1948 Packard Victoria by Vignale wins Best of Show at Greenwich 2022
Ralph Morano says winning Best of Show honors at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance never gets old. That’s a good thing, considering he’s done it a lot.
Morano’s 1948 Packard Victoria Convertible Eight by Vignale was awarded top honors in the 26th annual Connecticut concours on Sunday at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park. The victory was his sixth at Greenwich.
“I love cars, especially Packards,” said the noted New Jersey collector while accepting congratulations from friends and other showgoers. “We own 100 cars, and 66 of them are Packards.” Morano traded one Packard to acquire the Victoria that won. What makes that car so special is its journey to Greenwich; intended as a concept car, Packard shipped it across the Atlantic to Alfredo Vignale’s Italian design house in 1939. Then, World War II broke out.
“It’s a one-off,” Morano says. “It was built on a ’39 Packard chassis, but it was hidden during the war and was finished in 1948. I saw it at a car show in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1990, and fell in love with it. Being a Packard fan and also of Italian descent, I had to have it. So, I traded the guy another one-off Packard to get it.”
The Victoria Convertible Eight, which has a 120-horsepower 282-cubic-inch Packard straight-eight engine under the hood, was painted red at the time and had recently been restored. Ten years ago, Morano restored it again and changed the paint to black. With Vignale coachwork taking center stage at Greenwich this year, the Packard seemed right at home among the Vignale Ferraris and Cunninghams overlooking beautiful Greenwich Harbor. So did Morano and his familial entourage, which included wife Adeline, son Ralph Jr., daughter-in-law Kelli, and the Morano’s four-year-old Havanese pooch named Goldie.
Goldie was the only dog to cross the awards stage, which included 18 class winners and an additional 19 special awards. Special honors included the People’s Choice Award, which went to a 1956 Dodge C-4 Power Wagon in Green Mountain (Vermont) National Forest Service livery; the Hagerty Drivers Foundation Automotive Heritage Award, given to a 1913 White Model GGAD Roadster; the Hagerty Drivers Foundation FIVA Preservation Award, which went to a 1938 BMW R51 motorcycle; the Hagerty Youth Judging Award, given to a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz; and the local Madison Avenue Sports Car Driving & Chowder Society Award, bestowed upon a 1967 Lamborghini 400GT.
Motorsports pioneer Judy Stroupus served as grand marshal, and Ken Gross was chief judge.
Dates for the 2023 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance have not yet been announced.