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1932 Packard Deluxe Eight 903 Fernandez & Darrin touring coupe.
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2007/11/18 9:02
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This elegant one-off full-custom by Fernandez & Darrin has been pictured on Gusha’s topic “Stars and Their Packards” #152 and #154 but deserves a topic of its own for reference.

With the departure of Thomas Hibbard, Darrin’s partner in the Hibbard & Darrin coach building operation, Dutch teamed with the high-end dealer and financier J. Fernandez. This partnership enabled Darrin to continue as custom coachbuilder for 1932-1937 before his return to the U.S. upon which he opened “Darrin of Paris” on Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood in a closed supermarket building. Many of his most extravagant, expressive designs were created during this period.

Further reading on Fernandez & Darrin can be found at www.coachbuild.com. From a 1987 AACA ‘Antique Automobile’ article titled “Insights into Fernandez and Darrin” by Edward J Blend. The caption for the profile view is as follows:

“An example of what Darrin did to a 1932 903 Deluxe Eight Packard chassis. Darrin had been honored with “Brevet d’Invention” for incepting under the cowl steering. There is no real need for such an invention other than elan. It carries a Hibbard & Darrin label and almost every hallmark of his imagination.”

The close-coupled two door touring coupe was called ‘conduit interieur’ in France. It was a popular style in Europe with upscale, coach-built buyers. Essentially a 2 + 2 passenger coupe primary for the driver and companion, plus intimate seating for two, though that area also may carry luggage in addition to the copious trunk. For traveling in luxurious style to the resorts or playgrounds of the well-off, a Fernandez & Darrin custom motorcar was the conveyance to do so.

Steve

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Posted on: 5/18 13:27:57
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Re: 1932 Packard Deluxe Eight 903 Fernandez & Darrin touring coupe.
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2012/11/30 6:55
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And enough room under the hood for Packard's 12 in line. Look at the chopped windshield. Do we know who ordered this car?
Any idea what happened to this car?

Posted on: 5/18 17:25:26
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Re: 1932 Packard Deluxe Eight 903 Fernandez & Darrin touring coupe.
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It has a false hood that creates the illusion of length. The steering wheel is below cowl level and the driver's head about an inch away from the windshield. The tip off is the cowl vent and the seat cushion practically ahead of the door jamb.

Posted on: 5/18 19:43:43
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Re: 1932 Packard Deluxe Eight 903 Fernandez & Darrin touring coupe.
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2007/11/18 9:02
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Hi BDC & Tim Cole

Unhappily, I believe this Packard is lost to history. Given the timeframe and place it existed, its survival was very precarious as time wore on. We can still hope it turns up.

As with the haute couture fashion designers, Dutch Darrin wasn't concerned with the comfort of the driver or passengers. It was all about extravagant style, pure and simple. I think we can conclude the fashionable socialite owner was of small stature, knowing the overall height of production Packard bodies and scaling one to this height.

The old expression about "if the fashionable item is uncomfortable to the wearer and she won't wear it because of such, maybe its an indication she is just getting old..." Not succinctly stated but true in the case of most Darrin coachwork.

Steve

Posted on: 5/19 6:28:11
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Re: 1932 Packard Deluxe Eight 903 Fernandez & Darrin touring coupe.
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Great looks, but probably very uncomfortable to drive. Are there any interior pictures?

Posted on: 5/19 12:02:32
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Re: 1932 Packard Deluxe Eight 903 Fernandez & Darrin touring coupe.
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The car is an absolute knockout but driving it would be uncomfortable for anyone over a certain height.

No, never yet seen photos of the interior but I would surmise it was two front bucket seats, perhaps even armchair style. The rear seat likely similar to fold-down jump seats, though two cozy armchair styles are a possibility too. Hopefully interior views will turn up at some point.

Steve

Posted on: 5/19 15:33:15
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Re: 1932 Packard Deluxe Eight 903 Fernandez & Darrin touring coupe.
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Steve (58L8134), the 1932 Packard Deluxe Eight 903 bears a certain resemblance to another car, I have seen somewhere.

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As a side note related to your "The car is an absolute knockout but driving it would be uncomfortable...", I have little use for beautiful things without function, especially when they had a function but were altered afterwards in favor of beauty.

Posted on: 5/23 11:22:28
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Re: 1932 Packard Deluxe Eight 903 Fernandez & Darrin touring coupe.
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From Dalton, NY
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Guscha

I'm guilty! I liberally 'borrow' design ideas from all the great designers of the era. I just apply them in the ways they would have if the idea had occurred to them at the time, plus someone with financial resources offered to foot the bill for the custom coachbuilder.

Kathy the Great was a character and a half. Bet she's still would have had a Fernandez & Darrin Packard if she had been around in that time.

Steve

Posted on: 5/23 15:53:03
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Re: 1932 Packard Deluxe Eight 903 Fernandez & Darrin touring coupe.
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2019/1/30 23:11
From Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 214
Yes, it's a great looking car. Guess that's the 1930's equivalent of a California Custom, with chopped roofline etc.

The issue of style over function has not gone away. As anybody over about 6 feet tall who has tried to drive a modern Lamborghini or a Ferrari 599 will attest!

There's no doubt that a certain section of the population will be seduced by style alone, then get to live with the consequences!

Brian

Posted on: 5/24 2:20:31
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1941 120 Club Coupe (SOLD)
1956 Clipper Deluxe (RHD and auto) - for the wife, or so I told her!
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