9,500 Miles! 1955 Packard Clipper Custom Touring Sedan

053116 Barn Finds - 1955 Packard Clipper Custom - 1

This low-miles beauty is a 1955 Packard Clipper Custom Touring Sedan and it’s in Deerfield, Illinois and is listed on eBay. The current bid price is $3,150 and there are still four days left to get your bids in on this great looking car.

053116 Barn Finds - 1955 Packard Clipper Custom - 2

I wrote about a ’55 Packard Clipper Super Panama a week and a half ago and here’s another one, a Custom Touring Sedan this time. This particular car was apparently sitting in Arizona for years and years and has only racked up 9,500 actual miles. The body looks great, rust-and-dents-wise, as in there isn’t any rust to speak of and I don’t see any dents.

053116 Barn Finds - 1955 Packard Clipper Custom - 5

Dang, that’s one straight, nice-looking 61-year old Packard! Thanks, Arizona! The seller says that he has two NOS replacement tail light lenses and they’re worth $1,000. Whether that price is accurate or not I’m not sure, but it’s always good to have replacement parts. Here is a painfully-gorgeous totally-restored Clipper Touring Sedan to see what this one used to look like, or could look like again if someone wanted to restore it.

053116 Barn Finds - 1955 Packard Clipper Custom - 3

The interior photos are pretty sparce, this is the only one and it shows one of the seats and it’s not installed in the car. And, the seat looks a little wavy on the bottom cushion to me, unfortunately. Maybe it’s the light playing tricks or something, but the seam between the green and white materials doesn’t look straight to me and I’d want it to be laser straight. The seller says that they just had the seats redone to the tune of $2,000 and the “liner carpet and lace” was another $500, if I’m reading the ad correctly. Is that headliner, carpet, and windlace? All for $500? That can’t be right. the ad is a little confusing with punctuation missing here and there and ALL-CAPS (!!!!!) in half of it so I don’t know if they’re yelling or just making a point.

053116 Barn Finds - 1955 Packard Clipper Custom - 4

This “FREAKIN CAR” still has the original brake shoes, so the 9,500 miles must be accurate. This is a Custom Touring Sedan and Packard made about 15,000 Customs in 1955 and they charged around $2,900 +/- a piece for them. This should be a 5.8L 352 V8 with around 245 hp, a respectable amount of horsepower even today, let alone six decades ago. This car weighs a bit less than two tons so it’ll need that power to get it moving. I think this is a great looking car, I absolutely love the look of the paint with the faded primer showing through on the tops of the front fenders and the hood. If this is what the seller says it is, this is a heck of a car, you don’t find a Packard with less than 10,000 original miles on it too often. I would like to see more interior photos, but the body sure looks great. Would any of you restore this car any further than finishing the interior, or would you just drive it as it looks here?


  1. David Wilk Member

    Great find and write up Scotty, this car has a great look. I hope whomever buys it keeps it looking this way, and just drives it. What a fun car and a great example of one of the last of this fine marque.

  2. Ed P

    I know, I know they are only original once, but I want it to look new again. So, I would complete the interior, check over the mechanicals, then paint it in the original colors. I always thought these cars looked classy.

    • St. Ramone de V8

      I agree completely, Ed. Original once, but what’s so wrong with wanting an old car to look great? Primer showing through makes this great car look terrible, I think. Why is paint, well done, and in the original colours seen as destroying the car? I’ve read postings here recently that had mentioned that a car had “suffered” a re-spray, but that it was well done. I like original paint as much as anyone, but here’s an example that deserves to “suffer”, IMO.

  3. Vince Habel

    Why would the seats need redone with less than 10k miles?

    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      The interiors in American cars in the 50s couldn’t take the heat of Arizona summers, and the fabrics tended to disintegrate.

  4. Paul R

    Caddy air cleaner?

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Paul, apparently, Packard did use the “side scoop” air cleaner for their single 4 bbl. applications. Dual quads got the ” bat wing” air cleaner.

    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Not a GM air cleaner. It’s the correct one for this car. While they do look the same, the “air intake tube” between the carb top ad the inner part of the air cleaner are different, both in diameter [depending on carb manufacturer — Carter or Rochester], and tube length [depending on the space between the carb top and the hood].

      This is a hard to find piece, as it’s used only on the Clipper Custom with the 352 engine & 4 bbl Carter carb. The “Senior” Packards used the same engine, but with a Rochester carb.

  5. Luke Fitzgerald


  6. Howard A Member

    NEHHHH, ( buzzer sounding), no way on the 9,500 miles. Nice try, though. I do agree that the tail lights could indeed fetch $500 bucks a piece( I’d tell the seller to cram it with walnuts) They are pretty hard to find, but that’s clearly gouging. I still feel, if Packard management didn’t have their head where the sun didn’t shine, this was the car that, by all rights, should have saved Packard, for while, at least. These cars had it all, V-8, handsome styling, beautiful dash (which oddly there’s no pictures of). If any other car maker would have had a car like this, it would have sold like sun block on a beach in July. Too bad. I thought this was one of the nicest cars of the mid-’50’s.

    • Ed P

      Packard had tried to accomplish to much for the ’55 model year. Renting the Conner plant from Briggs was a last minute complication. Enlarging the building and setting up the assembly line in a rush produced to much cash drain and product problems. The first cars did not get to dealers until January of ’55. They missed the fall intro season and an unknown number of sales. The first cars were problematic and word got out quickly. Customer’s went elsewhere. For ’56, Packard improved, but introduced a push button shifter that was notorious for failure. They tried to much in their last years and failed.

  7. brakeservo

    9500 miles ??? Please don’t insult my intelligence . . . and why would a seller trumpet something that’s actually a negative if it’s true – a 60+ year old car with only 9500 miles is bound to have many more needs than one with 109,500 miles. What’s happened to this car just doesn’t happen in just 9500 miles. Now we know the seller will say anything, why should we trust anything?

    • Howard A Member

      Hi brakeservo, while I agree with the 109g’s on the speedo, I think a 60 year old car with 9500 miles, would need just a few things to get it right, where as 109, you’d need everything, including body work. You know, I wonder too why someone would claim low mileage, when to most here, we can see there’s no way. Perhaps, the seller got the car, doesn’t know much about it, and truly doesn’t know what a car with 9500 miles would look like. I also agree it’s getting tougher and tougher to trust people, especially with cars.

  8. Dave

    When I was young my dad had several Packards Clippards 51 , 53 and a 55. The first two were straight 8’s and the last a V8 352 cu in. That’s when I learned to love V8’s and I later put a Packard V8 in a 53 Studebaker using 56 Golden Hawk engine mounts. I used a 56 engine which is 374 cu in.. Believe it or not this engine was bored 1/4 inch which produced 396 cu in. Old history!

    • Ed P

      Packard had plans to enlarge the v8 to 400 cid for ’57, if they had survived. That engine had a lot of growth in it.

  9. David G

    All of you naysayers to the 009500 need to consider that having unbelievably low original miles does not always mean that they were also *always* stored properly. After all, we’re talking 60 years of possibility for sporadic sessions of horrid storage conditions inflicted without equivalent mileage being racked up.

    Yeah we’ve seen the ones that were never driven (for whatever reason) AND kept minty in quality storage situations. But true low-mileage cars don’t have to look like that, especially ‘orphan’ makes like this Packard (Edsel/Stude/etc) which often suffered serious phases of intentional out-of-sight and out-of-mind neglectful ‘storage’…

    Assuming truth in his ‘original Brake Shoes’ statement, i’d highly doubt it could have rolled over to 109k. Other option of course is that the Odo went faulty many miles ago i suppose..

  10. Scotty G Staff

    Auction update: this car had a high bid of $3,500 and did not sell.

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.