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peecher

Darrin custom 1942 Lincoln Continental

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Chris Helms has acquired the Howard Darrin customized 1942 Continental. This unique car was originally built for a Polish count but was sold back to Darrin who then sold it to movie studio. The car was used in the 1945 movie "Anchors Aweigh" You can see some pics at this site. 1942 Lincoln by Darrin album | Rik Hoving | Custom Car Photo Archive | Fotki.com

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Wow. I recently saw that movie and never even noticed that it was customized. We own the '42 Continental owned by the Wrigleys, and I guess I was just so surprised to see the '42 in the movie (same color, no less), that the sweep panels completely got by me.

Does anyone have the January-February issue of LCOC's Continental Comments so they can post a picture of what the car looked like before it was painted beige? Darrin put quite a wild paint job on it when it was first done.

Dutch Darrin's son is still around (attached photo from 2005). I could probably get the new owner of the Lincoln in touch with him. He may have much history to share.

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After closely inspecting the movie photo and the current photos, I'm going to suggest that they're NOT the same car. The Way of the Zephyr article questions the possibility of two cars being built, one of them being painted green (with some wild stripe treatment).

Two things:

1. I notice on the cowl in one of the current photos that the paint has been sanded away, revealing green paint, but no beige present (possibly the photo doesn't show the beige). The beige would be one of the last colors.

2. The front edge of the door is way different between the movie car and the one that Helms bought. Also note that the distance between the door's key-hole and the sweep is different between the two cars.

I'm just noticing differences here. I am not out to make anyone a liar. It's totally possible that someone "messed" with the sweep panel after the movie.

Edited by West Peterson (see edit history)

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Here are a couple of pics of the paint. One shows the original beige then the green and then the final cream/beige. The second pic shows the cream/beige color under the top primer coat. The underside of the rear deck is still green and this cowling shows some of the green. Chris is still in the "discovery" mode and as a bodyman thinks the car sustained damage or "mods" at some point along the line. He does have a photo of Darrin and the Polish Count standing next to the car when it was delivered so maybe this will also shed some light? He'll try to get it posted. Hopefully this will square some of the differences noted in the studio pic.

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Edited by peecher
forgot photos (see edit history)

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And here's the stumper -- to what color / interior combination do you restore it? In any case, it's good to see that this car is going to be saved.

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Hi i just got back from looking at the car, i wanted to take a good look at what West was talking about, thank goodness the front of the door's are the same! it was the picture that made it look different, so Dee you were right. thank you all. Chris

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After looking at your pics again it appears that someone may have done some of their own "customizing" by adding body filler to the top edge of the extensions in an effort blend them in rather than have a seam as seen on the original car? All manner of things can happen in 65 years. I think you found that one of the rear fenders had a partially filled seam where it bolts on to the body?

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After looking at your pics again it appears that someone may have done some of their own "customizing" by adding body filler to the top edge of the extensions in an effort blend them in rather than have a seam as seen on the original car? All manner of things can happen in 65 years. I think you found that one of the rear fenders had a partially filled seam where it bolts on to the body?

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Yes! West, any help would be appreciated, i realy wanted to do this car justice, i have rebuilt a lot of street rod's and muscle car's, this car is a peice of motoring history. i want to get all the paper work, pictures, and if some one desputes the car i would like to find this out now rather than do a extensive restoration, no matter what come's from this it's a rare car and deseve's to be put back to it's glory. thank you Chris

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Here are couple of pics of the '42 Continental after it was customized by Darrin. Notice the long silver stripe the length of the car. The top of the window frame was also tilted back to match the top edge of the "Darrin Dip" on the door.

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Just talked to Chris and sure enough he found a big layer of "bondo" above the top of the fender extensions. The extensions are actually bolted on to the sides of the door and rear quarter panel with brackets at the bottom. This "blending" layer of bondo would explain the door button/lock placement differences noted by West.

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Thanks for posting the pictures, Peecher. I'm still trying to get the contact information for Chris. I apologize, but my "friend" is notorious for not following through. I'll keep on him.

My mother owns a 1942 Continental that was owned by Philip Wrigley in Chicago. We've owned it since 1972. I wish we had some photos like Chris has.

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I realize this is an old thread but thought I would bring those participating up to date.  The Darrin Lincoln is currently being completely restored by myself.  I own and operate Kevin's Restoration's in Vancouver.  I was able to pick up this car from Chris I believe in 2014.  The car has been completely disassembled and all of the body parts and body/frame have been dipped.  To answer some of the mysteries that have been mentioned here in particular the difference in the body side panel I was able to contact the woman who was the last registered owner on the title. When I first spoke with this sweet lady(the daughter of the woman mentioned in the article of the discover of the car in the Way of the Zephyr) she immediately remembered when her "uncle Bud" drove this car out there to the Chicago area from California(Yes it does contradict her own mothers recollection, however, she is adamant that is how the car came to the Chicago area).  She said it was this awful green color and that he had bought it from the movie studios.  She mentioned that it had been wrecked and that he had to make some of the parts because you could not buy them(obviously referring to the side panels). Let me take a moment to note that in the teardown of the car you could notice a complete difference in the quality of the workmanship of the current side panels compared to the extension of the fenders and the seam work on the door(note the photo, amazing!). In speaking with the daughter of "uncle Bud" whos real name is Folkey Linderholm she mentioned that he was a bodyman and would often purchase damaged cars and repair them to sell. She mentioned that for whatever reason he decided to keep this one.  That is until it was sold to his sister and her husband(Helen Linderholm). She also noted that he loved black cars with white tops. The car was then given to their daughter whom I spoke with.  She had the car painted baby blue with a white top. Apparently those were her horse colors. It is interesting as you take down the layers of paint that all of those colors show up in certain areas.  See attached photo to see the full ring of colors. Also note the photo of the dipped area of the door that has no original color under the green color.  Suggesting that it was first painted green after customizing by Darrin. A complete match to the story. I doubt very much that there were two cars built.  This car was specially built for Vladimir de Rachevsky and was either built at Coachcraft(comprised of past employees of Darrin of Paris) or possibly even Sayers and Scoville in Cincinnati.  They were handling the building of the last of the Darrin Packards along with the fact that the car was purchased by Mr. Rachevsky in January in New York and would have been on his way out to Beverly Hills where he made his home. Mr. Rachevsky had met Dutch in Paris and apparently became quite acquainted with his work. It would all come down to where Dutch was at in early 1942.  If he were in California then I would suggest that it was Coachcraft doing the work as they did continue to work with Dutch and his designs. If he were in Cincinnati overseeing the last of the Packards I would suggest that Sayer and Scovilee did the customizing.  It would have been a matter of Mr. Rachevsky's access to Dutch. If I was a betting man I would put my money on Coachcraft as the the shop utilized for the build as I believe Dutch's involvement with the Canadian Aviation Bureau recruiting office in Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel would have placed him in California.  There is a small photo of the car taken from a rear view that appears in Dutch's article "My American Safari" Automobile Quarterly.  The photo was chosen by Dutch for use in his article taken from his collection. The interesting thing to note about that photo is the lack of the side molding.  Further evidence of the paint rings indicate that the molding was likely removed and areas of the car repainted.  It was suggested by Mr. Robert Knee that contrary to one caption of the car stating that the stripe down the side of the car were of gold plated brass the stripe could have been merely painted on.  Further inspection of the photos in the actual publications do acknowledge that possibility or that it was of a very thin material.  The way the stripe curl's around the edges of the skirts tells a lot. I have a theory that it was something Mr. Rachevsky wanted on the car, however, when Dutch got the car back it was removed as you will not see anything like that in any Darrin design previously. I am on the fence as to include it on the car or to bypass it as more of what Dutch's desire would have been. Open to suggestions. So that is where we are to date.  I was able to purchase a LIncoln Continental sedan as a parts/donor car and it has been invaluable in providing some good solid sheet metal in the floor area as the Chicago area had gotten the best of the Darrin car.  This car is going to be as perfect as you will find any Lincoln Continental both top and bottom.  Can't wait for it's completion! Patience

 

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Oh and one other item worth noting. A question perhaps.  Could this be the last car Darrin put his touch on pre-war.  Again, not a betting man, however, I do not know of another. Interesting!

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