow truck to reach us.”
“Lots of people stopped to offer a hand, including local police but there was nothing they could do,” says Craig. Eventually the car was towed to LA and dropped off at the freight company which is now shipping the car to New Zealand.
“It was a major disappointment to get so close to our final destination and not be able to glide up to Santa Monica Pier under our own steam.“
Craig says they’re now putting out feelers around the Packard community to try to find a replacement distributor for when the car arrives in Auckland. Once repaired the vehicle will then resume its journey to Wanaka where it will join a 50-strong collection of classic Packards from around the United States, Australia and New Zealand on display at the 30th Anniversary Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.