Back in 1998, I found myself driving down Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. It was a gloriously hot day (isn’t it always in LA?), I had my muisc up, the windows down, and was looking forward to a leisurely breakfast at Jerry’s Deli. Suddenly, I saw a 1929 Packard parked up at the side of the road. I was in the middle of researching the life of “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn for my first book, “Killing For Capone” and so I knew that this was the exact same type of car that Jack McGurn used to drive. I stopped the car and got out to have a closer look. As I did so, an elderly gentleman came over. “She’s beautiful, ain’t she?” he said. “Gorgeous!” I replied. I explained why I was so interested in the car and then he said something amazing. “Do wanna go for a drive?” Now, I am not in the habit of getting into cars with perfect strangers; however, I thought that it wasn’t as if we’d be inconspicuous, and besides, when would another chance like this come along? I agreed, and so we drove up and down Ventura Boulevard and around the block. At one point, the Packard’s owner – who I now knew was called John – asked, “You wanna drive her?” “Oh no! I wouldn’t dare!” I said. “Oh, sure you would!” he said, and with that, took his hands off the wheel. Determined not to be the one to cause this gorgeous car to crash, I leaned across and took the wheel.
Fast forward to July 2016, and my visit to AutoWorld in Brussels, Belgium. Amongst all the stunning cars they had on display, there was this: the 1929 Packard! I stood. I stared. I took its photo. All the while, the fabulous memories of that day in LA played on a loop through my mind. In that instant, I was so happy to be standing there, taking photos of this fabulous car, while taking a wonderful drive down memory lane.