FROM THE COLLECTION OF GENERAL WILLIAM LYON
Santa Ana, Calif., Aug.6, 2012 – Lyon Air Museum, a showcase for vintage aircraft and vehicles, for the past month, has hosted an exhibit of seven rare Packards from the General Lyon collection. Due by popular demand Lyon Air Museum has extended the Packard exhibit to Aug.27. Do not miss this extra opportunity to see the exclusive Packard exhibit. Lyon Air Museum is located on the west side of the runway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
The Packard Motor Car Company produced and sold automobiles from 1899 – 1958. The slogan, “Ask the man who owns one” was coined in 1903 when a potential customer asked for nonexistent sales literature. Packard, the “American Classic Car,” sold automobiles to celebrities such as; Clark Gable, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn, Al Jolson, Ruby Keeler, Rosalind Russell, Ann Sheridan, Dick Powell, Jean Harlow, Tony Curtis, Gary Cooper and Bob Hope. Previous owners among the Lyon collection include Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas; Los Angeles Times publisher, Otis Chandler and well to do entrepreneurs such as the Kraft Family; George Hormel, founder of Hormel Foods; and William F. Harrah, founder of Harrah’s Hotel and Casinos, to name a few.
After the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent entry into World War II by the United States, Packard’s slogan “ask the man who owns one” was temporarily marketed as “ask the man who flies one.” The Packard Motor Car Company joined the auto industry trend, converting to full-time war machine production. Packard built engines for both military PT boats and P-51 Mustang fighter planes. Although a P-51 Mustang is not scheduled to be on display during the Packard exhibit, it is not uncommon to occasionally catch a glimpse of one of the impressive Packard powered fighters at the Museum.
The Lyon Packards are among the best and most historic examples left in existence. The preeminent coach builders of the time are all represented – Darrin, Dietrich, Derham, LeBaron and Rollston/Rollson.
Today, Packard’s legacy lives on. Groups such as Packards International Motor Car Club in Santa Ana, California preserve the brand and existing automobiles. Packards International has members in all 50 states and 13 foreign countries. The Packard exhibit at Lyon Air Museum aims to share a piece of Packard’s legacy with the community.
The 30,000-sq. ft. Lyon Air Museum opened in Dec. 2009. The facility represents the fulfillment of a dream of Major General William Lyon, USAF (Ret), who held the position of Chief of the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1975 to 1979. Currently, General Lyon is Chairman of the Board and CEO of William Lyon Homes, Inc., Newport Beach, Calif. His passion for aviation history and youth education is the driving force behind Lyon Air Museum. In establishing the Museum, General Lyon sought to create a world-class facility that would be available to the local community and would offer educational exhibits designed to inspire young people. The Museum has on exhibit some of the world’s rarest operational aircraft and vehicles.
Hours of operation are daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission rates: General admission – $12; Seniors and Veterans- $9; Ages 5-17 – $6; Under age 5 – free. Groups of 10 or more – $1 off each visitor. Pre-arranged school groups – free.