1956 Packard Caribbean Converible

Packard unveiled the Caribbean Convertible in 1953, a lavish sports model inspired by the ‘Pan American’ show cars of the previous year, aiming to compete with Cadillac’s Eldorado. With only 750 crafted in 1953 and 400 in 1954, this exclusive vehicle boasted a 122″-wheelbase chassis and independent front suspension. Its power came from a 327ci straight-eight engine, delivering 180bhp through a three-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels.

In 1955, Packard showcased its vision for a modern, V8-powered car with the redesigned Caribbean, signaling a direct challenge to Cadillac. Equipped with a substantial 352-374-cubic-inch V8 engine, generating 275-310 horsepower, it featured dual four-barrel carburetors and the innovative Torsion-Level rear suspension, setting it apart from its rivals.

Priced at nearly $6,000, the Caribbean came with luxurious amenities such as Ultramatic automatic transmission, power windows, and a Wonderbar radio. Design accents highlighted its V8 power, while distinctive cathedral-style taillights added to its allure. The 1956 model, with only 276 convertibles produced, marked the end of the Caribbean’s limited production. Following the ’56 model year, Packard ceased operations in Detroit, signaling the end of an era for the prestigious American brand, although Studebakers with Packard branding would continue for two more years.

Source: Bonhams