WARREN — After a year when it had to settle for an automotive parade, the annual car show hosted by the National Packard Museum returns Saturday.
“It’s so important we have this going on right now,” museum Executive Director Mary Ann Porinchak said. “After being off a year, people tend to think you’re not coming back. This shows we’re here, we’re strong and we’re moving forward.”
In recent years the museum, which is devoted to the history of the Packard family and the automotive company it started in Warren, has partnered with Mahoning Valley Corvettes for the event, which is now known as The Corvettes and Classics Car Show.
Part of that was out of necessity. As the Packard collectors have gotten older, fewer owners were bringing their vintage vehicles to Warren, Porinchak said. But the arrangement has been mutually beneficial to both groups.
“The Corvette club has an annual sanctioned event, so they judge the Corvettes here, which brings a lot more cars to the grounds,” Porinchak said. “And we open it up other cars as well. The club handles the awards and the judging, and we handle the grounds and the food and the entertainment. It’s a good partnership, a good collaboration, and everybody wins with this arrangement.”
This year’s event is expected to attract about 80 Corvettes and a comparable number of other vehicles.
“The car guys are itching to get out and do things,” she said. “Even the ones who only do one or two a year have been out to several this year, making up for lost time.”
The car show is free for spectators. Registration cost is $10 per vehicle, which includes two admissions to the museum. Registration is $20 for Corvette owners who want to be judged for the National Council of Corvettes Clubs-sanctioned event.
Food vendors will be on site, and the Packard Dixieland Band will perform at noon.
The show is a fundraiser for the museum, but that’s not the only reason it’s important, Porinchak said.
“It brings people to the grounds, to the museum who might not otherwise make this their destination,” she said. “Once they’re here, they realize what’s in the museum, the history of the cars, and they fall in love with the place.”
It has seen a resurgence in visitors this summer. Since June, travelers from 38 states visited the museum.
“Most days out-of-state visitors are outnumbering in-state,” Porinchak said. “That’s truly amazing. We haven’t seen that in past years.”