In 1937 Howard 'Dutch' Darrin of Hollywood, CA began designing this radical coachwork known for its chrome frame windshield and cut-down doors. The Darrin attracted celebrity owners such as Clark Gable, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn, Rosalind Russell, Constance Bennett, Gene Krupa, Ann Sheridan, Ruby Keller (Mrs. Al Jolson) and Preston Foster. In early 1939 coachwork production was moved to the Central Body Co. in Connersville, IN and in May 1941 production was moved to Sayers & Scoville Co. (Hess & Eisenhardt), Cincinnati, Oh. The production in 1941 was 35 Darrins, each with a approximate cost of $5,000. The engine is a 356 cubic-inch 160 horsepower straight-eight. This Darrin is currently on display at Citizens Motorcar Company - America's Packard Museum in Dayton, Ohio.
There were Packards, and then there were Darrin Packards. Howard 'Dutch' Darrin has been doing custom coachwork on Packards since the early 1920's, but his real 'star' came when he set up shop in Hollywood, customizing Packard coupes into dazzling Convertible Victorias with cut-down doors, a low hood line, and a padded dash. A total of 14 were built in Hollywood through 1939, two on the Super Eight chassis, and the rest on the One-Twenty chassis.
Darrin represented his masterpieces to Packard dealers, who then lobbied the company to offer these stunning cars as 'catalogue customs' which it did through 1942. Darrin built the cars in Cornersville, Indiana in 1940 and Packard moved production to Hess & Eisenhardt, in Cincinnati, in 1941 and 1942. About 150 Darrins were built, in all, mostly as Convertible Victorias. A few Sedans and Convertible Sedans were built, as well as one Sedanca.
This Convertible Victoria, finished in Packard Cream, is in the 'normal' configuration without either running boards or sidemounts. It is estimated there were only 50 Darrin Convertible Victoria's built in 1940 and only 35 in 1941. It has a 160 horsepower, 356 cubic-inch engine and dual-down draft carburetors. There is an AM radio, 20 gallon fuel tank, 5-gallon radiator capacity and 7.00 x 16 white wall tires. Prices started at $4,550 when introduced in September of 1940 and increased to $4,595 in June of 1941.Also photographed at :