Live Auctions

1 of 869: 1957 Packard Country Sedan

When the newly formed Studebaker-Packard Corp. introduced their 1957 models, Packard dealers were not happy. Instead of an all-new car, the Packards would largely be rebadged Studebakers. Packard buyers didn’t like the changes either and sales plummeted. Even fewer Packards were sold in 1958, so the storied product line was discontinued. This 1957 Country Sedan is a rare sight today as only a few hundred were built. It’s said to be supercharged and has had some other recent work. Located in Reno, Nevada, this rare wagon is available here on eBay for $8,500 (Buy It Now) or you can submit an offer. Our thanks to T.J. for another nifty find.

The new, smaller 1957 Packard Clipper was basically a top-line Studebaker President with a revised front clip. They borrowed from the existing parts bin to finish the job. For example, the cars used the 1956 Packard’s front bumper and rear taillights. Only two models would be built, the 4-door Town Sedan and a station wagon called the Country Sedan. Because of the similarities between the company’s two brands, pundits began to refer to the new Packards as “Packardbakers”. Just 3,940 Town Sedans and 869 Country Sedans were produced in 1957.

Packards like these used the Studebaker 289 cubic inch V8 engine equipped with the McCulloch supercharger, enabling its output to increase to 275 hp. In a lighter car, the ‘57s Packards were quicker than 1956 models, but that didn’t help the sales department any. The seller’s wagon is said to still have its supercharger, but the contraption resting atop the motor doesn’t resemble others I’ve seen.  Yet we’re told it was rebuilt (perhaps not reinstalled). The seller says the car runs, but the gas is old, and the system may need flushing out.

As the car spent a lot of time in California, there seems to be little if any rust. But the two-tone paint is used up, especially on the roof. The interior is not as good, and the upholstery and door panels are all used up. But the seller has installed new tires, brakes, a battery, and a dual exhaust. The “Packardbakers” were only built for two years, leading writer and auto historian Richard Langworth to note that “while these cars weren’t truly Packards, they were, however, very good Studebakers”.

Comments

  1. Grant

    Could be a beautiful car restored, but what is it worth? Anyone who ever had any connection with these is probably dead or near to it. Hopefully this can be gotten for a reasonable price by someone who can self restore and keep and love it. That is how our hobby keeps alive, if dollar signs keep clouding peoples eyes, it will be the hobbies death knoll.

    Like 18
    • Will Fox

      Grant, I was once told that the Packard club members don’t even recognize the `57-`58 models as “Packards”. I can understand that.

      Like 6
      • Merrill Newman

        The epitome of a true “orphan automobile “.

        Like 3
      • Kim in Lanark

        You got that right, Merrill. The question of a true orphan is not “Why did they sell so few” But “How did they sell so many”

        Like 1
      • Jimmy Novak

        Not I. That sounds pretty snobby and sniffy.

        Like 1
  2. Jimbo

    Seems like it might be a good candidate for a resto mod.
    Maybe lower it just a touch, if needed, change engine to an LS, modern trans and off you go.

    Like 2
  3. local_sheriff

    At a July 4th show a few years back I had the pleasure of a long conversation with the proud owner of an immaculate restored ’58 Packard wagon. If I could’ve added an image I would ‘cuz it really was a gem. These cars look a lot better IRL than on pics but I can understand why it’s not for everyone.

    I really enjoy to see rare birds like this as they add spice to our hobby. Definately an interesting find for the right buyer 👍

    Like 13
  4. Big_Fun Member

    Rare doesn’t always = desirable. So then – what about a ‘mild custom’? No – not as in Lake pipes or dummy spot lights. As in a tasteful interior that mimics the original without the expense of original material. Keep the drivetrain, if possible.
    If I recall’ those taillights were used on many a lead sled Merc. And those twin antennas! Even on the wagon! Who knew? So already, the custom element is built in.
    Looking foward to all the comments on this ride…

    Like 7
  5. Mike

    Oversized, finned backend with a frumpy looking upper half not very appealing to my eye, but that’s just me.

    Like 4
  6. Howard A Member

    Grant makes a good point. The only attraction here is it’s so unusual, doubly unusual, TWO almost forgotten makes, both, high quality cars that folks today will never know about, except for right here.
    1st, as a stout Packard fan, let me just say, these cars always get a bad rap as a “lowly” Studebaker, but let me tell you, this was no ordinary Studebaker, it still had some Packard class, albeit diminished some. It had a nice dash/interior, one of the most modern motors/mechanicals for the time, and still had Packards traditional “tombstone” grill, I think both cars were great cars, and for all practical purposes, should have been a hit. It wasn’t Packards or Studebakers fault, they were made with the finest aftermarket parts, like any other car at the time. It’s been long discussed, Packards management was in the tank, and a general shift to the Big 3 , neither car company had a prayer. The only thing that saved AMC ( #4), was they at least had their heads on straight and offered what people actually wanted.
    This car? Again, snowballs chance, it’s just not nice enough for someone who has even a shred of interest, and that’s a darned shame. They will miss out on 2 of histories most important car companies. How quickly we forget.

    Like 16
    • DON

      “Almost forgotten” is a true statement ! I’ve had people walk up to me at gas stations and car shows and ask about my car. More than a few times I’ve been asked “what’s a Plymouth ?” Its either that or its called a Dodge,usually by the slightly more car-educated people.
      Ive never really underatood the whole deal with Packard , they bought Studebaker , but basically disappeared after 56. The 57s were Studebakers. I would have thought Packard would have been the leader , dumping most of Studebakers aging car designs and only keeping the best bits, but it turned out the other way. As for Studebaker , I wonder why they bothered making these at all. Why wouldn’t they just have kept Packards drivetrains . and saved all the money that was spend on design and tooling these cars ? They didnt fool anyone, anyone looking for an inexpensive car would look to Stude, why pay more for the same car with a different name ? By the same token , anyone who wanted prestige like a Packard used to emulate, would not want a car that looked just like a cheap entry level ride.
      Of course companies still do that , SAAB basically rebadged the Subaru WRX and the Chevy Blazer to help their flagging sales and it didnt work either. Why pay more money for a SAAB , when you can get the same thing for thousands less ?

      Like 5
      • Psychofish2

        Ford is making money applying their poison Mercury formula to Lincoln, GM is still whoring Chevrolets out as Cadillacs to suckers.

        So yes, it’s still going on.

        It never works but they keep going with that “something to sell in the segment” BS.

        GM would have given Cadillac an Aveo if they thought they could have gotten away with it, but as it is the Escalade is the ultimate Cimarron, XXXL version.

        But I do love this car. They did a better job on this than the Packard Hawk.

        Like 2
    • Tommy Okonski

      Howard you are so right on what you said. My dad had a new 1956 Packard Clipper . It was a great car he was a Packard Man. My mom Had a New 1957 Black and gold Superchared Golden Hawk. Two classics I wish I had. I was 13.

      Like 2
  7. George Birth

    This one is going to need a lot of work to restore it. For the asking price I’d hope the engine would at least run.

    Like 1
  8. Vince H

    All 57 Packards were supercharged only the Hawk in 58 was. The supercharger is missing on this one.

    Like 4
  9. Don

    Weren’t the Ford wagons called “Country Sedan”?

    Like 2
    • Michael Berkemeier

      Yep! There was the Ranch Wagon (Base Custom), the Country Sedan (Galaxie), and the Country Squire (LTD) trim levels for the Ford wagons.

  10. Chuck Simons

    I got all excited…then I looked at pictures. This is going to be for the love of the car, certainly not the value. And it’s not big enough to live in when you bring it home to her.

    Like 1
  11. Glenn Schwass Member

    I thinks it looks neat. I wouldn’t want to try to find parts, but if the engine’s toast, do the LS and make it drivable.

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Glenn,

      All the mechanical parts on this car are Studebaker, and easy to find. The engine is the same as used on the 1957-58 Studebaker Golden Hawk.

      Like 3
  12. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Russ,
    I’ve owned 2 1957 Packard Clippers, both sedans, and I’ve worked on several more over the years. I drove a ’57 while in high school, paid $100 for the nice low-mileage car. I was also a Packard parts vendor for 30+ years.

    The front bumper isn’t from a ’55 or ’56, but the bumper bullets are. It was a part only used on the ’57 Clippers. The only actual Detroit Packard parts used on the ’57 are:

    On the front, it’s the bumper bullets, *Packard* block letters on hood, and the hood ornament.

    On the rear, the taillight lenses and back-up light lenses are 1956. While the chrome taillight housings appear the same, they are not. The original 1956 Clipper assemblies had threaded studs on the back that were accessed from the inside of the trunk. However the ’57 cars didn’t have the same access points, it was done from the wheel well area. The top threaded stud couldn’t be reached, so the ’57 chrome housing has a special hole at the peak for a sheet metal screw with a tapered head. The twin power antennas are also modified 1956 Packard antennas. Bolting a 1956 taillight housing to a 1957 requires the top stud to be cut off, and this means it’s held in place with only 2 studs near the bottom. Over time this can cause the pot-metal housing to crack.

    Interior Packard parts are limited to the 1956 Packard Clipper instruments, turn signal lights, Headlight switch & bezel, and radio. The cigar liter bezel appears at first glance to be from ’56 as well, but it’s not.

    On the sides of the car, the only ’56 parts are the wheel covers. Nothing mechanical [except for hardware like nuts & bolts] is the same.

    Like 5

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.