1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible


  1. lc

    Could very well be a beautiful car….but – For $40,000 I think a good wash is deserved! Presentation is everything. Wanting to show how the car looked when it was removed really means nothing. At this price point, what the car “is” means everything!

    Like 18
  2. grant

    Pull it out, take a picture of the dust (which you did) and WASH THE DAMN THING so it’s condition can be truly gauged. If it’s as straight and solid as you say then show it, otherwise I’m assuming your keeping something hidden.

    Like 21
    • A.J.

      1. Price is high by at least 10k
      2. Wash it!
      3. He better have that missing wheel well trim as it is unobtainable.

      Like 8
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

        A. J.
        We have attended several Packard Club National meets in recent years, and there was a Packard parts vendor selling sets [or individual parts] of these wheel opening pieces as very good reproductions. Yes, originals have not been available for decades.

        Like 4
      • A.J.

        Good to hear there is reproduction trim for the wheel wells. Last partial set we sold was for a ton of money. There are definitely cars that can still use them.

  3. canadainmarkseh

    The asking price is steep but where are going to find another. It could be years before another one comes up. I friend of mine always said to me you have to pay to play. This is one of those times, cool car would love to own it but I have no play money to speak of.

    Like 9
    • Steve R

      Completed items on eBay shows a recently restored 1954 Packard Caribbean convertible going unsold on multiple occasions within the last month, it had a BIN price of $84,900.

      Steve R

      Like 3
    • A.J.

      Actually, the 53 is fairly plentiful and there are always a few available.

      The 54 is seen much less often (they made 1/2 as many) and brings more money because of the bigger 9 main engine 358 cubes vs the 5 main 327. There is a noticeable difference in power.

      Like 7
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Canadian . . .

      Each time I think a newly discovered Caribbean of any year turns up, I start to think it’s probably the last one to surface, as they are indeed rare But I keep hearing about recently discovered Caribbeans virtually every year. Yes, there will be more found, I’m sure of it!

      Because these have always been a “Special” and collectible car from day one, these were rarely junked or parted out. And with only around 90 known 1953 versions, with Packard having built a total of 750, that leaves over 650 still to be discovered! I’ve been a Packard fanatic for over 55 years, and have personally found at least 20 Caribbeans that had been lost to the car public.

      Like 5
      • A.J.

        Bill, I see the 80-90 number being thrown around and I’m wondering where that is coming from? I see at least 1/2 a dozen ever year come to auction and right now Hemmings has 7 for sale alone. There were two at Hershey for sale this year. My WAG would be 200-250 just given the numbers that are consistently available. I’m not trying to question the rarity, as even a couple hundred is not a lot of cars, but they are available.

      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

        The “big 3” magical US luxury cars of the 1950s were the Eldorado, Continental Mk2, and the Caribbean. All were highly sought after even as used cars in the 1960s. So a high percentage survive today. I’ve had both 1952 and 53 regular Packard convertibles, and a ’56 Eldo Convertible.

        Because these have been collected for decades, I see these now coming up for sale as the owners either die off or age out, and that includes restored & unrestored versions.

        I think another reason these are now being offered for sale is that as far as a good investment, some owners believe these have reached their zenith, and won’t keep up with inflation.

        As for the number of known Caribbeans, The Packard Club has been diligent in tracking the serial numbers of all the cars, even ones that were parted out or wrecked 50 years ago.

      • A.J.


        I agree with your analysis. 53 was the year of “Halo” car with the caribbean, Eldo, Skylark and Olds Holiday. As you mentioned, these cars were all most always desirable so very few got tossed unless there was a good reason.

        I would be interested to see if this car would clean up (why I was urging the seller to wash the thing) as a mostly original car with usable paint, chrome and interior is a cool thing. If it won’t clean up, and needs paint, etc, then you would be better off paying 50k for a nice car. 70k will buy an example with a 100k restoration. Ignore any prices higher than that as the 53 just doesn’t bring that money, even though I think it is the best looking of all the Packards.

  4. Andy

    If it really doesn’t need much, then WOW.

    Like 3
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member


      Agree 100%

  5. Perjen Member

    wash the car so it shines, and more pictures.

    Like 7
  6. edh

    40 hundred dollars? No problem.

    Like 1
    • bruce baker

      There’s a big different my friend as this isn’t 1953 where $4,000 would pay for this car.plus lots of change back i bet.

      Like 1
  7. Skorzeny

    Wash, lose the whitewalls, lose the continental kit, and go from there…

    Like 1
    • bruce baker

      I would let the new owner make those big decision’s But washing/detailing the car is a must do!

      Like 2
    • Steve S

      With the paint completely original and as old as it is. Most likely any kind of rag or any other material used to wash the car could possibly have a chance of scratching the paint and maybe rub some of the paint off the car. Another thing just because the top was never lowered doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Maybe the person that owns the car only used the air conditioner if it has ac or just rolled the windows down while driving before they parked it for all those years.

  8. ccrvtt

    Nothing screams, “I’m lazy!” like a filthy car. This one might not look half bad if it were washed. It would give that prospective holder of 40 large some incentive to shower you with Benjamins. This dusty heap is an insult – to both the car and any potential buyer.

    Get a clue.

    Like 5
    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      Larry left it dusty to show it, so that people could tell it was a genuine barn find. I don’t think it had anything to do with being lazy. The next owner might want to do the same, so rather than wash it he’s left that decision up to whomever owns it next. You can always wash it, but you can’t “redust” it and have it be authentic.

      Like 2
  9. Chris

    I too get taking a few pictures when it’s first pulled out of the barn and then washing it. What I find interesting is that judging from the pictures it appears that they were taken at a car show of some sort which leads me to believe that they are also showing it as found as well. This car has always been up on my list for it’s amazing looks. Like the Barenaked Ladies song goes “If I had a million dollars…”

    Like 4
  10. Rodney - GSM

    Wash the car. Dirt is not “vintage” nor is it “patina”. It’s just dirt.
    (Really nice car after a proper wash).

    Like 8
  11. Del


    Nice find.

    Todays finds here are pretty good

    Like 3
  12. Andrew S Mace Member

    Did anyone mention washing the poor car? ;)

    I’d forgive the seller for not wanting to touch the top, but I’m mentally subtracting $$$$ for each dirty panel on the car. I suspect that soap, wash mitt and hose would take this from a weak “meh” straight to “WOW”!

    Honestly, I did just that once. I actually stopped at a self-serve car wash on my way back from picking up a dusty garage find Triumph. I think I doubled the value of the car before I got it off the trailer!

    Like 3
  13. Del

    Yes Josh.

    Its hard to find old dust like that.

    And it really improves tha Patina.

    Just like the Continental Kit…NOT

    Like 4
  14. john

    88 of them left. Not 80 or 90 , but 88. ???????

    Like 4
  15. A.J.

    There are many more than 88 given how often they are available.

    The continental kit is factory and almost every single car had it.

    As a buyer I would prefer the car washed so the condition of the paint is clear too see. If it was stored under tarps would you leave it covered when selling it?

    I’m sure as a genuine barn find the seller must have lots of pictures of the car being extracted. Also a detailed history.

    Like 2
  16. Mountainwoodie

    Well ditto most of the comments.

    I really don’t understand the impulse to associate neglect and dirt with originality. Besides which, when you want this much money you ought to make the effort to make the car driveable and well presented.

    No one with 40 K to bust out on a car would blame the seller for making the car tidy and taking care of the brakes etc.

    Hell I did the same thing with my ’50 when it was only twenty years old, having sat in my grandfathers garage at least that long.

    I wouldn’t be able to resist.

    While I’m sure anyone who lists on Barn Finds has the purest of intentions, we’ll accept pictures “as found” and marvel at the present upgraded condition that any seller brings it to. Like wash the car, treat the leather, get it running.

    As said its value is in what condition it is as far as originality, not the provenance of the dust.

    Oh one other thing, clicking on the few photos often gives a 404 error. Jess saying

    Like 2
  17. bruce baker

    The last i knew, there is one of these beauties up in Tajunga Ca. not for sale. Parked under the old oak trees by the either Arden Accord or his late father. It had more black widows spiders than than cylinders, but was not froze up yet either.

  18. TimM

    40K for this car that would need a V8 transplant or a rebuild of the old motor to make a true driver out of it is just a ridiculous price to me!! The fact he never tried the top means it’s probably not going to work!! Along with 60+ year old top that will have to be custom made to replace it is just terrible!!!

  19. Bob McK Member

    With a bucket full of money and a couple thousand hours of work, she will be a beautiful driver. Sitting 33 years is one of the worse things you can do to a car.

    Like 1
  20. Larry Member

    I wasn’t the one that let her sit for 33 years, but I was the one that found her after she sat for 33 years. Since finding her, she is now in good running condition. Take it or leave it, my absolute bottom dollar on the car is $37,600!!!

    Like 3
    • Bob McK Member

      Well…. I hope you find a buyer, but if not you get the pleasure of owning a really fine automobile. Have you considered keeping it? You will never find another like this one.

  21. Larry Member

    For those of you that might have a slight interest in this car, I have lowered the price down to $37,600 firm!

  22. Larry Member

    Additional photos can be seen at http://collectorcars.fotki.com

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