Midsouthern Restorations

1953 Packard Derham

This Packard was a typical "barn find" story. We knew of this car sitting behind a shop in Knoxville, Tennessee in a small enclosure. The first time we saw the car, the body was covered in boxes and garage debris and had been sitting up on blocks for 26 years. We were informed that this was a low-mileage Packard Derham Limo. A few years later, we had a customer looking for a larger four door, and this old car came to mind. After checking with owner, the car was for sale. We purchased it and brought it to our shop in Cookeville, Tennessee for a restoration. After thoroughly checking over the Derham Formal Sedan, we were surprised to find out how pristine and intact the car was. The interior remains original in the car as it was in 1953. The story of the car is: The Packard was bought new in Buffalo, New York in 1953, and in 1956, the original owner died. It went to estate storage until 1979, when it was sold to a gentleman in Knoxville, Tennessee. He drove it for a couple of years and deemed it needed a paint job. An elderly fellow was hired to strip the body and repaint it. After the body was stripped and some primer applied, the painter died, and the car sat on blocks until 2007. The pictures show the condition upon arrival. The total restoration of this vehicle took six months and is a testament to how nice this car was. The motor was never taken out, just cleaned up and upgraded to a 12-volt system with A/C. The true actual mileage was 13,000 miles when the car was delivered to a private collector in Gallatin, Tennessee where it is used in family weddings. In the first car show that it was entered in, the Derham won 1st Place for “Best of Paint.”