Prepare to be astounded by the extraordinary tale of this 1955 Packard Caribbean, a stunning classic that has faced not one, but two heartbreaking restoration setbacks. However, hope still gleams for this exceptional vehicle, as it comes with an extensive parts inventory, containing everything needed to bring it back to its original splendor. With the value of Packard Caribbeans steadily rising, this car presents an ideal opportunity for a high-end restoration project. Recognizing the need for a dedicated enthusiast to fulfill its potential, the current owner has entrusted us at Barn Finds Auctions with the exclusive listing.
The production span of the Caribbean was short yet memorable, stretching from 1953 to 1956. Initially offered solely as a Convertible, a Hardtop variant joined the lineup in 1956. In 1955, only 400 Caribbeans were sold, and our featured car proudly bears the distinction of being the third one ever produced, as confirmed by its VIN. The original owner selected a breathtaking combination of White Jade, Zircon, and Sapphire, with most of the car still showcasing its original paint. While not flawless, a thorough wash and polish could make its current presentation acceptable. Prospective bidders face the enticing choice of preservation or embarking on a meticulous restoration journey, given the significant potential value of this rare gem.
The previous owners, unfortunately deceased, had started repairing the lower rear quarter panels, requiring minimal additional work before receiving a fresh coat of paint. Beyond the vast parts cache, the fortunate winning bidder will be delighted to discover that this classic is solid and free of rust, as confirmed by a recent appraisal. In the gallery below, you will find the appraisal, along with photos taken by the appraiser. The soft top may benefit from careful cleaning, although perfection-seeking buyers might opt for replacement. The owner has included an extensive collection of exterior hardware and trim, featuring freshly replated bumpers and grille, dress strips, a selection of wheels, and even a brand-new windshield still in its box. Remarkably, many of these parts are genuine Packard components, as showcased in a comprehensive set of photos provided.
In 1955, Packard simplified the decision-making process for Caribbean buyers by offering a single configuration. Under the hood, they would find the newly-introduced 352ci dual-quad V8 engine, capable of delivering 275hp and an impressive 355 ft/lbs of torque. Transmitting power to the rear wheels was the Twin-Ultramatic transmission. Weighing in at a substantial 4,930 lbs, the Caribbean prioritized luxury, yet its quarter-mile time of 18.1 seconds proved its ability to hold its own when pushed to the limit. While the mechanical condition of this car remains unknown, the appraisal confirms that it is no longer numbers-matching. Nevertheless, the engineering of a Packard drivetrain is no more complex than that of any other vehicle from the era, suggesting that potential rebuild tasks should be relatively straightforward.
The odometer reading of 87,917 miles is believed to be original, as per the appraiser’s assessment, considering the car has sat idle for decades. Once again, the included spare parts list for the mechanical components is staggering, encompassing brake parts, seals, gaskets, filters, and even a starter motor. To grasp the sheer magnitude of this collection, one must witness the sight of five pallets brimming with items, most of the larger pieces loose.
Despite the need for restoration, the interior of the Packard Caribbean remains intact, with the original tri-tone leather