Margaret Dunning born in 1910 still drives her 1930 Packard 740 Roadster
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Margaret Dunning born in 1910 still drives her 1930 Packard 740 Roadster

Plymouth : MI : USA | Nov 10, 2012 at 7:58 PM PST
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Antique autos

Margaret Dunning was born in 1910. She lives in Plymouth Michigan. Although she lives in Plymouth she drives a 1930 Packard 740 Roadster among other vehicles.

When Dunning drives her 1930 Packard Roadster, onlookers are no doubt impressed not only by the car but by the very senior lady behind the wheel who is twenty years older than her classic car. Packard was an American luxury automobile built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan. The first Packard was produced in 1899. The last Packard was produced by Studebaker-Packard Corporation in 1958 at South Bend Indiana.

Dunning started her driving career back in 1918 at the tender age of 8. No doubt these days her parents would be in trouble with the law. Dunning grew up on a dairy and potato farm west of Detroit. At the age of ten she managed to drive into the barn. However in those days she was able to get a licence at the age of twelve after her father died. Dunning said: "I'm just a farm girl, and my dad had a lot of machinery, and I adored my dad.. I became familiar with the tools, because the minute I said I didn't know what I was looking for, he'd say, 'Go back to the house.'"

Dunning owns a number of classic cars in addition to the Packard, which she has owned since 1949. She takes the Roadster to car shows but her everyday car is a modern 2003 Cadillac DeVille. Margaret also owns a 1966 Cadillac Deville, a 1975 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, as well as a less luxurious 1931 Model A.

While Dunning still does some routine maintenance and even on occasion changes her own oil, she notes: "Before old age overtook me, I could scoot under the car very nicely." Dunning told the Akron Beacon Journal :“I love the old cars. I love the smell of gasoline. It runs in my veins.”

I am not sure how often Michigan requires seniors to be retested for a driver's licence. If she does go for a retest I wonder which of her many vehicles she would take. I might opt for the Model A. It would be easiest to parallel park I should think, although perhaps the modern Cadillac with power steering might be the best.

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Margaret Dunning with her 1930 Packard Roadster
northsunm32 is based in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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