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1906 One-Eighty Super Eight 1429 Custom Darrin Victoria Convertible
Packard Super Eight was the name given to the larger of the two eight cylinder luxury automobiles produced by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan. It shared frames and some body types with the top model Packard Twelve. Following the discontinuation of the Seventeenth Series Packard Twelve after the 1939 model year, a new Super Eight One-Eighty was derived from the Super Eight as the new top car range. The Super Eight was renamed the Packard Super Eight One-Sixty. These two models shared most mechanical components including the 160 HP straight Eight engine.
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 headlamps. With a 356 cubic-inch inline eight and an overdrive transmission the Packard 180 was designed for boulevard touring and high speed road travel.
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 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.
All-Weather Town car. The remaining bodystyles were 1807.
After 1942, Packard concentrated on the new Clipper styling that was developed for an upper-class sedan the previous year. There were Super Clippers and Custom Super Clipper in the One-Sixty and One-Eighty tradition until 1947. After a heavy facelift, the name Clipper was dropped. The most senior Super Eight One-Eighty became the Custom Eight, while its slightly lower-priced sibling, the Super Eight One-Sixty, once again became simply the Super Eight. Clipper Custom Super Eights and Custom Eights were very close relatives to their respective Super models, distinguished outside by the lack of an eggcrate grille and small rear chrome trim moulding under t he trunk lid on Supers. In 1949, a new Super Eight Deluxe was added to the line. This car had also the Custom Eight's eggcrate grille, but not the rear trim.
The entire range of Packard's motorcars was renamed for the 1951 model year (twenty-fourth series), when the Super Eight was renamed 300, thus bringing to a close the long reign of the Packard Super Eight.
In 1937 Howard A. “Dutch” Darrin was back in America and settled in Hollywood whose movie colony would hopefully provide a market for coachbuilt cars.
His first experiments there were on Packard 120 chassis, fitted with bodies of distinctly European appearance. Some orders resulted, but they also attracted the attention of Packard management. They paced Darrin in a quandary, since his Hollywood shop was not large enough to turn out any large quantity of bodies.
Arrangements were made to have them built by the Central Manufacturing Company in Indiana, and for several years Darrin travelled back and forth, working out new ideas in Hollywood and supervising the construction of bodies of his design in Indiana. When the Central Manufacturing Company became fully occupied with building Jeep bodies, the work for Darrin was transferred to the Hess & Eisenhart shop in Cincinnati, and the last Darrin Packards came from there.
The bodies actually built by these two firms under Darrin`s supervision were of course the Convertible Victoria, low four-seater with folding roofs and windows in the doors. Darrin continued to build a few other types on special order in his own shop in California.
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