John Peterson - Age 100 - Connecticut Collector

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John Peterson - Age 100 - Connecticut Collector

Post by stan.m » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:22 pm

We were saddened to learn of the passing of John Peterson on February 11, 2020, three months after his 100th birthday. John was a member of the Eastern Packard Club and Belltown Antique Car Club, having spent most of his life in East Hampton, Connecticut where he managed a service station there and had one of the largest Packard collections in years past. John served his country during WWII as a Sergeant in the 43rd Infantry Division and in later life was a regular at Hershey. Up until the decline of his health and subsequent move to a nursing home, John's 1937 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria [which he owned since 1958] graced the show field at all of the Belltown shows.

You may find a link to John's obituary here: ... /195389802

John Harley
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:44 pm
Location: Dumont, NJ

Re: John Peterson - Age 100 - Connecticut Collector

Post by John Harley » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:47 am


I knew John ("Johnny P") as a member of the Eastern Packard Club. He had Packards other than the Twelve when I knew him; a 1956 Patrician, a 1954 Pacific and a 1948 Custom Eight Club Sedan that he pursued for 30 years before he was able to acquire it. He bought the Twelve about 1953 and spent $900 having it painted and reupholstered. It was his preferred mode of transportation.

I caravanned with John in the Twelve and Jack Behn in his 1941 180 Formal Sedan to the Packard Centennial. Jim Van Duyne rode with me, Roy Beavers with John, and Ron Eastwood with Jack. Jack led the way .

Jack let me drive the 180 part of the way.The 180 had overdrive with a standard rear end, It was dead silent and dead smooth. It was very fast. There was no sensation of speed unless you looked at the speedometer, Because of the restricted seat room in formal cars, the speedometer was not in the line of sight, and the the accelerator pedal was directly underneath your right foot. The only comfortable way to drive the car was with one's foot flat on the floor and staring at the horizon.

Jack usually drove about 75 miles an hour , and this is what we did all the way our on Route 80. I was just about able to keep up in my 1950 Eight.

There was quite a production when we stopped for gas and John Peterson could not understand why the Twelve was getting only 9 miles per gallon instead of 10!

For some reason John had not reserved a hotel room in Warren so he stayed for a few nights with me until he left on Thursday morning. He was as excited as a kid at Christmas and we talked about the cars we had seen until he fell asleep. He had previously owned about 6 or 7 of the Classic Packards that were in the Magnum Opus.

Shortly after he bought the Custom Eight he told me he destroyed the grill on the car getting it into the garage. I asked him how he fixed it, it looked pretty good to me.

"Oh, I had a new one in the garage. I took it out of the paper wrapper and put it on the car."

John Harley

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