Cars-On-Line.com considers the ’56 Packard Caribbean Convertible to be one of the Top 10 1950’s Classic Cars of all time. Packard called it their “Halo” car, the flagship model that represented everything Packard stood for during the classic ’50s era. With its dual hood scoops, dual synchronized power antennas, cut away wheel wells and all that gorgeous chrome, the ’56 Packard Carribean Convertible was one of the monumental achievments of Packard designer Dick Teague. Man, that’s when a car was a car. And the Packard Caribbean was the one that even Cadillac envied.
A fine example of a ’56 Packard Caribbean Convertible was listed in the Cars On Line.com Packard Section this week. It is being offered for sale by Shelton Classics in Mooresville, North Carolina. (Follow this link to see dozens of detailed photos from Shelton Classics.) Being one of only 276 1956 Packard Caribbean Convertibles makes it more rare than the ’55 Caribbeans. It was built in the last year of the Caribbean body style. It is well represented in the Caribbean’s unique tri-color livery, Dover White, Danube Blue and Roman Copper matched by a white power top and near flawless interior that still includes the reversible front seats.
The massive 374 ci V8 is fed by dual 4-barrel carburetors housed in the iconic Batwing air cleaner. The horsepower was rated at 310 by Packard. That was more than enough to drive the Twin Ultramatic transmission. Contrary to popular belief, pushbutton controls were optional on the Caribbean; this is one of the very few with a conventional column-mounted shifter. The options on this one include: power windows, power top, air conditioning, self-leveling suspension, power steering and chrome wire spoke wheels.
This was a big car.
Width: 78 in (1,981 mm)
Length: 218.5 in (5,550 mm)
Wheelbase: 127 in (3,226 mm)
All Packard models featured an innovative front and rear torsion bar suspension system with automatic leveling. It also had a live rear axle, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. One has to notice the deluxe “space age” dashboard, which was considered way ahead of its time.
The 1955 and 1956 Packards were the last proud signature cars produced by Packard, as the company ran into financial trouble and merged with Studebaker in its final days. These last great Packards are highly sought after by collectors today.
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