1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible, Model 2678 in Matador Maroon.
8 Cylinder In Line L Head, 180hp @ 4000 RPM, 3 ½” X 4 ¼” Bore and Stroke, 327 Cubic Inches Displacement, 2 speed Packard developed Ultramatic Automatic transmission, 122 inch wheelbase, 820 x 15 inch tires, 4 wheel hydraulic brakes with vacuum assist, weight 4960 pounds Number 400 of 750 made.
Introduced at mid model year 1953, but not reaching show rooms until March, the Caribbean was described in the revised Packard catalogue as “America's Smartest Sports Car, Combining distinctive European styling and performance with American comfort and stamina to offer the ultimate in spirited motoring.” The Caribbean at $5,210.00 base price sold 750 copies. It was a modified version of the standard Packard Convertible which sold 1518 copies at $3,485.00. The additional $1,725.00 got you a special hood with a wide air scoop and no hood mascot, a 10-inch extension on the rear quarters with Patrician model tail lights and trim, radiased wheel openings with exclusive wheel opening mouldings and rocker mouldings, distinctive chrome dip belt mouldings, outside continental style spare wheel, and real wire wheels- designed primarily by Dick Teague- modifications were carried out by Mitchell- Bentley in Ionia, Michigan.
This vehicle was purchased by the current owner in 1996 in southeastern Massachusetts from an estate. At one time it was believed to have been displayed in a museum. All mechanical aspects of this vehicle have been refurbished since last changing hands in 1996 and it has been maintained in excellent condition to provide dependability during tours. The car has been professionally repainted and has been equipped with new and re-plated chrome, top, carpets, tires, and wire wheels. This vehicle is a rare Series Model # 2678, serial number 400, and still has the original stainless steel moulding strips at the front and rear edge of the convertible top. Many Caribbean’s have power windows which were hydraulically activated and they invariably leaked fluid, causing the bottom edge of the doors to rust. This Caribbean has manual windows, a feature that is greatly sought by collectors and restorers, thus ensuring the integrity of the lower doors against excessive rust. This Caribbean shows 66,000 miles on its odometer and is thought to be original.
It has won a third place national award and many local awards at shows, and has been in two movies, Mona Lisa Smile and Mystic River.
Laferriere Classic Cars -Tom Laferriere,