Clip The Clipper: 1956 Packard Hardtop


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Here is one rusted, incomplete Packard Clipper, offered for your perusal. Why? Because this is Barn Finds and it’s not “Trailer Queen Finds.”  This is yet another fine specimen for those of us who know how to appreciate real, rusted American iron.


Because 60 years of neglect cannot diminish the thrill of tail fins, two-tone paint jobs and big chrome bumpers. Paint may fade, metal may rust and upholstery may tatter, but the BF faithful know a great car when they see one. When those who don’t belong attempt to derisively refer to your car as “a boat”, just smile and nod and point to the beautiful chrome ship’s steering wheel emblem on the trunk. That’ll teach ’em.


While this probably isn’t viable as a restoration project, it’s still fun to look at. If you had a better example you were restoring, how much would you have to pay to get the many good pieces of stainless trim this car has to offer? How about the curved back glass? Who knows what else?

As is, it’s almost too pretty to use for parts. But what else could you do with it? If you figure that out, this car is located somewhere in the expansive wilds of Greater Southern Illinois. It appears here on craigslist, and the asking price is $1,000. Maybe the vintage Ford firetruck visible in the background of the first photo is also worth taking a look at. Let us know what you think.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bob Baird

    Maybe this has been mentioned before, but I wonder if anyone knows that the pointed pieces on each side of the front bumper of this car and many others of the period are called Dagmars in honor of the actress of the same name?

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    • PaulG

      Here’s your answer:
      Dagmar bumpers, also known simply as Dagmars (dag-mar), is a slang term for the artillery shell shaped styling elements found on the front bumper/grille assemblies on several makes of cars produced in the 1950s, an era recognized for its flamboyant designs and prominent use of chrome details.

      The term was coined by customizers in direct reference to Dagmar,[1] an early 1950s television personality well known for her pronounced cleavage on Broadway Open House. Dagmar’s physical attributes were further enhanced by low-cut gowns and the shape of her bra cups, which were somewhat conical. She was amused by the tribute.

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  2. boxdin

    I like the 55 Ford firetruck in the back.

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  3. Mitch

    One thing to mention-these years these were only know as “Clippers.” not “Packard Clippers.” Clipper was a separate division of Packard at the time, like Continental was from Lincoln. I don’t believe the Packard name was visible on any of the trim. They were offered as a lower price version of the standard Packard. I remember going in a pole barn once where there were at least 7-8 Packards & Clippers, & you can notice the trim & option differences.

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  4. Jeff

    Believe me, the Caddy bullets were not named in honor of Dagmar but in a humorous comparison to her endowments.

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  5. Jose

    Where is the car located ?

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  6. Wayne Thomas

    this is Barn Finds and it’s not “Trailer Queen Finds.”


    And this is why this site is better for regular working people who aren’t as well off as that other site that claims that you’ll need help getting a ride listed on their site home when in reality, far more of their posts are high dollar finished projects.

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  7. stillrunners

    what boxdin said….and also like her bumperettes…..

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  8. Glen

    I don’t see where the price is listed, am I missing something? I prefer the truck in the background.

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  9. David Grant

    If this is a 1956 Clipper, which the taillights and trunk lid indicates, then someone must have replaced the front fenders with 1955 versions. The 1956 Packard line had a very different front fender. The shroud over the headlights leaned forward dramatically, almost to a horizontal peak. I have two Packrds, a 1955 and a 1956. Both are Caribeans, a 1955 convertible and a 1956 coupe. Keep up the good work on the search for the ultimate Barn Find.
    Thank you

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  10. Jeff

    I agree. I had two ’56 Patricians and and the 56s definitely had more of a forward lean to them.

    Like 0

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