1940 Packard Eight Convertible Victoria
Coachwork by See Text
Chassis no. C502462B
In the very late 1930s, Packards place was secured at the very top, as the American luxury automobile manufacturer of choice. But with WWII looming, the company could foresee a slowing in the V12 market. Therefore, for 1940, production lines were consolidated and their senior product line was the Custom Super Eight One-Eighty, a move that proved to be a great sales success.
1940 was Packard's first year for the column shift transmission and the last year for the independent free standing headlamps. With a 356 cubic-inch inline eight and an overdrive transmission the Packard 180 was designed with high-speed road travel in mind.
Several coachbuilders penned designs for the car, arguably the best known of which was Darrin. Howard 'Dutch' Darrin, of Hollywood, California, had been customizing Packards for a couple of years to be the epitome of luxury and style, and the company executives had noticed. For 1940, two of Darrins designs were added to the Packard listings: the Convertible Sedan and the Convertible Victoria. The latter was deemed Glamour Car of the Year.
The Victoria was Darrins favorite design, and was a perfect execution of sporting style and formal elegance, with low-cut doors, raked windshield, and low hood and grille. The Darrin forté was the complicated and intricate three-position hood, allowing open air touring for front passengers, while the rear could remain covered.
The Hollywood set took to these powerful and chic boulevard cruisers, with a client list including the likes of Clark Gable and jazz drummer, big band leader and composer, Gene Krupa.
It is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery, and is demonstrated by the car offered here. This Packard has been rebodied in coachwork of the style of Darrin of Hollywoods Convertible Victoria. It has 'Super 8' plates affixed, a newer soft top, and features a Packard One-Twenty dashboard. The odometer reads only 9,444 miles. The dark blue paint is of good quality, as is the interior.
It is easy to picture oneself cruising Sunset Blvd. in the golden age of Hollywood, and nothing can offer the glamor of doing so more than Darrins Packard Convertible Victoria. Heres an opportunity to do precisely that.