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Selling on Friday

From The Steve Chapman Collection

1940 Packard Darrin 1807 Convertible Sedan

  • 1 of only 11 built
  • Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance award winner
  • Classic Car Club of America 100-point recipient multiple times
  • CCCA Annual Meeting Best of Show winner
  • Complete, and fascinating history; delivered new to Earle C. Anthony Packard in Los Angeles and immediately used as a show car
  • Restored to as-new specifications, and as listed in its factory documentation

VIN: 18072010

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In the world of automobiles and coachbuilding, perhaps no two names are as synonymous with each other as Packard and Darrin. A powerhouse automobile manufacturer with the likes of Dutch Darrin designing the illustrious silhouette of the car, every outcome is simply stunning and one that is placed in a category of its own. According to Packard historians Richard Langworth, Robert Turnquist, Charles Blackman, Don Figone, and Ralph Marano, Howard Dutch Darrin would bestow his personal touch on less than 150 Packards between 1937 and 1942. Of which a mere 11 would be the elegant four-door 1807 Convertible Sedan variant like this one, rare indeed.

With so few built, Packard-Darrins were typically only enjoyed by movie stars, powerful political figures, and idolized business tycoons. To put into perspective how illustrious these special Packard Darrins were, a 1940 Ford V-8 Convertible cost $850, a Lincoln Continental Convertible was $2,840, and a Cadillac Fleetwood V-16 Convertible Sedan was $6,000, while this 1940 Packard Darrin 1807 Convertible Sedan came with a staggering $7,000 price tag, allowing for only the rich and affluent to even consider ownership, and why only eleven 1807 Convertible Sedans were ever built.

Pinned with fame and glamour the minute it was finished; the history of this award-winning 1940 Packard Darrin 1807 Convertible Sedan is one that can be traced back to new and one that holds an important place in the history books of Packard and Darrin. Upon completion in January of 1940 at the Central Manufacturing Plant (former Auburn Automobile plant) in Connersville, Indiana, this example, 1807-2010, was shipped to Earle C. Anthony Packard in Los Angeles and was immediately used as a show car. Its first documented photo appearance would be April 16, 1940, when it was the feature car at the annual Auto Club of Southern California spring show in downtown Los Angeles. Featured in an extensive binder documenting the life of this Packard, 1807-2010 can be seen in multiple photos under the Earle C. Anthony Inc. Packard display tent.

This Packard Darrin would primarily stay on the West Coast as it can be seen in a photo on Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, California at a Texaco gas station next to a Stanley Steamer with Society Gossip columnist Heda Hopper and opera singer and entertainer James Melton as driver and passenger. It was later photographed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1952 and again in 1965, all of which is on file. Eventually, this spacious Darrin would be sold to automotive collectors Lee and Bob Belf in the 1970s. They would entrust Henry Seitz, a known Packard restorer in Detroit, to perform a ground-up restoration in the late '70s. The fruits of Seitz's labor would pay off greatly as this Darrin would receive a perfect 100 points at the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA #0927) Grand Classic in 1980.

Following 27 years in the Belfs collection, well-known and respected CCCA member Steve Chapman of Waxahachie, Texas acquired the car. Mr. Chapman's first Full Classic was a 1931 Cadillac Convertible Coupe which he acquired in 1968 and, of note, still owns today. This car was what launched his love affair with classic cars and he became a member of the CCCA that same year. He would go on to become the Chairman of the North Texas Region four times, a national board member and chief judge. He continues as a member today recently celebrating 55 years in the club. The custodian of multiple Packards, his early 2000s acquisition of Darrin 1807-2010 was made with the plan to make it the crown jewel of his collection by restoring it to award winning condition.

His years of knowledge and understanding greatly assisted as he began the process of restoring the Darrin again, but this time to its factory-correct appearance. He enlisted Hatfield Restorations in Canton, Texas, and it was stripped back to bare metal, all the components were rebuilt and refinished down to the most minute detail, with strict attention to originality and authenticity following what was listed in its factory documentation. During this restoration, it was noted and photographed that the correct serial number was stamped on the windshield, door sill plates, rear fender stone shields, and removable rear windows. Even some of the removable wooden parts still had the serial number inscribed on them in blue pencil. As listed in the factory documents, of which copies are on file, the body was painted in its original and lush color of Scheme X (black) and the interior was precisely fitted with Lackawanna London tan leather upholstery.

The finished product would be something to behold, as it would capture another perfect 100 points at a major CCCA event, as well garner an award at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance, where it performed wonderfully on the Pebble Beach Tour d' Elegance presented by Rolex. Following its Pebble Beach success, it would go on to win Best of Show at the CCCA Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas and was ultimately judged 100 points three times in a row. Along with all the restoration and vintage photos, there are multiple photos of this Packard excelling at the Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance.

After its successful campaign of major automotive events, this Packard Darrin would be carefully and prominently displayed in Mr. Chapman's climate-controlled collection and sparingly driven, always ensuring it was maintained to a high standard. Most recently, a select few Worldwide Auctioneers' team members have exercised this Convertible Sedan for video and photo opportunities, and report that it starts right up and propels its passengers smoothly down the road, ensuring it is ready to be enjoyed on grand touring events in the future.

In the official 1940 Packard One-Eighty dealership catalog book, the Convertible Sedan by Darrin is described as, "The most daring lines ever to grace a Packard - and the most dashing beauty ever bestowed upon a motor car, this Darrin-designed Packard is for those who see no reason to keep their love of adventure a secret." We certainly agree.

This pure, award winning, 1 of just 11, 1940 Packard Darrin 1807 Convertible Sedan presents a spectacular opportunity to acquire a fascinating automobile that will instantly grant you access onto prestigious concours greens and fields around the globe. Having been in the hands of a fastidous and authentic enthusiast in Mr. Chapman, it is cars like this that make our hobby so enjoyable.

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