The Burton Upjohn Collection

The Burton H. Upjohn Collection - circa 1988
1913 Mercer 35J when in the Burton Upjohn collection
The Upjohn Packard from postcard published by the Long Island Auto Museum
Just prior to Burton Upjohn's passing in 1988, Dad and I had the rare opportunity to visit his collection in Kalamazoo, MI. There weren't many cars in his collection at that time, but they were certainly all fantastic - and beautifully maintained. The first picture shows his wonderful 1908 Packard model 30 7-passenger touring (dash plate: 5432). He owned the car from 1960 until his passing and won a senior award from the AACA with this car in 1969. Mr. Upjohn had purchased the Packard from the well-know automotive designer, Dick Teague. Apparently, Teague had purchased the car from non-other than Earl C. Anthony himself. Mr. Anthony, the exclusive Packard distributor for the state of California from 1915 through 1958, is said to have owned the car for many years. The original owner is unknown. Today this fantastic car is owned by a Mr. Willis Nash of Michigan.

I believe one of the other cars in the line was a Marion bobcat, however I don't recall the others. The car that attracted the most attention was the 1911 Mercer model 35R (raceabout). I don't know the history of this particular car; only that I remember it being quite original. Today this car is in the extraordinary collection of Sam Mann (NJ).

Dad reminded me that Mr. Nash maintained the collection for Mr. Upjohn - also the person who showed us the cars. It appears the Packard is in good hands. 

The ex-Upjohn Mercer is a 1913 model 35J. One of the blog's readers has suggested that the chassis number for this car is #1579 (engine #1303). 


  1. My sister recently called my attention to your blog.Very interesting!.I can't blame it on old age, so let's say paint fumes as I do remember your name? The 13 Mercer we bought for Burt from Saczawa too. The 08 Packard is still in our family.
    Mike Nash

    1. Mike -

      Thanks so much for your comment. It's wonderful to hear that the Packard is still in the family, what a wonderful car. I had just graduated from college when Dad and I visited and I treasure the memory. Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to see the cars.

      All the best to you and your family, Steve

  2. Steve,
    today I discovered your wonderful blogg. Maybe You or any other blogger can help me to find out the former owners of the car Benz Velo 1898 (chassis # 1856, engine # 1397).
    Mr. Peter Martin, Managing Director of our Company, bought this Car in 2014. Former owner was Fred Lustig, who died August 12, 2014. Fred Lustig served as the National President of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America (MBCA).
    Mr. Lustig bought the car in 1976 at the Vehicle Auction “Harrah’s Reno Automobile Collection” featuring cars from The Winthrop Rockefeller Collection.
    Maybe Mr. Rockefeller bought the Car in 1965 from the Burton Upjohn Collection.
    As you write You and Your Dad in 1988 had the rare opportunity to visit Burton Upjohn's collection in Kalamazoo,