The Guyton Collection | Lot 393

1953 Packard Caribbean

$52,640 USD | Sold

United States | St. Louis, Missouri

4 May 2019

Chassis No.
  • One of just 750 limited-production Caribbeans built for 1953
  • Former Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) National Prize Winner in 1993
  • Well-preserved award-winning restoration
  • Highly desirable model among Packard collectors
  • Includes original owner’s manual and 1953 Packard brochure

Packard showcased its experimental Pan American created by Henney at the New York Auto Show for the 1952 model year. The company also hired fashion and design consultant Dorothy Draper to create colorful new interiors, notably two-tone, throughout its model lineup. One year later, Packard introduced the Caribbean, a limited-production convertible styled by Dick Teague who got his inspiration from the Pan American show car. This was essentially Packard’s answer to the Cadillac Eldorado, also introduced in 1953. At $5,210, just 750 were produced that first year, outselling the Eldorado which registered near-equally small 532 sales.

The Caribbean was built on the 122-in. wheelbase chassis of the basic Packard convertible body and modified by the Mitchell-Bentley Corp. of Ionia, Michigan. Included was a full-leather interior; chrome Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels; enlarged wheel openings with flared lips; full-length, full-width hood scoop; de-chromed body; horizontal tail lights; integrated ‘fishtail’ rear fender treatment; front and rear chrome wheel well moldings; continental spare tire; and a special custom paint finish. New four-barrel carburetion on Packard’s venerable 327 straight eight boosted horsepower to 180.

Finished in a lovely combination of light blue with a white convertible roof over a blue and white leather interior, like all Caribbeans, this is equipped with power steering, power brakes, power convertible roof, radio with power antenna, heater, and automatic transmission. It is fitted with seat belts for added safety on the road. Outside, the Caribbean is fitted with standard chrome wire wheels with period-correct wide-whitewall tires and continental spare at the rear.

An owner’s manual and 1953 Packard brochure along with photos of the car during restoration are included in the sale. Though the exact date of the restoration is unclear, Mr. Guyton purchased this car on 1 September 1998 from its former owner, Eldon McKinely of Venice, Florida. The car was restored at that time. It wears an AACA National First Prize badge from 1993.

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