• Posted on 24 Jan 2011

Silver Cord Classic Cars

Larry Powell



1940 Packard Darrin 180  Victoria #28 of 30 built in 1940 by Dutch Darrin. Original owner was Cameron Argetsinger founder of the Sports Car Club of America and Watkins Glen Race.


1940 Packard Darrin One-Eighty Victoria Convertible

by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

Given the times, it was inevitable that Packard would drop its expensive, slow-moving V-12 (only 446 built for 1939). Thus, for 1940, Packard consolidated its assembly lines and began building the senior Packards, such as the 1940 Packard Darrin One-Eighty Victoria Convertible, alongside the junior cars.

Replacing the V-12 was the Custom Super-8 One-Eighty. True, it cost $2,000 less than the V-12, but lest anyone think it didn’t measure up, Packard, staged a race at its Proving Grounds, which the 160-horsepower straight eight won easily. It was, after all, America’s most powerful production engine, save for the Cadillac V-16.

1940-packard-darrin-former-ownerFormer car owner, Dr. Richard Nystrom of Pacific Palisades, CA

Style-wise, Packard maintained a conservative image, but Howard “Dutch” Darrin, noted designer of custom-built cars, had been adding pizazz to Packards since 1937.

By 1939, Packard management had taken note, and so for 1940 two Packard Darrins were listed: a $6,332 Convertible Sedan and a Convertible Victoria for $4,593. The latter was advertised in theSaturday Evening Post as “Glamour Car of the Year! (Of course, it’s a Packard).”

The Darrin Victoria gained its sporty looks from its cut down doors, raked windshield, sawed-off running boards, and lowered hood and grille.

To its credit, the rakish Victoria went on to win “classic” status from the Classic Car Club of America.

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The ragtop Victoria quickly became a status symbol, catching the eye of more than one famous star. Drummer Gene Krupa, for example, bought one.  So did Carol Lombard — as a Valentine’s Day present for her actor husband, Clark Gable.  He had been busy during 1939 filming Idiot’s Delight and playing the part of Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind, and perhaps it was for that immortal role that she bestowed upon him such a lavish gift.

1940-packard-darrin-one-eighty-victoria-3Darrin Victoria given to Clark Gable by Carol Lombard as a Valentine’s Day gift.  It’s easy to picture Carol Lombard and Clark Gable climbing aboard and, in an eye blink, being Gone With the Wind!






Built in the old Connorsville, Indiana, Auburn plant, it is one of an estimated run of about 30.

1934 Auburn 652Y Phaeton


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1936 Auburn Supercharged Speedster




1935 Auburn Supercharged Cabriolet

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1936 Auburn Supercharged 852 Y Phaeton


1941 Packard Darrin


1957 Cadillac El Dorado Brougham  #22

This all original and extremely rare 1957 Eldorado Brougham was hand-built and one of only 400 made. The car is distinguished by a brushed stainless steel roof, quad headlights and unique trim. The exterior package includes tail styling, suicide type rear doors, rectangularly sculptured side body cove and ribbed lower rear quarter beauty panels.



It comes with standard accessories such as dual 4-barrel V-8, air-suspension, automatic trunk lid opener, cruise control, signal seeking twin speaker radio, electric antenna, autronic eye, power windows and door locks and a variety of interior conveniences including an Arpege atomizer with Lanvin perfume.



1934 SS 1 Two Light Coupe

1934_ss_1_two_liter_coupe Formerly owned by Barbara Woolworth Hutton an American Socialite

1938 Packard 4 door convertible V12


Packards 1930 – 1946
Entering into the 1930s, Packard attempted to beat the stockmarket crash and subsequent Great Depression by manufacturing ever more opulent and expensive cars than it had prior to October 1929.
As an independent automaker, Packard did not have the luxury of a larger corporate structure absorbing its losses, as Cadillac did with GM and Lincoln with Ford. However, Packard did have a better cash position than other independent luxury marques. Peerless fell under receivership in 1929 and ceased production in 1932. By 1938, Franklin, Marmon, Ruxton, Stearns-Knight, Stutz, Duesenberg, and Pierce-Arrow had all closed.
By 1930, Packard automobiles were considered part of its Seventh Series. By 1942, Packard was in its Twentieth Series. The “Thirteenth Series” was omitted.

1920 Model T Ford


1931 Stutz DV 32 Cabriolet

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1929 Stutz DV 32


1962 Jaguar E type Coupe


1963 Facel Vega II

formerly owned by Debbie Reynolds, actress


Facel Vega Facel II – For ten years, Facel Vega burned brightly as a symbol of tasteful excess.  The Facel II was its most glamorous creation, a final flourish before the lights went out.

1931 Model A 5 window coupe