Clint Moore, 53, a realtor living in San Jose, Calif., on his 1932 Packard 903 Deluxe Eight, as told to A.J. Baime.

My dad, Doug Moore, bought his first Packard when I was 6, and I have been in love with Packards ever since. My first car, which I still own, was a 1948 Packard that I drove to James Lick High School in San Jose in the ’80s.

My dad’s car, which he still owns, is a 1946 Packard limousine. He was president of the Packard Club nationally, and our family would go to meets all over the place. I would see prewar Packards and they had this next-level glamour to them. They were built to compete with Rolls-Royces and Duesenbergs—the height of what money could buy. [Detroit-based Packard was one of America’s earliest car manufacturers and built vehicles until the 1950s.] I set my sights on a prewar Packard, and started setting money aside when I was in my 20s. I saved for two decades.

One day, I realized I had enough money and I made some calls. My uncle knew of a woman selling her 1932 Packard. It was a lady I knew, who lived near me, so I called her. She invited me over, and when she rolled up her garage door, I thought: “Wait a minute! I know this car.”

To take a step back, when I was growing up, my dad had an Addams Family cartoon book that I remember reading. So, when the Addams Family movies came out in 1991 and 1993, I went to see them. In the movies, the family is driving this old green Packard. When I saw this 1932 Packard, I recognized it. Sure enough, it was the car. The owner had purchased it in 1991, the year the first Addams Family movie came out and, at that time, as she explained to me, it was already under contract to appear in the second movie. She had all these magazine articles about it.

I thought this is divine providence. How can it be that this is the car? And that it was 10 miles from my house all this time?

The owner agreed to sell it to me in 2017. I put some money into fixing it up and have been taking it to car shows ever since. I named the car “Marlene the Dietrich,” after Marlene Dietrich, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars when the car was built, but more importantly, after the famous car designer Ray Dietrich, who designed this Packard’s body.

What I love most about these old cars is that you are really a part of the driving experience. You don’t push a button and let the car drive itself, as you do in new cars. Last year, I was invited to show the car at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which is like the Oscars of car collecting. It’s a magical thing to get to participate, and for me, I fulfilled a lifelong dream.

I am now director of the Northern California Packards club and the executive vice president of the same national Packard Club that my father was president of when I was young. The national meet this year is in June in Wisconsin, and my father and I will be going. These cars are rolling forms of artwork that were a major source of our country’s economy. We need to work to get better visibility for these cars, to make sure future generations value them the way they should be.

Write to A.J. Baime at [email protected].

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