1940 Packard Custom Super 8 180 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Darrin
Chassis Num: 1807-2015
Engine Num: C500740
Packard introduced the Eight in 1924 and was the first Packard to employ four-wheel brakes. The side-valve straight eight engine developed 85 horsepower. The model line-up initially comprised ten models on two wheelbase lengths. A few years later, in 1927, Packard enlarged the engine. In 1929, a smaller Standard Eight was introduced while the larger engine continued to power the Custom and DeLuxe Eights. By 1933, they had been re-christened 'Super Eight', by which time all Packards had synchromesh transmission.

By the 1940s, the top of the line Packards were known as the Super Eight 160 and the Custom Super Eight 180. Both were powered by a 160 horsepower engine which was powerful enough to carry the stately bodies. These two series were distinguished by a number of visual items such as hubcaps and hood louvers. The 160 was given a 'flying lady' mascot while the 180 carried the cormorant.

The 1940 Packard Custom Super-8 had three sub-series, the 1806, 1807, and 1808. The 1806 cars had a wheelbase size of 127-inches. The 1807 had a 138-inch platform and the 1808 cars rested on a large 148-inch wheelbase. All had the same tire sizes of 7.00 x 16. Included in the 1806 were the Club Sedan and the Darrin bodied Convertible Victoria. The 1808 series included the touring limousine, sedan, and the Rollson All-Weather Town car. The remaining bodystyles were 1807.

The custom body era was drawing to a close by 1940 but Packard continued to offer a line of catalogued custom offerings. This convertible sedan by Darrin is one of the rarest with just 11 built, of which an amazing 9 survive. Designer Howard 'Dutch' Darris is probably best remembered for the flamboyant open cars he created for Hollywood celebrities.

This Packard Super Eight One-Eighty Darrin Convertible Sedan by Howard 'Dutch' Darrin is finished in pewter exterior finished complemented by a silver-grey top and interior. This Style 710 Packard carries serial number 2015, and it is the last in the series of Darrin four-door convertible sedans commissioned by Packard. It is believed to be one of nine documented examples remaining today.

When new, it was delivered to the Packard Saint Louis region for sale to the original owner. In 1980, it was acquired by Gene Tareshawty, the Darrin collector and authority from Youngstown, Ohio, who had acquired it from the widow of a Mr. Gordon Morris. In 1999, Mr. Tareshawty sold the car to Mr. Dale Fowler, under whom the car was restored and completed in 2005. The current owner acquired the car in 2006.

During the past two years, this Darrin received four perfect scores from judges, never scoring less than 99.5 points. In addition, several Best of Show designations have been garnered, and in 2006, it was invited to compete at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. More recently, in September 2011, it was shown at the Palos Verdes Concours, where 'Dutch' Darrin's designs were honored, and the special Packard Darrin class was a featured attraction. The car's most recent showing was at the CCCA Grand Classic at Rancho Santa Fe in late-April, where it received a nearly-perfect score of 99.75 points.

In 2012, this car was offered for sale at RM Auction's sale in Monterey, California. The car was estimated to sell for $250,000-$350,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $341,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.
Club Sedan
The Super 8 180 was Packard's most senior automobile. The 180 Series offered standard with dual sidemounts and a trunk rack. 1940 was also Packard's first year for the column shift transmission and the last year for the independent free standing head  [Read More...]
Club Sedan
A Senior Series Model with Special Features
The Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit was America's premier automobile manufacturer during the first four decades of the 20th century. However, the post-Depression decline in ultra-luxury cars  [Read More...]
Sport Sedan
Coachwork: Darrin
Of the catalogued custom body offerings from Packard in 1940 none is rarer than this Darrin Sport Sedan. One of just two produced, and thought to be the only survivor, it is a rare closed creation from designer Howard 'Dutch' Darrin, who was better k  [Read More...]
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Darrin
Chassis Num: 18062025
Sold for $330,000 at 2009 Mecum.
Packard entered the 1940s firmly ensconced at the top of Detroit's luxury car market. It also saw the looming demands of war-related production coming and rationalized its line wîth the elimination of the complex and expensive Twelve. It was replaced by the Custom Super Eight One-Eighty, carrying Packard's senior custom body line. Five were Packard Customs, two were bodied by Rollson, and the balance of three was created by Darrin. Luxuriously equipped and lavishly trimmed, a One-Eighty could set its buyer back by $6,800 or more depending on special requests and options.

The success of Packard's move was amply demonstrated when 1,900 One-Eighties were sold, more than four times 1939's production of Packard Twelves. Sales of the new One-Eighty were boosted by the reception and publicity which one of its new custom styles - the new Darrin Convertible Victoria - received, described by Packard as the 'Glamour Car of the Year,' a claim that was more accurate than advertising hype.

The Darrin
Howard 'Dutch' Darrin was born to money and comfort and blessed wîth an eye and a sense for style, design and balance. Darrin was not, however, quite as well supplied wîth family money as his contemporary, Edsel Ford, and labored successfully among his social counterparts during a 40-year career in America and Europe designing some of the most important, successful, elegant and creative coachwork of the Classic Era.

Early in his career Darrin worked at the family company, Automatic Switch Company in New Jersey, designing complex electrical switching systems, including the first push-button elevator switch used by Otis Elevator, experience which later stood him in good stead coping wîth the mechanical complexities of coachwork including folding-top mechanisms, his famous sliding-door system and relocating the §teering column and wheel for lower cowl and hood lines.

Darrin was the ideal representative for LeBaron to send to Paris to represent them in 1922 where his naturally ebullient personality blended smoothly wîth the 'Jazz Age.' But barely a year later he joined wîth LeBaron colleague Tom Hibbard to form Hibbard & Darrin. Over the next 15 years, they and Darrin's later partner, a banker named Fernandez, created groundbreaking designs, skillfully executed in their own shop, on the most luxurious chassis. So innovative was their work that in 1927 General Motors licensed a Hibbard & Darrin hood and fender treatment for Cadillac, paying the then-considerable sum of $25,000 plus $1,000 per month for the privilege.

Rebounding from a recession in the French economy in 1937, Darrin returned to the Ú.S. where he set up his own coachworks on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. The name he chose, 'Darrin of Paris,' was as flamboyant as his coachwork designs. His name, reputation - and no doubt his bon vivant personality - brought the operation success.

Darrin's favorite body style was the convertible victoria and he excelled at its execution, not only by creating an innovative compromise between sporting and formal coachwork, but also by his mastery of the complicated three-position top mechanism. In Darrin's idiom, a convertible victoria was an open body wîth seating for four in which the top, which usually completely disappeared when stowed, had an intermediate position which covered the rear seats but left the driver's compartment open in the manner of a formal town car. In 1937 Darrin of Paris executed a cut-down door disappearing-top Victoria on a Packard One-Twenty chassis for actor Dick Powell which was quickly followed by three 1938 Packard Super Eight victorias. Brought to Packard President Alvan MacAuley's attention by Packard's Los Angeles distributor, Earle C. Anthony, the Packard Darrins were cataloged by Packard in 1940 and are the most desirable of all Packards of this period.

Packard Darrins combine a stylish presence and a sporting attitude wîth the quality and performance of the Packard chassis and engine. They have panache, much like Darrin himself, the other cars of the period strove to emulate but rarely, if ever, achieved. They will, like a few timeless designs from automobile styling history, stop traffic and strike up conversations in any situation. They are just exception.

This Car
An example of the first year of Packard Darrin Convertible Victoria production, the example offered here comes from a collector who prides himself on the correct, reliable operation and handling of his cars. Its show-winning restoration was completed in the early 2000's and has garnered 100-point, first place awards every time it has been shown in AACA and CCCA competition. The frame and undercarriage is powder coated to the highest standards and the owner states it runs and drives like a brand-new car, or better.

It is finished in Miami Sand wîth a Light Saddle Tan leather interior and is fitted wîth factory overdrive. In its current configuration there is one deviation from stock appearance. The owner-restored adapted the dashboard and instrument panel from a 12-cylinder 1938 Packard acquired from Bill Hirsch to the 1940 Darrin convertible victoria, a change that has not affected its concours scored and rectifies one of the peculiarities of Darrin's design, the fact that the stock dashboard orientation means the instruments are best read while lying on the front seat cushion.

Source - Gooding & Company
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Darrin
'Glamour Car of the Year' was Packard's advertising line for the all-new 1940 One-Eighty convertible victoria by Darrin.  [Read More...]
Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Darrin
Chassis Num: C507382F
Sold for $253,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $236,500 at 2014 RM Auctions.
There were Packards, and then there were Darrin Packards. Howard 'Dutch' Darrin had 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 C  [Read More...]
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Darrin
'Glamour Car of the Year' was Packard's advertising line for the all-new 1940 One-Eighty convertible victoria by Darrin.  [Read More...]
Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Darrin
Chassis Num: C507382F
Sold for $253,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $236,500 at 2014 RM Auctions.
Howard 'Dutch' Darrin designed elegant and extravagant open body styles, such as this Convertible Sedan. It was constructed atop of a custom eight chassis with a wheelbase 11-inches longer than standard. There were only a dozen of these Packard's bui  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014
Sport Sedan
Coachwork: Darrin
The Sport Sedan rode on a 138 inch wheelbase and standard model 180 sales for 1940 were 1,900 out of a total production of 98,000 units. The Darrin version cost $6,100 which was over $2,000 more than other Packard models. There were reportedly two of  [Read More...]
Club Sedan
With the demise of Packard's 12-cylinder engine at the end of 1939, the Super Eight line with its newly revamped straight-eight engine remained the only Senior series on the books for 1940. To keep up its inventory of styles, Packard management dicta  [Read More...]
Formal Sedan
While the 1939 Packard was the last of the evolution for the company's multi-cylinder cars, the 1940 offerings marked the company's continuing commitment to quality and excellence. While many of the custom bodied Packards were the top of the line, Pa  [Read More...]
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Darrin
The Classic Car Club of America recognizes fine and unusual motor cars built between 1925 and 1948 as Full Classics. They are distinguished by fine design, high engineering standards, and superior workmanship. The Classic era epitomizes the transitio  [Read More...]
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Darrin
The Packard Darrin was a blending of all the glory that was Packard in the Classic Era with all the chutzpa that was the stock in trade of Howard 'Dutch' Darrin - glamour with lots of pizzazz. Without Darrin's insistence, the car likely would never h  [Read More...]
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Darrin
This 1940 Packard 180 Convertible Victoria by Darrin is number eleven of thirty produced, and was purchased by Hollywood actor Chester Morris. All Packard Darrins after serial number 14 were built in the old Auburn plant in Connersville, Indiana. A  [Read More...]
Parisienne Victoria
Coachwork: Darrin
Chassis Num: 18062007
This one-off Packard Seanca Parisienne offered half of a hardtop on what would normally have been a Convertible Victoria body style in the 1940 Packard Custom Series designed by Darrin. The result surely has to be one of the most elegant Packards of   [Read More...]
Touring Sedan
This was the first year for the Packard 180 series, which replaced the V12 as the top-of-the-line model. Packard had offered 12-cylinder engines intermittently from 1916 through 1939.  [Read More...]
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Darrin
The Packard 180 was introduced for the 1940 model year by the Packard Motor Car Company to replace the discontinued Packard Twin Six as their top-of-the-line luxury model. The car was derived from the Packard Super Eight One-Sixty with which it share  [Read More...]
Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Darrin
This Packard 180 Convertible Sedan was originally owned by Mrs. Welch of the Welch's Grape Juice Company. Her initials were hand painted on the rear doors in a sterling monogram. It was delivered in the Washington D.C. area, where it remained for man  [Read More...]
The Packard One Eighty was first introduced in 1940 and was Packard's new top-of-the-line vehicle. It served as a replacement for the company's V12 powered vehicle. The Packard 180 was given a eight-cylinder 356 cubic-inch engine that produced an astonishing 160 horsepower. Packard proudly claimed that it was the most powerful eight cylinder engine on the market.

Though most of the other series, the 110, 120, 160, and 180, were similar in body styling in 1940, the 180 was segregated by its exquisite interior detailing, and lush carpets and fabrics. Options included a heater/defroster, air conditioning, radio, fender skirts, backup lights and more.

Styling changed only slightly during its production lifespan, lasting until 1942 when World War II brought an end to civilian automobile production. Famous coachbuilders, such as Darrin and LeBaron were given the opportunity to build their interpretation of the automobile on this accommodating chassis. These were constructed in limited numbers and built to suite the individual customers needs, desires, and specifications.

Standard on the 180 Series were power windows, overdrive, and deluxe interior appointments. The 180 Series was powered by a 356-cubic inch straight-eight, with 160 hp, and rode on a 138-inch wheelbase.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009
 
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