30 July 2011
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible
To be auctioned on Saturday, July 30, 2011
Sold for $93,500
- Chassis no. 26782691
- One of only 750 built by the factory for 1953
- Finished in the desirable Polaris Blue color combination
- Superb restoration that requires nothing to be enjoyed
The true bright spot for Packard enthusiasts in 1953 was the debut of the Caribbean two-door convertible – a factory custom that showed how much influence car modifiers in California were having on the Detroit automakers. Based on the mid-level Cavalier, the Caribbean featured a rounded rear wheel opening (in sharp contrast to the hidden-rear-tire trend of the times), chrome-plated wire wheels, a wide hood scoop, leather interior, horizontal taillights, fishtail rear fender treatment, chrome lids over all four wheel openings, continental tire kit and the Cavalier’s 180 hp, 327 ci straight-eight engine with four-barrel carburetion. Its convertible top was actuated by hydraulics.
The Caribbean brought to production several styling elements first seen at the New York Auto Show in March 1952 on the Packard Pan American – a one-off two-seater dreamed up by Packard president Hugh Ferry and Henney Body Co.’s Richard Arbib.
Mitchell-Bentley Corp. of Ionia, Michigan built the 750 Caribbeans, which could be ordered in Polaris Blue, Gulf Green Metallic, Matador Maroon Metallic or Sahara Sand. At $5,210 each, the Caribbean was the most expensive of the non-Patrician Packards for 1953.
This Polaris Blue Caribbean Convertible was formerly owned by noted Georgia collector Mr. Milton Robson, who acquired the car in restored condition with 44,000 miles on the odometer. Even with his extensive collection of valuable cars, he considered this one the best driving example. The Packard has since been acquired by another esteemed collection, where additional improvements were made. The car now has new Daytona weave rugs as well as correct whitewall Firestone tires. Other services include work to the fuel tank along with re-plating of the chrome. The interior is in excellent condition, particularly the seats, as the upholstery has been very well fitted and the seat patterns are straight. All of the interior chrome is superior, the dash assembly was professionally assembled, the carpeting is excellent, and workmanship is professional throughout. The underbody was completely undercoated, and the engine bay was fully restored as well. A beautifully presented restoration, this 1957 Caribbean Convertible requires nothing to be driven, enjoyed and displayed.
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