"Ed Herrmann responded to my request for an update about his very public career. (I’ll forgive the fact that it took him four months to do it). I’ll also attempt to use my schoolteacher eyes to decipher his handwriting. He completed two films — "Down", shot in Amsterdam and New York and "Doubletake", a Walt Disney film shot in Los Angeles. In the television arena, he completed one pilot and subsequent episodes of the "Gilmore Girls" (seen on the WB Television Network), several episodes of "Oz" (an HBO series shot in New York), and a TNT film biography of James Dean in which he plays Adam in the recreation of “East of Eden.” He continues to narrate many shows on the History Channel. In the public appearance arena, he attended the Concours d’Elegance in Meadowbrook, Amelia Island, Pebble Beach and New York where he either had a car on show or was asked to judge. At Pebble Beach, Ed has been made the emcee for the event. He says that it was great to see everybody at our Reunion after so long a time."
"When asked what was the funniest thing that happened during the day’s festivities, Edward Herrmann responded, 'You mean other than me covered in anti-freeze?' Apparently a malfunctioning thermostat caused Herrmann’s 1929 Auburn 8-90 Speedster to overheat, but after removing the thermostat he was able to continue. 'Actually, everyone was in really jolly spirits—it was a great event,' Herrmann told Carpoint."
Greenwich Concours D'Elegance 2002
Actor Ed Herrmann Takes
Skip Barber Course
Ed Herrmann and his daughter celebrated Christmas this summer Skip Barber style. Herrmann, the noted actor, gave his daughter Ryen a Dodge/Skip Barber Two-Day Driving School as a Christmas present. Herrmann also took the course recently at nearby Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.
"I thought it was terrific," Herrmann said. "I thought they covered the technical aspect of things well. The excitement of throwing a car around without being chased for it is really wonderful.
"I just enjoyed the whole thing and I would love to do some more. It was a ball." Herrmann, who has appeared in Dodge television and radio commercials, has an inherent interest in cars. He attended an Aston Martin club event in July and drove around Lime Rock in his Mark III. "I had fun, but I realized how little I knew about competition driving or real automobile handling, so I decided to take (the Dodge/Skip Barber Driving School course with Ryen)," Herrmann said. Herrmann said he wanted his daughter to receive training in how to properly handle a car, something she couldn't get in a basic driver's education course.
"I just think it's essential today to familiarize kids with how to handle a vehicle," Herrmann said. "The vehicles are getting better and tighter and more road worthy. They're faster in terms of reaction time, so I thought it was wise for her to do it."
The Dodge/Skip Barber Two-Day Driving School teaches vehicle dynamics, slides and recoveries on the skid pad, threshold braking, accident avoidance maneuvers and advanced driving techniques such as heel-and-toe downshifting. Students also participate in an autocross exercise that utilizes the Dodge Viper.
"(The Driving School) certainly was beneficial," Herrmann said. "It gave you a sense of control over the vehicle, especially the skip pad, the braking exercises and the lane changing. It gives you a sense of confidence that these vehicles are strong enough to be thrown around and that braking is the last option of many that you have."
“I brought a 1932 Packard 900 Light Eight Coupe Roadster. I’ve always liked the Light Eight. It had the same engine as the other Packards of its era which is a magnificent motor and it cost them too much to make. So they were trying to sell it for below what it cost them to make it so ... more than half the Packards sold in 1932 were Light Eights but it didn’t make them any money.
This is one of the prettiest ones. It has a rear mount which I prefer to side mounts, especially on a short wheelbase: it lengthens the line of the car. I had the top replaced and the engine detailed and the front suspension sorted out. There are some things about the engine that are unique to the Light Eight. A lot of Packard “experts”, so-called, think the Light Eight is like all the other Packards, and it’s not. It has a shroud here over the carburetor which is unique to the 900's. It’s to keep the carburetor from icing and ... it takes heat off the manifold and spins it around the carburetor. And then when it gets hot enough this little bellows opens and keeps the carburetor cool. It’s a nice device. Mechanics threw them away immediately because they were a pain in the neck to service, and if they had to get to the carburetor they had to take all of these bolts off and it was a mess. So they’re very hard to find.
It was a Harrah car, Harrah’s great collection in Reno in the 60’s. When he died, his new wife disbanded the collection to all of our dismay, but to our happiness because we all picked up some good cars.”