St. John's

28 July 2012

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Lot 128

1955 Packard Caribbean Convertible

  • Chassis no. 55881335

Sold for $41,250

Series 5580. 275 hp, 352 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine with dual Rochester four-barrel carburetors, Twin Ultramatic automatic transmission, front and rear torsion bar suspension, and power-assisted four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 127"

• One of 500 examples from 1955

• Highly equipped, excellent driver with appealing patina

• An undisputed, landmark dream machine

It is truly ironic that by 1955, Packard was slipping into oblivion following its merger with Studebaker, just as its best postwar models debuted. All Packard models now featured an innovative front and rear torsion bar suspension system with automatic leveling, making the 1955 Packards some of the smoothest riding and best handling full-size cars of the era, reportedly forcing Chrysler back to the drawing board to rethink its own “Torsion-Aire” design. A pair of modern OHV V-8 engines also debuted, displacing 320- and 352-cubic inches with 225 and 275 hp, respectively. In addition, the Ultramatic automatic transmission was updated with a locking torque converter, offering the economy and performance of a manual unit.

Stylistically, the entire 1955 Packard model range was fresh and modern with crisp Dick Teague-penned lines. The Caribbean Convertible continued to head the Packard lineup with three-tone paint schemes, full leather interiors, a striking, ultra-deluxe dash layout, and a host of standard power amenities. Standard power for the Caribbean range was provided by the top 275 hp, 352 V-8 with dual four-barrel carburetors topped by the iconic “batwing” air cleaner. Priced from a near-astronomical $5,932, just 500 examples of these highly equipped and very stylish cars were produced for 1955, with another 539 following for 1956.

This “black plate” California car features a charming and irreplaceable patina of remarkable originality, and as offered, it represents an attractive and highly presentable example of this very rare model. With limited ownership from new, the car is now being offered from either its second or third owner. A set of period style whitewall tires, chrome-plated wire wheels, dual exhaust outlets, and synchronized dual radio antennae enhance the grand presence of this very fine Caribbean. In short, its offering presents bidders with an ideal opportunity to acquire one of Packard’s most sophisticated, highly collectible icons.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more