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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale January 16th – 20th, 2013 at Russo and Steele’s 13th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction. Please contact us for more information
This particular 1940 Packard Super Eight Darrin Convertible Victoria was discovered in derelict condition in 1994 by legendary Pacific Northwest automotive customizer, John Slaughter. When John was asked about his decision to modify this car rather than perform a stock restoration, he said, “I could have spent $250,000+ and had a nicely restored ‘stock’ Darrin, but I chose to spend the same money and create my own update on Darrin’s design.” If Darrin were building cars today, for a 21st century clientele, this may well have been the result, which is true to Darrin’s original design.
It must be stressed that this is a modification of a REAL Packard Darrin. Not a “kit” or “tribute”. No plastic, no fiberglass. This was a 5 year restoration/build by one of the country’s top customizers. It is all-steel and all the work was done by hand, just as Darrin did originally. It is truly a drivable work of art.
The body was removed from the frame. If you know about Darrins, you know that they have structural “issues” that arose from trying to make Darrin’s artistic vision mesh with the Packard chassis and body components. For this rebuild, the original frame was strengthened to eliminate flex in crucial areas. The body was taken down to bare metal and repaired entirely in steel.
Corvette suspension was fitted front and rear with Aldan coil overs, allowing a 4 inch drop from the original height for a lower, sleeker look. Power rack and pinion steering. Dana 44 rear end. Power disc brakes. 20″ custom true knock-off style wire wheels.
Power comes from a 1995 Dodge Viper 485 HP V-10 engine. This is John’s preferred powerplant in all of his builds, and has become his trademark. It is mated to a Viper 6 speed manual transmission and fed from a Viper gas tank. Dual stainless Flowmaster exhaust. Engine retains its catalytic converter along with dual fans and over sized radiator, all neatly tucked under the Darrin’s original hood profile, in front of a stainless steel firewall and the original Darrin cast aluminum cowl. Custom hand-crafted stainless grille in original style.
The body is laser-straight and comprised over $75,000 of body and paint work to bring it to this level of fit and finish. It wears a dark Packard “Centennial Blue” paint color with a light metal flake. Very subtle and stunning. The original hand-formed, brass Darrin raked windshield was repaired and triple chrome plated.
The interior is gorgeous. With a hand-built dash following the original Darrin lines and incorporating the Viper instrument package, steering column and wheel, along with heater and air conditioning, Kenwood entertainment system with stereo CD and DVD video monitors in both front and rear compartments, along with an alarm and navigation system. Jaguar power bucket seats were fitted and the whole interior was wrapped in a beautiful cream leather. Of course, there are power windows in both doors. It is, for all intents and purposes, a modern car.
It has been driven over 27,000 miles since restoration, mostly to shows in the west. It has consistently taken “First Place”, “People’s Choice” and “Best of Show” honors in every show in which it has been entered. This car is truly a kick to drive, completely reliable, with plenty of power, modern conveniences, and styling unlike any other car on the road. It is truly one-of-a-kind.