1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Convertible Roadster by Derham
$650,000 - $750,000
RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 8 - 9 MARCH 2019 - Offered on Saturday
- Best in Class, 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
- Fabulous Derham custom coachwork with many special features, including crank-operated top
- Formerly of the Julian Eccles and James Weston Collections
- Original chassis, engine, and bodywork; superb authenticity
- Spectacular restoration by noted specialists Stone Barn
- Not shown since Pebble Beach; numerous opportunities available to a new owner
- A highly significant and unique Full Classic, full custom Senior Packard
The Derham Body Company of Rosemont, Pennsylvania, was among the most highly respected Classic Era American coachbuilders, noted for the breadth and depth of their skills across a wide variety of body styles and designs. They were capable of everything from formal limousines to sporting bodies, the latter certainly encompassing their Convertible Roadster, distinguished by its long hood and rear deck line and relatively small top and side windows, as well as a daringly low windshield. This style was produced on a handful of the costliest chassis during the Classic Era, including Lincoln, Duesenberg, and, of course, Packard.
A handful of the Style No. 3410 Convertible Roadster by Derham survive, only two of which are on the Packard 845 chassis. The example offered here features a fascinating crank-operated top, similar to that found on the Walker-LaGrande Duesenberg convertible coupes. This is a feature not found on all Derham Convertible Roadsters, due to its prohibitive cost of $100. Additionally, it features two unique features, being the only example ordered on a Packard chassis with dual rear-mounted spares and chrome hood doors.
The Derham records, held in the Classic Car Club of America Museum, record this car as having been ordered by the Packard Washington Motor Car Company of Washington, D.C., with the body alone priced a whopping $2,000. Approximately 60 pages of correspondence document it as having been delivered in Black with Ronan’s Perfect Red Extra Pale window reveals, wheels, chassis, and gas tank; an interior in Blanchard & Lane Devon Grain leather; and a top and rear spare covers in waterproof black mohair. The paperwork further documents the serial numbers and fitment of the aforementioned crank-operated top, dual rear-mounted spares, and chrome hood doors.
This example found a home on 28 November 1930, shortly after its delivery to Packard Washington. Its history picks up in 1954 with Anthony Fiocco of Westlake, Ohio, who appeared with the car in the 1954 Annual Review issue of The Classic Car and that year in a CCCA CARavan. Around 1960 it was acquired by famous Packard enthusiast Julian Eccles of Oregon, in whose ownership it was restored in the early 1980s and displayed at the 1982 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The Convertible Roadster was offered from Eccles’ estate in 1987 and ultimately sold to James Weston of San Francisco, who exhibited it as a display-only entrant at Pebble Beach 1999. He retained it until his passing, and shortly after it was purchased by the current owners.
They elected to have a fresh and meticulously researched restoration performed by the noted Stone Barn Automobile Restoration of Vienna, New Jersey, using the original colors and upholstery described in the detailed Derham build records. Inspection of the car revealed that it retains its original firewall data tag, as well as the original Derham body tag, under the passenger seat, and the original chassis, engine, and front axle, amazingly numbered a digit apart, confirming their originality to the car.
The result has been exhibited only once since completion of the restoration, again at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it was aptly awarded Best in Class in an always-competitive Packard Class for its fantastic, correct, and authentic presentation and well-documented history. It is offered here with a wealth of new opportunities available for a new owner who wishes to exhibit the car and add to its roster of trophies at any number of concours events.
The possibilities are endless, just as they were on the showroom floor of Packard Washington; it is a spectacular machine.