Hollywood High Style: The 1930’s

1929 Packard 645 Deluxe Eight Convertible Runabout
By the end of the 1920’s, Packard was very well established as a manufacturer of carefully engineered and properly built cars for the discerning and prosperous buyer. Throughout most of the ‘full classic’ era, Packard outsold all of its competitors including Lincoln, Cadillac, and Pierce Arrow combined. Considered to be the sportiest coachwork offered on this chassis, the lines of this true runabout are remarkable, with a long hood and low beltline. Although the Runabout was Packard’s least expensive body style when new, it is the most highly prized today because it represents one of the last true open cars.

1930 Duesenberg Model J – Transformable Cabriolet
Imposing, dignified and powerful – the Duesenberg is the epitome of classic American luxury. This example is one of only two long wheelbase Transformable Cabriolets built by Hibbard and Darrin and was first displayed at the Paris Salon in October 1929. The coachwork can be fully closed, used as a town car with open driver’s cockpit, or be driven as a fully open touring car. Duesenberg set the highest standard with no expense spared in design and execution.

1932 Auburn 8-100A Boattail Speedster Convertible
Visionary businessman E.L. Cord acquired controlling interest in Auburn in 1928, and stunning automobiles soon followed. The most exciting of the new Auburn bodies was this outstanding Al Leamy design. The radically tapered rear gave the Speedster the look of a road going speedboat, hence the Boattail nickname. The design has been highly prized since its inception and is considered a benchmark of high style from the era.

1936 Cord 810 Sport Phaeton
Errett Lobban Cord built a transportation empire during the first quarter of the 21st century that included more than 150 companies. He was able to draw upon engineering and design talent from nearly every mode of transport at the time to create a true benchmark automobile with a long list of innovations. The Cord 810 was the first car to integrate hidden headlights, variable speed windshield wipers, concealed door hinges and fuel filler, radio, and rear opening hood. The most advanced feature was the Cord’s front wheel drive and electronic pre-selector transmission. With stunning art deco design, the Cord 810 is art from every angle.

1936 Auburn 8-852 Supercharged Convertible
By 1936 E.L. Cord found himself and his companies among the victims of the Great Depression and he was forced to begin closing factories and liquidating assets. Casualties included his Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg automobile companies, three of the highest priced vehicle brands at the time. The cars built in 1936 included supercharged versions from each company and were very fast and luxurious to the end. This Auburn is a terrific example and with its supercharged straight eight engine and trademark external exhaust, it was a market leading luxury sports car of its time.

1939 Packard Darrin Super Straight 8 Convertible Victoria
Howard “Dutch” Darrin had designed custom coachwork in Paris during the pinnacle of art deco design for automobiles, from 1922-37. In 1937, he returned to California to establish a coach-building facility to build custom luxury and sports cars on American chassis. His first customers included Clark Gable, Errol Flynn and Carol Lombard among others. This custom Darrin is one of only 24 built at Darrin’s California premises before production was moved to Connersville, Indiana and the Convertible Victoria and Sport Sedan model became part of the official Packard catalog.