- This Packard features a body by the famous designer “Dutch” Darrin.
- Packard could not keep up with orders for Darrin-designed Convertible Victorias in 1939.
- In 1940, Packard had Darrin create semi-custom bodies to meet public demand.
- A “Packard Darrin” is one of the most prized Packards in the classic car market.
By 1937 custom coachwork was almost an art of the past. Standard Packard bodies had reached such a degree of comfort and perfection there was little desire for anything finer or flashier, except among the flamboyant and publicity conscious stars of stage and screen. In that year, Howard “Dutch” Darrin created a beautifully designed convertible on a Packard 120 chassis for actor Dick Powell. Others were built for Clark Gable, Al Jolson, Chester Morris and Rosalind Russell. By 1939, there was so great a demand for the Darrin-designed Victoria Convertibles that Packard was unable to fill all the orders. West Coast customers had Pasadena’s Bohman & Schwartz build replicas while those on the east turned to Rollston & Derham.
In 1940, Packard persuaded Darrin to go to Detroit to design semi-custom bodies for the factory. The Darrin designed Victoria Convertibles can be identified by a low hood silhouette with a narrow louver strip, cut-down doors and v-shaped windshields that gave them a very sporty appearance. The Packard Darrin is one of the most prized Packards in the classic car market today.