EXCLUSIVE: 1954 Packard Patrician

Seller Description: I purchased my Patrician in summer of 2009 while on a business trip to San Diego via a friend of a friend that was using it as his local daily driver until mid-2000. I have all the docs and receipts from the previous owner that go back to 1985 showing it to be a local car up to that point. I left it in San Diego at my friend’s barn until December 2014 when I had it trucked to New Jersey. I then put it in the garage and only reg/insured it in June 2015. I barely drove it and even then only around the neighborhood. I have about $11k in receipts over the time period from 89′ to present that includes an engine rebuild of the 359 cu inch straight 8. I only had the radiator recored ($900), rebuilt the power steering pump plus a high pressure hose and also installed a new mechanical fuel pump. I am selling because I just don’t have the time or ability to really go over it and make it a driver.

It is almost July and it remains under cover outside on 5″ of gravel after I lost storage in Jan. I put in the 6V battery and after some starter fluid it cranked over and ran well (no smoke even when rev’ed) and starts smoothly on the second turn of the starter afterwards. The power brake pedal has been mushy since January and there is a secondary power steering leak that maybe the rack?? The windows, seat, and wipers do not work as the previous owner told me the driver’s back window hydraulic cylinder leaked all the fluid from the system (see picture where it removed the paint).

The exhaust is fine and all the running lights, directionals, dash lights and horn work. I have some addition miscellaneous parts plus repair manuals. The paint has a nice shine and it a “15 footer” and the glass is not cracked. The trunk is very clean with matching blue carpet. The radio has been rebuilt but not installed and the power antenna works. Its a solid car in 3-4 condition that I believe with more skill-time than I posses could be good driver. I am a formal sedan/wagon guy and would like to buy something ready for cruising with the kids or just send it out to be worked on…but then that’s another summer lost.

Mark’s Packard looks to actually be in pretty good shape as it sits. I think with a couple weekends worth of work, you could have it back to daily driver status. You can find it in Long Valley, New Jersey and Mark is asking $6,400. If you’d love to give it a new home, be sure to message him via the form below.

Our thanks to Mark for listing his Packard with us! If you have a classic just taking us space in your garage, please consider list it right here on Barn Finds!

Asking Price: $6,400
Location: Long Valley, New Jersey
Mileage: 99780
VIN: 5492-3150
Title Status: Clean

Contact The Seller

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  1. DrinkinGasoline

    Seems like a reasonable asking price for a pretty car that doesn’t really need all that much to be an enjoyable boat excursion on the weekends. Unfortunately, my stable has way too many horses as it is (you know it’s over the top when the insurance agency and the BMV send you a greeting card on every holiday), otherwise i would be very serious about this one.
    Best of luck with the sale Mark ! :)

    • DrinkinGasoline

      As a side note Mark…I would hit those wide whites with some Wesley’s Bleche-Wite and a nylon bristle brush and treat the paint to some Wet Paint spray wax. Some 0000 steel wool on the chrome. Vacuum the interior then submit the “after pictures” to BF’s for an update to show how it cleans up well :)

      • Mark

        Thanks! Steel wool was an improvement!

      • Mark

        Agreed and my apologies for not prepping sooner. A nice NJ day and got it waxed.

  2. Paul

    What a beautiful car design. I hope it goes to a good home!

  3. nessy

    Wow, a 54 Patrician was the top of the line Packard and is a rare find. His price seems very fair. I have the exact same car but in green.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Sharp 54 Nessy ! I love the green.
      Any chance of more pictures ??

      • nessy

        Sure DrinkinGasoline. Here are a few more photos.

      • nessy

        A few more.

      • nessy

        Another. Alot of green on this car. The car is original and unrestored including the paint. It was my 90 year old uncle’s car.

      • nessy

        Here is a photo along with my 31 Packard.

    • Undertaker

      Hi, Nessy . . . I had an “Orchard Green” ’54 Patrician, with a white top, like yours. Unrestored, original, but my interior was much plainer, broadcloth, not the brocade. Your brocade interior is the nicest I’ve seen. Sold mine to a good friend about ten years ago, and he still enjoys it.

  4. Ed P

    The upholstery looks very appropriate for a high end luxury car of the time. I doubt it is original, but I like it.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      The upholstery “appears” to be original. If not, it’s a dead on replication of original with true craftsmanship. Average wear and tear doesn’t always sit with me as I have seen many a vehicle with high miles that were anally taken care of by the owner. If one could afford a Packard, it was most likely taken care of. Keep in mind that during this era, Ford, Dodge, Plymouth and Chevy were the blue collar vehicles…Packard was still considered “a cut above”. Packard competed with Cadillac for many a year.

      • nessy

        No, that blue car does not have the original upholstery. Look at my interior photos above to see what the original interior should look like. I have the original sales booklet and it does not show that pattern to be available. That looks like something that may have been redone in the late 60s/early 70’s.

      • BMW4RunninTundra

        If you look at the pic that has a piece of the mechanical history for the vehicle, there is a line that appears to say “interior replaced $1100”??? I might be wrong, but that’s what I think it says. Irregardless, quite the land yacht!! I can only imagine the way she rides, like floating down the road. It seems like the perfect deal for the entry level hobbyist. Most of the major ($) items have been addressed, sometimes multiple times, and just needs some minor mechanics and lots of elbow grease. The only “change” I would make, would be to pick the back end up off the ground and level it out. Beyond nit picking, just saying “if I were to buy it”!

      • Undertaker

        Reading the repair list, the car was re-upholstered in 1986. And being a car from San Diego, it was likely done in near-by Mexico, renowned for their excellent skills. The original brocade interior was more of a basketweave design. Nessy’s is an extremely rare example of the original. Hubba, hubba.

      • Mark

        Great comments and learning a lot. Here is the 1986 receipt for the work.

  5. Rodney

    Please, someone give this a proper home before it deteriorates any further. Makes me want to buy a pack of Parliments and smoke them all with my elbow hanging out the window….

  6. glenn

    wow that has a lot of resembelance to the 54 pontiacs

  7. Howard A Member

    Very nice car, today, but in 1954, not so much. Looking at it, there are many similarities to my 1950 Packard, especially under the hood. I think, Packard only went with this because the new ’55’s weren’t ready yet. ( Bill ?) The only people that bought these, were staunch Packard followers, and very few were won over, when just about every luxury car maker, had V8’s, and the flathead 8, while still one heck of a motor for almost 30 years, had fallen behind. Waaaay behind. Not sure, but I feel it was this car, that helped put another nail in Packard’s coffin. Today, as a classic, you can’t go wrong here. One note about the wide whites. Generally, I’m not a fan of them, but this car seemed to be designed with wide whites in mind. I can’t even find any images of these cars with blackwall tires. Still, Packard quality all the way.

    • Ed P

      I agree that the flathead 8 was an impediment to sales by 1954. Packard was slow to get one to the sales floors, and the 1955 v8 had plenty of teething problems. When word got around about the problems with the v8, and other things, sales tanked. The ’55 Packards were not introduced in the fall of 1954 as was the custom. The new Packards did not hit showrooms until January of 1955 due to production problems. The late introduction cost Packard plenty of sales. Had the v8 and the new Ultramatic been successful maybe Packard would have turned things around, but disaster struck. The cars were poorly assembled and the engine and transmission gave buyers a sour opinion of the new cars.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Howard & Ed: Sorry for taking a while to read & reply, I was at the Packard Club National meet in South Bend, Indiana, and on returning I did what I’ve been doing on the first week of July for 30 years; Commercial grade fireworks!

        You are both correct that the 55th series cars were delayed, this was due to a combination of things. Studebaker-Packard’s new president; J.J. Nance had rushed the new ’55 cars into production with major changes, including the new V8 engine, a revised Twin Ultramatic transmission, and the incredible Bill Allison-designed interconnected torsion bar suspension for all 4 wheels [with additional bars to automatically level the car]

        Then with very little warning, the Briggs Body company, producers of ALL the post war Packards except for the commercial cars, was sold to Chrysler, and Packard was left without a body assembly line. The company had less than a year to buy a huge building and create an all new assembly line for body manufacturing. This plant was also a ways away from the main plant, and was known as the Connor Avenue plant.

        Without the needed time frame to prefect the new body assembly facility, the cars suffered from fit and finish issues. The Ultramatic problems didn’t show up until well after the warranty was up [and the Detroit plant shuttered], but those expensive transmission overhaul problems marked the ’55 & ’56 Packards as trouble prone. Then a big recall came in 1956 when the new limited-slip rear axle, made by Dana Corp, had problems with the axle shaft ends. The big surprise was the Allison suspension, it was very reliable, and unlike many new and complicated suspension systems, these were quite good. The one serious problem was some of the ’56 torsion bars supplied by a sub-contractor were not made to spec, and tended to sag after a few years.

        By then, the decision had been made to shift operations to South Bend. Packard experts tend to agree that had the company had about 2 years more time to work the bugs out of the new ’55 cars prior to introduction, they would have been spectacular.

        One of the best show cars to hit the 1956 new car auto show circuit was the Packard Predictor, it had standing room only crowds around it at every show. Had Packard been able to obtain financing, the 1957 Packard line would have looked a lot like the Predictor.

        I’m including a Photograph of the actual Packard Predictor. It’s on permanent display at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana. [That’s me in the driver’s seat]

  8. Ken Carney

    My Uncle Lyle had a ’51 that he and my grandmotner drove to and
    from Florida in the 1950’s when they had a winter home in Hialiah.
    We always knew when Grandma was going South when Uncle Lyle
    took the Packard to the dealership in Bloomington to get it completely
    serviced before their trip each year. His was a deep Maroon with a
    Tan interior with those big gangster whitewall tires. They would drive
    from Bloomington to Tampa where they spent the night while the car
    was getting serviced. They drove across central Florida (Where I now
    live) to Orlando, where the car was gone over again before heading to
    Hialiah. The reason they did this was because no one in Polk County
    had ever seen a Packard before! There were no mechanics here that
    knew how to service such a vehicle! I can still recall riding in the back
    seat of that car as a small child. The ride was cloud-like and the engine
    was silky smooth and quiet. I recall the day Grandma sold the car after
    Uncle Lyle had passed away. The owner of the local Standard station
    bought the car and kept it ’til he himself passed on in the early ’80’s.
    Seeing that story brought back a lot of fond memories for me. Great
    post…really liked it

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