Packard Floral Car 1910

This photo is of a Packard touring car decorated as a gunboat for the floral parade that was one of the most anticipated features of the March 1910 Indianapolis Automobile Show. The car won one of three contest categories - the "unique" class - by which cars were organized judged. The other two were "dealers" and "private" class.
Thank you to First Super Speedway reader Carolyn Erickson for this outstanding contribution.
The Packard "gunboat" may have been the most amazing of a long line of heart-stopping floats. Imitation cannons - compete with "blackened noses" - protruded from the flower-covered sides of the ship. The Stars and Stripes gloriously streamed from the masts. The Indianapolis Military Band struck up the "Star-Spangled Banner" and the guns emitted noise and smoke. The crowds reportedly loved it and expressed their appreciation with cheers.
A similar photo was published in the April 2, 1910, Indianapolis Star. From that, we learn that Frank Willis not only drove the car but helped design the decorations with Ray Holcomb. Their young sons were positioned at the front of the vehicle as captain and pilot. This float was an amazing fifty feet long with drapes hanging so close to the ground the car gave the appearance of floating along at sea. 


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