Suave Senior Sedan: 1955 Packard Patrician

This gorgeous, suave sedan is a 1955 Packard Patrician, a car that begs the next owner to never wear short pants and a t-shirt while driving it. This is a suit car, maybe even a suit and hat car. And, with AC you won’t have the excuse of being too hot. This formal car is on eBay with a current bid price of $7,300 and a Buy It Now of $9,750. This is one nice car, I would not let someone else get it for that difference in price if I were bidding.

Good grief, what a beautiful car. There is not one feature on this car that I would add or take away. It’s loaded and with only 22,831 miles, is also in amazing condition for being over six decades old. Black, white, and silver is a perfect combination for such a formal car. How about those exhaust tips in the bumper? We’ve seen those before on Packards and other makes, but it’s a nice detail.

How is there not a Packard Motor Car Company now? This car is so perfect, at least to my eyes, and only 9,127 Patricians were made in 1955, all of them four-door sedans. This was the first year of a new design for Packard’s senior line of cars. It’s hard for me to believe that by 1958 there was no more Packard after producing such a gorgeous car as this just two or three years prior to that. I can picture this car at dusk, parked in front of the fanciest restaurant in town, right after a rain so the street is shiny, and the valet team is arguing over who gets to drive this one.

Here’s what they would see, wow! I wouldn’t have expected to see such a bright interior color in this car. And, although it has less than 23,000 miles on it, the seats appear to have been redone in a velour material, I’m sure they’re comfortable but I would want to scrimp and save to have them reupholstered in an original pattern and style, and also have that cracked driver’s window fixed. Look at that legroom in the back seat! Power windows and front seat are a nice touch for such a luxurious car. The 1955 Patrician had Packard’s new “Torsion-Level Ride“, with “torsion bars front and rear, along with an electric control that kept the car level regardless of load or road conditions.” A pretty handy system when loading up that huge trunk.

Also new was Packard’s modern 352 cubic-inch overhead-valve V8 with a four-barrel carburetor and 260 hp. This one could use some detailing but if you’re not worried about such things just keep it maintained and drive this one. Speaking of driving, there is no mention of how it drives and works, in general, but I would hope that everything works as well as it looks. Are you a fan of these mid-50s Packards or are you a staunch Cadillac or Lincoln fan?


  1. Kris

    Oh, my god. A fantastic car, so much better than a “tri-five” Chevy, but at a car show you’d keep the great unwashed wondering what kind of GM it was. Utterly terrific and that price is a giveaway. What new car could you buy today that would have half, hell even a quarter, of this car’s stately presence? Packard… ask the man who owns one!

    Like 1
  2. Mike

    The more I see them on this site. The more I want one….

    Is this normal?

    Like 1
  3. Howard A Member

    Somebody gonna flip this and add a number to the price. I just wish I knew the stories on these cars. Got to be one. The car that should have saved Packard. I highly doubt this car will see a permanent owner any time soon. Shame, someone, regardless of the price, will be getting quite a car, btw, that slogan would never fly today,,,,Ask the PERSON that owns one,,,,,

    Like 1
    • Ed P

      Briggs Manufacturing, having been bought by Chrysler refused to continue building bodies for Packard after the ’54 models. Packard leased the former Briggs plant on Conner Av., and expanded it for final assembly. They did not get into production until Dec 1954 and the cars did not get to the dealers until Jan 1955. The hasty setup of the new plant was full of production problems that made it into sold cars. The new v8 and Ultramatic proved to be problematic. As Studebaker drained the company of cash, there was little left to make corrections. The publics perception of the ’56 cars did the rest.

  4. Ed P

    Such a beautiful car needs a good home. It is a shame that Packard production was so fraught with problems in ’55. It tainted the car in a way that Packard never recovered from. If these cars had maintained Packard’s reputation for excellence, they might still be around.

    • Eric 10Cars

      I think that’s right, Ed. I don’t think that they were very reliable. They were also around 5K pounds. When I was a young teen, Bill Chilemi’s garage (my parents’ preferred place) in Croton had one that sat there for months and months. I used to sit in it and fantasize about getting it running and driving it. Transmission was the issue and parts hard to get at that time, as I recall. City folk called that ‘upstate’, but those of us living in that area knew what ‘upstate’ really was…Beacon, Poughkeepsie :-)

  5. Luke Fitzgerald

    Doubt the low mileage without seeing it – would have liked to see the interior before the tart up – engine bay is problematic for the super low claim – maybe – orphan for sure, and the BIN is probably all its money (for now)

  6. hemicars

    Hi, I own the twin to this car only in dark grey with 12,377 original miles. FYI, that is the original interior in the car listed on eBay. It matches mine perfectly. I bought my Packard last October from a 91 year old friend who bought it from the original elderly female owner in 1965. Her name is still written on the inside of the wide whites snow tires that are on the car. After the 1965 purchase my friend drove the car to his home, put it on blocks in his storage building with a concrete floor and that is where it sat for the next 51 years. I didn’t need the car, but couldn’t pass on such an original example of a classic. It’s now in my shop on the hoist where I’ve tinkered with it in between other projects. According to the service stickers on the inside of the driver’s door the original owner changed oil every 500 miles and it has new looking oil in it now. I have not attempted to start it, but everything electrical works including the windows and antenna so I don’t think it will take much to have it running. When I drained the fuel tank the gasoline smelled old, but not rotten, so I poured some on the ground and put a match to it. It burned better than today’s gas fresh from the pump. There’s a lot to say about that old leaded gas of yesteryear. I’ll have the car road worthy by spring and then decide what I want to do with it.

    • Richard V

      Keep and enjoy it!

      Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      wow!!! Love the stories. I bought my ’50 Packard from the widow of the original owner too. Her husband parked it ( with 41K miles) in 1959, when he refused to pay more than .25 cents for a gallon of gas, and it sat in their back yard on blocks for 21 years.

      Like 1
  7. hemicars

    Ok, I need to retract on my earlier interior comment. The one listed on eBay has been redone, but the insert material looks the same, just more of it than the original. Also what appears to be vinyl for the other parts of the seats should be a cloth type material. I only focused on the insert material and not the rest of it when I posted the comment. I walked over to the car to verify and realized I made a mistake. As for the engine bay, mine looks much the same as the one on eBay. I’m guessing they used poor engine paint as most of mine is also gone.

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Having owned over a dozen ’55 Patricians over the last 45 years, and also servicing them in my shop, I can tell you that I’m pretty sure that interior is original to the car. There are 2 basic versions of the interiors, the early ones that look like the 1954 Patrician patterns [not the materials, but the sewing & seat panel patterns], and the later versions with the bolster around the seat base cushion, and the center “insert” panel. This is the earlier version. The Matlasse’ fabric [Packard’s name for the upholstery material] for these cars held up very well, and part of that was a metallic thread running thru the entire material. In addition to the 2 versions, the cars could be ordered in all Matlasse’, a combination of wool broadcloth outer bolster & Matlasse’ inserts, and all broadcloth. The combo versions are the most common.

      Like 1
      • Scotty Staff

        That is excellent information, Bill. Thanks much!

  8. Chebby

    That is a lot of cool for chump change!

    Like 1
  9. Brad C

    Been for sale on Craigslist for months…. I noticed it back in July or so.
    Odd that it hasn’t found a loving home yet, as I agree it seems like a lot of car for the price, and with relatively few apologies.

    Like 1
  10. Rustytech Member

    Slow sale do to the old adage “too many doors”. I don’t agree with it, but it is what it is. There are four of these sitting on an old dealers lot about 2 miles from me, three are four doors, and one is a 2 door http. They are rough but restorable, but I doubt the for doors are worth saving if this is all you can get for one as nice as this. What a shame!

  11. Scotty Staff

    Auction update: this Packard was a no-sale at $8,500.

  12. Tim

    Doggone! if I only had $8500!

  13. Morgan

    Judging by the look of the interior, the original color combination of this car was tourmaline and jade and then the exterior was painted black and white at some later date. I myself prefer the slightly altered design of the ’56 Packard Patrician and 400 Hard Top.

    Like 1

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