Classy In Black: 1955 Packard Patrician

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This beautiful 1955 Packard Patrician has been used lately for weddings and special occasions, but the owner needs to sell it on. It’s quite attractive but not original, and is currently located in Salem, Alabama and is up for sale here on eBay, where the buy-it-now is $8,500 but bids are welcome and are currently below $1,000.

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I have had a soft spot for the 1955-56 Packard Patrician ever since seeing one for the first time. These, to me, were the last true Packards, although I’m one of the few that doesn’t dislike the “PackardBakers” that followed their merger with Studebaker. I believe Richard Teague was responsible for the styling, although my memory may be faulty. To me, they just exude class! This one has been refurbished, but not necessarily restored.

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I’m not sure why I like the front of these cars so much, but I do. The chrome on this one looks to be in pretty nice shape, certainly good for a driver. The pictures are not great, but they show me enough that I’d be interested if I were in the market. This car wears it’s 95,000 miles with pride.

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The interior upholstery doesn’t look like any of the factory patterns I could find on the internet; I’m guessing this is one of the places the owner deviated from original. However, it does look nice and is in keeping with the period of the car. I find myself wondering what it would be like to slide behind the wheel (I’ve never driven one) and experience the “torsion-level ride” that the advertisers were so enthused about and the smoothness of the “Ultramatic Drive.”

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Here’s where I’d like to show you the 352 V8 that was new for this year. Unfortunately, the seller didn’t include one in the listing. So I went and found a video of a test drive of a 1955 Patrician running and listened to the burble and got my fix that way. That’s all I can do for now; what about you? Does this answer one of your automotive dreams?

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Comments

  1. David G

    Thanks for the quite-nice video add-in Jamie, good job on THAT treasure hunt!!! So this and the 56s are really the last true Packards. Indeed after that, a tragic ending to such a long-in-the-tooth noteworthy marque. I’ve always considered the 55s and 6s to be very special cars, if a bit ‘dowdy’ for most folks to consider owning. I’d like the 2-tone green one featured in the vid! Thanks for presenting this to BF – a rare treat.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Thanks, David. This is one I’d pursue if we weren’t moving. Not sure I could sell the wife on this until she gets her Mark 9, though.

  2. Francisco

    If one is to use this car for weddings, you had better retrofit air conditioning. Believe me. I know from experience.

  3. joeinthousandoaks

    I really like this. Thats a lot of class for the ask! I used to have a ’54 Merc with those rear bumper ends added on.
    Francisco, the rear shot shows what looks to be the factory rear A/C ducts thru the back window..

  4. Paul R

    The clear overhead A/C ducts let everyone know it was air conditioned. I think Caddy used them a few years also. I like the old land yachts!

  5. AMC STEVE

    Richard Teague went on to design forAMC and was way ahead of his time. This car looks like a tank and prolly very comfy to ride in eh.

  6. Ed P

    The clear plastic a/c vents are in place in the rear, but there is no mention of a/c in the add. Now, I am wondering if the equipment is in place and working.
    The Ultramatic was not known for it’s performance, but this car is still the ultimate in 1955 class. Great find.

  7. RON

    These are beautiful and I think I know this car. Nothing come-pares and exudes class more than black and chrome. It would have been much better if they had spent the money for the beautiful brocade cloth and leather upholstery from the factory, and it is available, and not that much more expensive. Nothing to be taken away from this car any way you go. the 352’s of 55-56 were really nothing to brag about nor the Ultramatics.. Most of them were gone and replaced early on and a great deal of those seen on the road today are running Chryslers or something else.As for the 352 it was fairly good in the Packards, but almost was the ruination of the new Golden Hawk of 56. Studebaker knew they had “A Pig in a Poke” within months. The GH only had the Packard Engine while the 3 other Hawks had Stude v/8 or a base 6 and did well. That old heavy 352 had a lot of bugs and design failed to recognize the extreme weight and the front springs had the front ends falling out of tem in 6 months. . A lot of owners restoring them today other than original value find them with the 57 Stude 289 in them. They beefed the springs and front suspension in the 57 and ptched the Packard 352 never to use again. The most rare of the 56’s and the best car of the 4 styles was the Skyhawk with the 289 Stude engine and the Hardtop styling like the Golde Hawk less the fins. The one year 58 Packard Hawks were much more nicely appointed and better cars with the Stude 289 and blower . Very hard to find a Packard Hawk The 57-58 Packards or better know as Packard-Bakers had nothing other than name on them were much superior cars to the 55-56 Packards. I would love to have one of these big beauties in my garage with my Stude however.. ThePackard name continued n the Identification plates as Studebaker-Packard through the 62 model year but was dropped from the name just to Studebaker Corp until the end with 65- and the few 66’s which were bult in the Canadian plant and were equipped with a 283 McKinnon engine and 199 inline 6 cylinder from the same, being Chevy or GM and most commonly called “ChevyBakers” Very popular by members who like cross country driving giving one the ease of pulling in most anywhere you need and get SBC parts.. Great cars and in my opinion the Studebaker v/8 had the most durable tough engine of any U.S. Mfg.. Just take a trp up to the vintage muscle car drags in the spring and witness some of it

    • joeinthousandoaks

      Good info Ron. If you know of the car are you close enough to do an inspection?

  8. Jason Houston

    Post-1954 Packards were just an amalgam of Ford, Chrysler and GM styling – which is probably why they never appealed to me.

  9. Barry T

    Sort of looks like a Russian Zil in disguise . Or perhaps the other way around.

    • jackthemailman(ret)

      I believe I’ve read that the Packard stamping dies were sold to the old Soviet Union when the company went under. Could be wrong, often am.

      • Ed P

        jack, there is a rumor that the pre-war dies for the senior Packards (160 & 180) were sold to the Russians. The 55-56 dies were scrapped.

      • Jason Houston

        You may be right, as I recall hearing that, too.

    • Jim

      Barry, you hit the nail on the head. Russia had to copy the basic front end look.

      I drove a new ’56 Packard Caribbean, my Dad’s, a couple of times and it was a neat (and rare) car in its day. Beautiful interior, A/C without the plastc vents, auto leveling and good fit and finish. It was $5,000 new (overpriced) and he received $300 in ’59 trade-in on a new black Impala 4 door hard-top.

  10. Chris A.

    In the mid 80’s I was driving the family through the Mass Turnpike toll booths to Maine when I looked over at the car next booth over. Red early 1930’s Packard dual cowl phaeton with two old guys in the front seats. I smiled, gave them a thumbs up and the driver then blew the doors off our family Volvo getting out of the booths.

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