Lot 224

Hershey 2023

1956 Packard Caribbean Convertible


$74,250 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
Canadian Registration
  • The rarest and most desirable year for the Caribbean; number 198 of only 276 convertibles produced for 1956
  • Presented in charming tri-color Dover White, Corsican Black, and Naples Orange livery with matching leather interior and white convertible top
  • Wonderfully authentic appearance throughout, including correct dual-sided seat cushions
  • Packard’s last great automobile

It is ironic and unfortunate that Packard was slipping into oblivion in 1956, just as the company introduced what were its best post-war models. By this time, all Packards featured the innovative front and rear Torsion-Level suspension system, which automatically leveled the car to suit the road surface, making the company’s products some of the smoothest-riding and best-handling full-size automobiles of the era. Under the hood were modern overhead-valve V-8 engines, as well as the Ultramatic transmission, which by 1955 had been updated with a locking torque converter to approximate the economy and performance of a manual gearbox. These mechanical advancements were blended with fresh, modern lines penned by chief stylist Richard Teague.

Leading the Packard lineup was the luxe Caribbean convertible, equipped with a 275-horsepower, 352 cubic-inch V-8 featuring dual four-barrel carburetors and topped by the iconic “batwing” air cleaner. Unique features of the Caribbean included standard three-tone color schemes, a full leather interior, a striking ultra-deluxe dashboard layout with a gold-tone textured insert and two-tone steering wheel. For 1956, the engine was enlarged to 374 cubic inches and was rated at 310 horsepower. Additionally, the cars featured the heavily revised, push-button Ultramatic Drive transmission, and a distinctive new set of reversible seat cushions trimmed with leather on one side and cloth mesh on the other. Sadly, the 1956 Caribbean was the final convertible ever built by Packard before the company entered liquidation during the summer of 1958.

One of only 276 examples built for the model year, this stunning Caribbean Custom Convertible benefits from a previous restoration and is finished in a lovely tri-tone color combination of Dover White, Corsican Black, and Naples Orange with a matching polychrome leather interior. Notable features include a white power-operated convertible top, wide whitewall tires wrapped around chrome wire wheels, and the Jetsons-esque push-button gear-selector pod on the steering column. This Caribbean also features a self-leveling hydraulic suspension and all available power options, including rear-mounted, dual, synchronized power antennas. The car even has its correct, reversible seat backs and cushions, featuring a silver mesh pattern that complements the impressive dashboard detail.

Under the consignor’s care, this attractive Caribbean has been lavished with notable maintenance, including a full engine gasket set, a valve job, motor mounts, a set of new tires, a timing chain, spark plugs, spark plug wires, and a pair of hydraulic cylinders, which actuate the power-operated convertible top.

The Caribbean has some of the finest road manners of any full-sized model of its era, and as one of the improved 1956 models, this example is highly sought after by collectors of fine, mid-century American automobiles.