CHASSIS NO: C506019F
• Known in the hobby as the Cinderella Packard
• Prior owners include the late Richard (Dick) Kughn
• One-off custom coachwork by Derham of Rosemont, PA
• Very well-appointed with factory accessories
• CCCA Premier Senior First Prize award
• Majestic presence of Packard style and design
356 cid Super Eight engine, 160 HP, automatic overdrive; wheelbase: 138"
Imagine the most beautiful classic cars of all time: Duesenberg, Cord, Cadillac, Rolls-Royce and, of course, Packard, to name a few. Their emblems remind us of an age when buying an automobile was guaranteed to come with style, elegance, and untamed speed. When Packard was first established in 1899 and began building upscale automobiles, a tradition and standard set from the start which followed them until they ended the company in 1956. Despite severe losses in sales and revenue in the ‘30s due to the Great Depression, Packard continued with its tradition of constant improvement and refinement of their products. During this time, the world saw the introduction of the new 11th series Packard which included the Eight, Super Eight, and mighty Twelve. Able to withstand the stranglehold the Great Depression had on the luxury car market, Packard was one of the few to emerge and able to introduce a new automobile in 1940, the Super 8. The year 1940 was pivotal for Packard and is considered by many to be the last year of Packard’s Classic Era. Contributing to that, the new model shared the frames and some body types and pieces of the previous year’s Packard Twelve, which are regarded as some of the most elegant Packards to ever be produced. With the shift in manufacturing and cost cuts, coachbuilt manufacturing became impractical, meaning the likes of Darrin, LeBron, and such companies were no longer needed. This business decision would prove to play a surprising, yet important role in the 1940 Super 8 Packard being offered here.
When the late Mr. Richard P. Kughn originally purchased this car and brought it to Classic Auto Restoration of Farmington, Michigan in July of 1977, everyone still believed it was just an ordinary Super 8 Packard Convertible Sedan. It was not until the ground-up restoration was started, and the car was dismantled to be sand blasted, that they discovered the floor pans and rear doors had been modified. The second discovery was when the trim shop found the number “201” stamped under the leather on the four door trim panels. When these discoveries were made, Mr. Kughn’s good friend Mr. Henry Seitz looked over the car and suggested it to be a Derham bodied car. This suggestion is what would lead to a countrywide quest to authenticate the rarity and truth within the car, as well as the start of it being known as the “Cinderella Packard” within the collector car community. Still not fully convinced by his friend, Mr. Kughn started his own research by obtaining standard Packard specifications from the Automotive History Section in the coveted Detroit Library. After some time and comparing measurements of the car and standard records, the data would show that not only were the rear doors modified but that the front doors were also larger than standard yet had not been physically modified. This meant the front doors were from another model Packard and that the door openings had been modified to accept them.
The second step was finding the documents and people who could truly identify this one-of-a-kind Packard. Through some mutual connections, the first call was to the surviving widow of Enon Derham, the founder of the Derham Company. By the end of the call, she had appointed her grandson who lived in Delaware to be the next stop. Though not much was accomplished from Enon’s grandson, a new lead led to a Mr. Oberg, an ex-employee and craftsman for the Derham Company. Oberg was able to successfully identify the Packard and even identified the woodwork as being his, “I remember this (convertible top) well. It was black walnut and very difficult to form. It was made in sections and all glued together.” This information was exactly what was needed to keep the search going, a tried-and-true testament from someone who had laid their hands on the car while it was being built. The next lucky break in the search was getting ahold of Mrs. Leah Barrows, secretary to Mr. Garthwaite, the man who bought the Derham Building, business, and had control of nearly all the Derham Body Company records. After hours of searching, the unthinkable happened. A folder marked “1940 Packard 5 Passenger Convertible Sedan, 138” W.B. (127” Body mounted on 138” W.B.)” was uncovered. Also in the folder were photos, numbers, and an assigned Derham Job number 201, the exact number that was found by the trim shop under the leather on the four door trim panels. The files also revealed that the Morristown Packard Company had delivered this car to the Derham Body Company of Rosemont, Pennsylvania on May 28th, 1940, just another fact authenticating this true Cinderella story.
Not only does this truly significant Packard come with a wonderful story, but it also comes with Packard’s top-of-the-line Super Eight 356-cubic-inch engine and an array of hard-to-find factory options, including dual side mounts, back-up light, Deluxe heater and defroster, Packard vacuum tube radio, period brass fuel pump and many more. Also coming with the car are many near perfect and perfect judging sheets, as well as the coveted CCCA “Premier Crown” which it was rightfully awarded; the badge is awarded to the car itself and remains permanently affixed to the car even in the event of ownership change. Having obtained this prestigious award, it also entitles this Packard to be entered at any CCCA concours event the new owner might desire.
A 1940 Packard is smooth, quiet, and elegant, with enough modern technology to make them great touring cars on today’s highways. Combine that with the beautiful ground-up restoration, Premier Crown award and the rarity of it being the only one to exist and you have an extremely desirable prewar classic indeed.