1955 Packard Caribbean
Vehicle No. 5588-1314
Series 5580. 275 bhp, 352 cu. in. overhead-valve V-8 engine, Ultramatic automatic transmission, front and rear torsion bar self-leveling suspension, and power-assisted four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 127 in.
Considered by many to be the last great Packard, the 1955-56 Caribbean continued the original Caribbean’s tradition of a limited-production convertible in unique trim, featuring almost every imaginable accessory and the buyer’s choice from a wide roster of stunning three-tone color schemes. Intended as Packard’s competition to the Cadillac Eldorado and the forthcoming Continental Mark II, it was every bit the equal of both cars in luxury, style, and swift V-8 performance. Further, it offered several interesting features unique to the most prestigious Packards, including Torsion-Level Ride, with the front and rear suspension joined by long torsion bars that automatically adjusted under load to level the car. This provided exceptional ride quality, the finest of any American automobile of the era.
The 1955 Caribbean was an extremely rare automobile, with only 500 examples built – all of them convertibles.
One of Packard’s claims to fame in 1955 was an inventiveness with color hue names that has seldom been equaled. This example of the Caribbean was delivered in White Jade, Fire Opal, and Onyx, and to this day retains much of its original paint. The color-coordinated leather interior has been properly reupholstered as-new, in genuine leather and to the original patterns.
As part of a large and prominent collection of vintage Packards owned by a lifelong aficionado of the marque, the car has been kept in excellent working order over the last 40 years of ownership, including being driven long-distance to Packard shows all over the country. Extremely well-sorted mechanically, it starts easily, hot or cold, and once on the road has excellent braking, the brakes having been rebuilt in current ownership. All lights work with the exception of the interior light on the convertible roof rail; all power windows are also operational from both their master switch and individual switches. The power top engages in both directions but struggles to move. Both heaters, the radio with its dual antennas, the windshield wipers, all the dashboard gauges, and even the Torsion-Level Ride suspension are all fully functional! The consignor proudly notes that this Caribbean even retains the original pair of four-barrel carburetors and the original air cleaner, both of which are often found to have been removed from these cars over the years.
An excellent Caribbean to drive and enjoy, this is a wonderful, properly sorted and functional example of the last great Packard, in iconic colors and with a fine history.
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