Hershey Lodge
6 - 7 October 2016
Lot 259

1955 Packard Caribbean Convertible


$77,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
  • Packard’s most deluxe and rarest 1955 model; one of 500 built
  • Exquisite fresh, complete restoration in wonderful colors
  • Functional Torsion-Level suspension
  • A jewel-like example of one of the most desirable 1950s automobiles

Series 5580. 275 hp, 352 cu. in. overhead-valve V-8 engine with dual four-barrel carburetors, three-speed Twin-Ultramatic automatic transmission, front and rear torsion bar self-leveling suspension, and power-assisted four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 127 in.

It is ironic and unfortunate that Packard was slipping into oblivion in 1955, just as the company introduced what were its best post-war models. All Packards now featured the innovative front and rear Torsion-Level suspension system, which automatically leveled the car to suit the road surface, making the 1955 models some of the smoothest-riding and best-handling full-size automobiles of their era. Under the hood were modern OHV V-8 engines, as well as the Ultramatic transmission, now updated with a locking torque converter, so that it would offer the economy and performance of a manual gearbox. These mechanical advancements were blended with fresh, modern lines, penned by Richard Teague.

Leading the Packard lineup was the luxe Caribbean convertible, equipped with a 275-horsepower, 352-cubic inch V-8 with dual four-barrel carburetors, 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, and a host of standard amenities. Priced at an astronomical $5,932, the Caribbean was one of the most expensive American automobiles in 1955. No surprise, then, that only 500 were made, and that the survivors are highly coveted by enthusiasts.

The Caribbean offered here has been the recipient of an excellent, frame-off restoration to original condition, completed this summer. Finished in the correct and thrillingly named colors of White Jade, Zircon, and Sapphire, it presents absolutely beautifully, with superb paintwork, fresh chrome trim throughout, and a beautifully tailored interior to the original design. Both the original 275-horsepower engine and the Ultramatic transmission have been rebuilt, and along with the standard power steering and brakes, assure that the car drives beautifully, while producing a beautiful exhaust note through stainless steel dual exhaust. The power top has been restored, as has the Torsion-Level suspension, which the consignor notes works properly. Additional features include a Wonderbar radio and chrome wire wheels, shod in wide whitewall tires.

One of the best-restored Caribbeans to recently come to market, this beautiful, fresh car is deserving of the finest collection.