New Zealand Classic Car

Packards at Warbirds Over Wanaka


Thanks to the Packard Car Club of New Zealand, next year’s Warbirds Over Wanaka Internatio­nal Airshow will possibly have the best line-up of classic Packard motor vehicles ever found outside the United States. A rally 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 10 that are being shipped from the United States specially 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 displayed 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.”

Taylor also said that 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.”

A selection of other rare cars will also be on display, including a 1936 Cadillac Town Car from New York, believed to be one of only a few remaining.

The 30th anniversar­y Warbirds Over Wanaka Internatio­nal Airshow will be held from March 30 to April 1, 2018. Further informatio­n and tickets can be found at warbirdsov­

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