The 1955 Packard Convertible was one of 500 examples made between 1955 and 1956. The car when it came out in 1955 sold for $6,000, which was one of the most expensive of it's time.
After merging with Studibaker in 1954 the Packard name carried on until 1956 with the Caribbean being one of companies flagship vehicles.
For information regarding purchasing this vehicle contact Joe at San Diego Classics, Cycles & Muscle Cars 623-764-5897
Photos by Sean Callahan for SoCal Beaches Magazine and Encinitas Beach Online
This car is one of only 500 Caribbean's produced in 1955. It was the flag-shift of the Packard line, costing $6,000. Standard equipment includes power steering, brakes, seats, windows, antennas and two 4-barrel carburetors. The engine is rated at 275 horsepower.
The car has the factory specified three-tone paint and the interior is original. Available options were limited to wire wheels and air conditioning.
The Packard Caribbean was a limited-production automobile produced from 1953 through 1956. It was inspired by the Pan American concept car that Packard had displayed at the 1952 New York Auto Show. It was available in convertible and hardtop form. Originally, only the convertible was offered but in 1956 the hardtop was introduced. The vehicle was outfitted with as many amenities available at the time and overseen by Packards stylist, Dick Teague. The interior was adorned in leather trim and was equipped with dual heaters and defrosters, three-way radio with electric antenna, power brakes, windows and seats. Even power-assisted steering was standard, a rarity at the time.
Under the hood lurked an outdated Packard 327 cubic-inch inline eight-cylinder side-valve engine capable of producing 180 horsepower. In 1954, the horsepower rating was increased to 212. A new V8 engine was introduced in 1955 and the horsepower rating skyrocketed to over 300. The 'Twin-Ultramatic' transmission was controlled through push-buttons in the middle of the dash and the Suspension was torsion bars inter-connected from the front to the rear.
The 1953 and 1954 version had a continental spare wheel fixed atop the rear bumper pan. A hood scoop gave the vehicle a sporty persona while the wire-spoke wheels gave it a hint of European styling. Two-tone paint schemes and chrome accent strips gave the vehicle a distinct appearance.
In 1954 Packard merged with Studebaker to try to compete, (stay in business), against the large mass-production automobile giants. By 1956, their body supplier, Brigg, sold out to the Chrysler Corporation. Packard moved the body manufacturing to a Detroit factory where it struggled with supply and quality issues. Chrysler had their C-300 and Cadillac their Eldorado, both were moving in on Packard's territory.
The Caribbean exclusivity was guaranteed by their steep sticker prices. 400 examples were sold in 1954, and between 1955 through 1956, 500 examples were sold. This exquisite vehicle made it into production just before the Packard name became part of the past.
For more information regarding purchasing this vehicle contact Joe at San Diego Classics, Cylces & Muscle Cars @ 623-764-5897
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