The Sixteenth Series Packard models were introduced in September of 1937. Most of the changes were cosmetic, including more rounded fenders and 'vee'd' windshields on many of the bodies. Sales for 1938 reached 48,682 units, which was less than the prior year's model.
One of the most memorable designs bestowed upon the Packard chassis was those of Howard 'Dutch' Darrin. He began with a standard Eight Business Coupe and gave it a rakish body and sweeping cut-down curves of the doors - known as the 'Darrin Dip.' The Darrin became part of the catalog for 1940 with three models: Sport Sedan, Convertible Sedan and Convertible Victoria. Nearly 100 were built through 1942 when production was halted prior to World War II.
This example is the second Darrin convertible produced. It is believed that it was built for the actor Clark Gable. The car had an ash frame with aluminum cowl and many hand-fashioned trim pieces. The car is unique in that the length of the hood is stretched to within one-half inch of the door opening, the only one of the series built that way.
Gable kept the car for only a short time. The next owner was a lady in Texas.
This car wears an older restoration and is fitted with many unique hand-fashioned parts. It has a black exterior, maroon leather interior and a tan canvas top.
The 282 cubic-inch inline L-head 8-cylinder engine produces 120 horsepower. There is a three-speed manual transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes with vacuum booster.
In 2010, the car was offered for sale at the Sports & Classics of Monterey presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $225,000 - $300,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $269,500 inclusive of buyer's premium.