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(Another) Pride of Buffalo: The 1901 Packard Model C

The Pierce-Arrow Museum has officially unveiled its latest acquisition – the 1901 Packard-Race Car, driven in the 1901 Endurance Run from New York City to Buffalo during the Pan-American Exposition (stopped short in Rochester due to the death of President William McKinley).

According to Museum owner, Jim Sandoro, this sensational car could possibly have the greatest pedigree of any Packard automobile in existence, due to its rarity, innovation, condition, history, worldly travels, and ownership. One might say that this car’s provenance is as impressive as its utter beauty.

(L-R) Bill Irr, Sr and Jim Sandoro | The unveiling was also attended by the Terry Martin family from Warren, Ohio

The single-cylinder 1901 Packard Model C, originally owned by John M. Satterfield – prominent Buffalonian, Buffalo Banker, and early President of the Automobile Club of Buffalo – has rightfully returned to its home, after a topsy-turvy journey. That ‘journey’ included being torched at the 1929 Los Angeles Auto Show, where 212 classic cars were “burned down to the ground.” At the time, it was being toured around to dealerships by the Packard company. The chassis was restored, and eventually sold to auto enthusiast Terry Martin, who began the arduous process of restoring the car back to its original grandeur. 

Innovations on the Model C included a steering wheel (not a tiller), and the “H” pattern transmission (patented by Packard) | The car sits atop an electric revolving display mechanism

Miraculously, thanks to the passion, dedication, and resolute nature of the late Martin, this particular vehicle was overhauled and restored to its original state via painstaking decades-long process.

It was Irr Supply Centers (North Tonawanda, NY) Executive Director Bill Irr, Sr. and Bill Irr, Jr., whose foundation made acquisition of the impressive vehicle possible.

As for the status of the car, on top of all of the hailed ingenuities, it is also the fifth oldest Packard in existence.

Way to go, Buffalo.

Single-seat roadster with dos-a-dos rear seat, four-passenger surrey, and high rear seat facing backwards | Produced by the Ohio Automobile Co., the original sale price was $1500 | Top speed was 24 MPH

Pierce-Arrow Museum, 201 Seneca St. at 263 Michigan St. Downtown Buffalo, 14203

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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