Museum Receives Margaret Dunning Packard

The CCCA Museum has gratefully received Margaret Dunning's 1930 Packard 740 Roadster, donated to the Museum by the Margaret Dunning Trust. Featured along with Ms. Dunning in countless articles and videos the Packard became available in 1949 when the pregnant wife of the man who was restoring it “announced just before the car was finished that she was not about to bring up a baby in a roadster,” according to Dunning. She bought it over the phone and had it restored to mint condition. 

CCCA Museum Experience 2015

Often seen at CCCA and other collector car events, her 1930 Packard 740 roadster is believed to be the first 100 point CCCA Classic.

Margaret Dunning was a month shy of her 105th birthday when she died in 2015, and her friends were surprised at her passing—saying a lot about our friend and benefactor. A long-time member of the Classic Car Club of America, Ms. Dunning died May 17 resulting from a fall while attending a collector car event in Santa Barbara, California. Ms. Dunning was known for her love of collectible cars, her ability to maintain them herself — and drive them, even as a centenarian.

Pebble Beach’s 2012 Concours d’Elegance saw Margaret win the Classic Car Club of America Trophy and steal the show as she bantered with Jay Leno about her Packard. She then got behind the wheel, navigated the crowds, drove onto the awards stand, picked up her award, and drove off. Not an easy feat for even the most skilled driver. That was Margaret! At age 102, Dunning drove her Packard three laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hitting speeds of 70 miles per hour. This earned her a spot in the annual Book of Amazements from Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, which left her laughing. “Life has been wonderful,” she said, “I thoroughly recommend it.”

Favorite causes included the Plymouth Historical Museum, to which she donated more than $1 million over the years, and the Plymouth District Library, built on land
donated by Dunning and her mother. Margaret’s life and philanthropy will be honored in an awards ceremony Sunday at the Experience.

For more information on Dunning’s history and a link to a photo gallery of her life, search for “Plymouth Historical Museum” on Facebook.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Margaret may be made to the Plymouth Historical Museum or other charity as you desire.

Video interview with Ms. Dunning from the New York Times