- “The Ultimate Darrin,” the 1940 Super Eight
- Formerly owned by Gene Perkins and Henry Petronis
- Very well-maintained older restoration
- Proven veteran of multiple CARavans over three decades
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Nineteen forty was the last year that the “Packard Darrin” was actually built under Howard Darrin’s design control before the model moved completely under the Packard Motor Car Company’s auspices; this was also the final year for the distinctive suicide-style doors. Two versions were offered, based upon the One Twenty and Custom Super Eight One Eighty chassis. The One Eighty offered such considerably more power and impressive scale that it is inarguably held as “The Ultimate Darrin”—the car that every collector most wants to own. Of the genuine survivors, most are held in long-term collections and seldom change hands publicly, especially those of the quality seen here.
The Packard Darrin offered was originally sold in Columbus, Ohio, on 9 May 1940, as noted on its firewall tag. Historian Don Figone notes that the car was acquired in January 1960 by John Kinkead of St. Paul, Minnesota. Mr. Kinkead maintained the car for over a quarter-century before selling it to the noted CCCA member and avid Packard collector Gene Perkins of Indiana, who undertook the comprehensive restoration that the car still wears today. In Mr. Perkins’s ownership, the Packard eventually received Senior Premier status in CCCA judging, scored at 99.25 points at the Indiana Grand Classic in 1998. However, it was no trailer queen, being enjoyed on three long-distance CARavans over the years. It was featured in Beverly Rae Kimes’ well-known book The Classic Car in 1990.
In 2014 Mr. Perkins sold his Darrin to another respected collector, the late Henry Petronis of Easton, Maryland, who also enjoyed touring with it. Since acquiring the car from the Petronis collection, the current owner has continued the same tradition, using it for two more trouble-free CARavans, most recently in 2019. He speaks very highly of the car, noting that it runs superbly and that the cosmetics remain in fine shape after three decades, with very good black paint and a beautiful camel leather interior. In preparation for continued touring, it has undergone considerable sorting by Harbor Auto Restorations, most prominently the fitting of new springs and shocks, as well as radial tires.
This is an exceptional example of “The Ultimate Darrin” and befitting of the finest and most selective collection—similar to those in which it has spent the last half century.