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1939 Packard

Posted November 14, 2012 in Community Featured, Winterset

The flying lady hood ornament served as the seal of approval on Packard’s high-end luxury cars. Over the years, the company gained a formidable reputation for engineering and the quality was reflected in its long-standing advertising slogan: “Ask the man who owns one.”

For more than 30 years, Jack Vierling’s garage has served as a safe harbor for an iconic link in history.

Tucked away under a protective veil is Vierling’s stunning 1939 Packard — the midnight black finish tricked out by the sparkling chrome features and white walls is symbolic of the worst and best of American history. The Henry Motor Car Company in Detroit introduced the 1939 version of the Packard during a time when the world was devastated by war and depression. According to Vierling, to this day the treasured Packard defines a generation of class and style, hope and perseverance.

“I think it’s all of the original details on this car that make it so interesting to me,” says Vierling as he points out the old, yellowing World War II gas rationing sticker in the window — something that stands in stark contrast to the opulence of the upholstery and all of the convenient hand rails and pulls, wide running boards and chrome grills.

“Even though they had such a luxurious automobile, they weren’t able to enjoy it much when they were limited to just a couple gallons of gas a week,” he says.

And maybe that’s why Vierling has always been so enthusiastic about getting the Packard out on the road — it was just meant to be. And, following the filming of “The Bridges of Madison County,” locals will agree that never was there a grander sight then when Vierling joined up with wedding planner Pat Nelson. Wedding after wedding, Vierling would don his chauffeur’s hat, and in the most sophisticated style, the beaming newlyweds could begin their first few hours with him on the road to wedded bliss.

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