BidAnywhere | Lot 161
1953 Packard Caribbean
$6,930 USD | Sold
21 November 2014
Packard tooled up for a $15 million redesign in 1948, and the result was the 22nd and 23rd Series. Unkindly called the “inverted bathtub”, this shape lingered until 1951, when it was replaced by the much more conventional 24th Series, with a “three box” full-width design, such as GM had introduced in 1949. Sales rebounded to 100,000 in the first year, and the new car was seen to represent the old company’s virtues of conservative quality and durability.
The 1953 Packard Caribbean was included in the manufacturers 26th Series and was based on Packard’s 1952 show car, the Pan American convertible. A Packard Cavalier body was modified by the Mitchell-Bentley Corporation of Ionia, Michigan, which removed all the side trim and added heavy chrome wheel surround moldings to achieve the sleek, elegant European appearance of the Caribbean.
The hood received a full-width scoop, the taillights were horizontal in “fishtail” rear fenders, and the cars were fitted with chrome wire wheels, including a Continental spare tire. The Caribbean was available in four colors: Polaris Blue, Gulf Green metallic, Matador Red metallic and Sahara Sand. It had a full leather interior and was powered by the 180 horsepower, 327 cubic inch straight-eight. At $5,210, only 750 were built in the 1953 model year.
While the Caribbean’s 1954 successor was manufactured in smaller numbers, it lost many of the unique features of its predecessor, particularly the individualistic styling. This car represents an uncommon opportunity to acquire the genuine article, presented in a manner that allows you to bring it back to your personal exacting standards. Though it is in need of a complete restoration, similar cars in top-notch condition regularly demonstrate that this car has tremendous potential. Its small build numbers and the exclusive nature of this model from day one are more than enough reason to invest in its future.
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