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Luxury Survivor: 1955 Packard Caribbean

There was a time when the Packard company was one of America’s premier car manufactures, but by the 1950’s the company’s image had begun to slip, so top brass decided the company needed a new Halo product. This need gave birth to the Packard Caribbean, which was one of the most luxurious American built convertibles one could buy. Production was very limited and only a handful of these cars remain today. This survivor spent most of its life in storage, but is now for sale here on eBay.

The Caribbean was only produced from 1953 to 1956, during which time only a few thousand were built. In ’55 Packard only built 500 of these beautiful cars. For the ’55 model year, Packard introduced many new features and made a variety of changes to the car. These cars were very luxurious and had one of the smoothest ride of any car built at that time. This particular car is in exceptional condition and is still very original, with mostly original paint, original interior, and original powertrain.

The Caribbean’s interior was very well appointed and made extensive use of leather. Being that this car was in storage from 1966 to 2003 and only has 22,000 miles, means the interior is in good condition. It has some issues here and there, but is still very nice. The only major issues we see are a few bad seams, but any decent upholsterer should be able to fix them.

The Caribbean was introduced in 1953 and was based on Packard’s Cavalier model and made use of the Cavalier’s 327 cui straight 8, which produced 180 hp. In ’55 Packard switched out the straight 8 for a 352 cui V8, which produced 275 hp. This improved performance and made the car a great driver’s car. The engine was mated to Packard’s Ultramatic transmission, which can be expensive to fix. Let’s hope all the mechanicals are still in good shape.

We think the Caribbean is a fantastic looking car, especially in this original three tone paint job. In the past few years they have really gone up in value and rarely do these come up for sale. This car would certainly turn some heads and we doubt you’d run into another one at your local car show. So is anyone up for some top down driving in this luxury sport convertible?


  1. Andy

    What a beautiful car

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  2. Jeff

    Nice! ;)

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  3. Skip Haworth

    A 1955 Packard Caribbean sold at Auctions America Auburn spring auction (May 2011) for

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    • P. M. Richey

      I bought a 55 Caribbean converible last spring that runs and looks decent for a bit less than that. The original owner is still alive and I promised it would be kept for viewing by the public. It had been stored in a garage for quite some time and thanks to mothballs and d-con it shows no rodent damage. I don’t have as price yet on the resoration. When finished it will be on loan to the ACD museum in Auburn Indiana. I hope they have better fire protection than they did a few years back.

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  4. mark

    Very nice clean well taken care of car. And rare.

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  5. David Barber

    Sweet ride. I had a 55 clipper it was a dream to drive…..

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  6. Dolphin Member

    Excellent presentation. All eBay listings should have photos as interesting as this. Almost artwork.

    Oh yes, the car……

    This car is pure American ’50s style, chrome, and saturated color-against-black-and-white. You could pay a modest price for this and be the only one with a Packard, let alone a Caribbean convertible, at most show-and-shines. You could go a lifetime before seeing another one coming down the road toward you.

    Sad to know that Packard, a great American carmaker for decades before this was made, went away not long after.

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  7. Bill Paulson

    As a teenager in 1955, this was my dream car. The three-tone paint was awesome (still is) and Packard finally had a V8. Counting my pennies, but there just aren’t enough for what this car will probably sell for. Original, yet. I’m dreaming again.

    1956 was the real last year of Packard. The subsequent Packardbakers just didn’t do it. In so many ways. You have to look at previous decades of magnificent automobiles to properly remember the Packard Motor Co.

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  8. Chris Benziger

    Simply stunning car. Thumbs up to the one that preserved her!

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  9. Charles

    Early Packards are the backbone of vintage cars. This is a great example!

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  10. J. Pickett

    Howard Hughes bought one for current wife Jean Peters, she didn’t like color so he stored it for rest of his ownership.

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