- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) - A German engineer tracing the ownership history of a rare automobile he bought two years ago has discovered a man from La Grande bought the vehicle in 1952.

His effort to find out who had the vehicle before that has stalled, but he hopes someone in Oregon has answers.

The vehicle is a 1934 Packard Twelve 1108 Limousine, and Andreas Straube tells The (La Grande) Observer (https://is.gd/piUp3R ) only 190 were manufactured. He said the vehicle’s original price in 1934 was $5,100 ($90,000 in today’s dollars).

“It is such an impressive car that nobody forgets it,” Straube said.

Straube linked the automobile to eastern Oregon after finding a sticker indicating it was serviced at Perkins Motor Co., which operated in La Grande from 1923 to 1955, according to La Grande historian Bob Bull.

Straube conducted an internet search and found a 1952 Observer article saying Harold Woodruff, the manager of the La Grande Safeway store, bought the car in Oregon City and it had previously been used by a funeral home.

Woodruff’s purchase was news in Union County and the vehicle led to a Packard exhibit at the county fair.

The car had about 39,000 miles on its odometer when Woodruff bought it and 45,137 miles when Straube purchased it two years ago. That means the car traveled less than 100 miles a year during those 62 years.

“It is a car people owned because they liked to look at it,” Straube said.

The car has its original parts. Interior features include tube radio and a window divider between the front and back seat. A phone device allowed passengers to speak to the driver. The phone offered only one-way communication.

The car was manufactured in August of 1933 in Detroit and sold the following year at a Packard dealership on 11th Avenue in New York City.

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Information from: The (La Grande) Observer, https://www.lagrandeobserver.com/


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