With saddness we report that
died on July 26, 2013.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Beverly and all her loved ones.
We will all miss Billy's friendliness and wry sense of humor.
The Packard World lost a Favorite Son,
on his 91st Birthday, Monday January 28, 2013
The family has requested in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to a charity of choice.
Please enjoy Roger's Packard autobiography that
he penned recently.
Roger had an interesting connection with Packard history as the grandson of George L. Weiss, a co-
founder of the Packard Motor Car Company, along with James Ward and William Doud Packard, in 1899.
Surprisingly, Roger was unaware of his grandfather’s part in Packard history until Terry Martin contacted
him in 1978.
Terry had been commissioned to write the opening chapters for the Automobile Quarterly Publication,
“Packard, A History of the Motor Car and the Company”, edited by Beverly Rae Kimes, and he was
seeking information about Mr. Weiss’s role in Packard history during the formative years of the company
(1899 – 1903). The trail led to Mrs. Howard Dingle, the daughter of George Weiss who was still living in
Cleveland. She in turn referred him to Roger, her nephew, who was then living in San Antonio.
This treasure trove of Packard history had been stored in Roger’s family home in Beverly Hills, CA, since
his grandfather’s death in 1945. Roger took possession of the trunk containing the collection in 1958
after his mother died and her Beverly Hills residence sold. Roger took the collection to Mexico where he
had resided since 1950, where it lay dormant for another 15 years.
After 23 years in Mexico as a partner in a consulting engineering firm, Roger, along with his wife,
Margaret and 3 children moved to San Antonio, Texas. It was there in 1978 that Terry Martin saw the
Weiss collection for the first time and realized its historical value.
As Roger delved into the Weiss collection he wondered why he had never been told about his
grandfather’s involvement with the Packard brothers as a co-founder of the company in 1899. Neither
his grandfather nor his parents ever mentioned the PMCC during the years he was growing up in Beverly
Hills. He was never aware of the existence of the Packard collection nor did any member of the family
own a Packard during this period.
Roger surmised the most probable explanation for his grandfather’s silence on all things Packard was
most likely embarrassment. He was obviously very much at odds with Henry Joy’s management style,
but so were the Packard brothers. The difference was they did not let their personality clash with Joy
influence their financial interest in the company. As the stock soared in value they made millions.
Whereas Weiss showed his ire by resigning as Vice President and Director of the PMCC and divorcing
himself from the company by trading his stock for 12 Model Ls which he sold from his home in Cleveland.
He must have quickly realized the enormity of his misjudgment and was subsequently reluctant to discuss
it, as were others in the family.
Roger joined the PAC in 1979 and became a regular attendee at the annual national meets. During the
Packard Centennial meet in Warren, Ohio, in 1999, he established the George L. Weiss memorial trophy
to honor those individuals who are keeping the Packard name alive by accurately documenting the history
of the company by their research and skill with the written word. Roger made his contribution by insuring
the George L. Weiss collection had a permanent home at the National Packard Museum. Roger was a
history buff and an enthusiastic supporter of the Packard Motor Car Foundation, the Proving Grounds and
the National Packard Museum in Warren, OH.
Next Meet......April 4-6, 2013
April 4-6, 2014 is the date for the 37th Annual Texas Packard Meet. It is held annually at the Stagecoach Inn in Salado, Texas just fifty miles from Austin on Interstate 35.
This is the nation's oldest regional Packard meet and probably the largest. Last year there were over 60 Packards and approximately 200 people from all over Texas plus eleven other states. Participants enjoy an early bird tour, seminars, swap meet, "People's Choice" competition, banquet, and awards program.
There will also be a meeting of the P.A.C. national board held in conjunction with the meet.
For information contact the meet registrar at email@example.com or 210 922 1300.