Saturday, February 4, 2012

1954 Packard Caribbean

The Packard Caribbean was the production version of the Packard Pan American dream cars and appeared in 1953. Packard contracted with the Mitchell-Bentley Company of  Ionia, Michigan to convert 750 standard Packard Convertibles. The following year, the Caribbean became even more luxurious coming equipped with dual heaters and defrosters, leather interior, three-way radio with a power antenna, continental spare tire, power steering, power windows, power seats, and power brakes.

The two-tone red and white Packard Caribbean Convertible shown was offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auction in Monterey, CA. It was expected to sell for $75,000-$125,000 and offered without reserve. It is number 392 out of 400 and has recently undergone a complete restoration. It is powered by a 359 cubic-inch L-head eight-cylinder engine that produces just over 200 horsepower.

1954 Packard Caribbean
One of Packard President James J. Nance's objectives in the early 1950s was to resurrect Packard's prewar image of total luxury. The way to do this, he said, was to establish the cheaper Clipper as a separate make and load Packard with loaded Packards, such as the 1954 Packard Caribbean.

He did, and the evidence is that it worked. As a former Packard dealer said: "I don't remember anything that was a better showroom traffic-builder after the war than the Caribbean. That car was a classic."

Things began to go bad for Nance in 1954 as Packard, wounded in the crossfire of the Ford/GM sales battle, failed to meet his deadline for a new V-8 engine and a heavy facelift. Both were postponed to 1955 and the 1953s warmed over to fill the gap, but sales ran at just a third the previous year's pace. All this naturally affected the Caribbean, and 1954 production dipped to only 400 units, the lowest of the model's four years.

One drawback of being stuck with the same bodies for 1954 was that Packard's line leader was stuck with the same short wheelbase. In that dimension, the Caribbean was an exact match for this year's much-less-special Buick Skylark. Olds forgot the Fiesta, but Cadillac's Eldorado blossomed to 129 inches. It, too, was now much less unique, but it also cost $2,000 less than the 1953.

 Das Packard Karibik war die Serienversion des Packard Pan American Dream Cars 
und erschien im Jahr 1953.

Packard Karayip Packard Pan Amerikan rüyası araba üretim 
versiyonu ve 1953 yılında ortaya çıktı.

 पैकार्ड कैरेबियन Packard पैन अमेरिकी सपना कारों के उत्पादन 
संस्करण था और 1953 में दिखाई दिया.

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