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1953 Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible / 2678 Vehicle Information

1953 Packard Caribbean photograph

1953 Packard Caribbean photograph

1953 Packard Caribbean photograph

1953 Packard Caribbean1953 Packard Caribbean1953 Packard Caribbean
Sold for $74,250 at 2012 RM-Automobiles of Arizona.
Sold for $63,800 at 2021 Gooding & Co : May : Geared Online.
From its earliest beginnings right around the turn of the 20th century, Packard-built vehicles would be perceived as luxurious and plush, meant for the upper-class of society. And while the company would feature some fantastic roadsters and runabouts, it would still be considered one of the three 'P's' of American Motordom royalty along with Peerless and Pierce-Arrow. However, after World War II, the world would change and Packard would find itself in some rather unusual company needing to change, or die.

After decades of being considered one of the most lavish and opulent of America's automotive industry, Packard would find itself in trouble, holding on for dear life in a nation that had almost changed overnight.

World War II had changed the landscape of the United States and most of the world. Living life would be mantra heading into the 1950s. The world had just come out of a long, dark depression of destruction and death and it wanted to start enjoying life all over again. This meant excitement, adventure and generally having fun. Packard did not represent fun. It represented stuffed-shirts and a luxury that screamed 'don't touch!'

Roles would change after World War II. While before the war the millionaire may have been pleased to be chauffeured around. After the war, the mood would change. Millionaires were more likely to want to drive the car than let the chauffeur have all the fun. In reality, what was happening is that the common man was abandoning companies it could afford and went looking for more expensive models. However, their style of driving, and intentions, would be anything upper-class.

In reality, Packard needed to change. It needed to let loose and mingle amongst the common folk. But it had had so many decades of mingling amongst the apparent elites of society that it really didn't know how to change, but it was quickly going to become expendable if the company didn't do anything. Admittedly, the company needed a 'halo' car.

The halo effect is an assumption, or bias, based upon perception of certain traits. Very simply, the halo effect could be best described using the example of something physically attractive being perceived as being better, more desirous, but is based on nothing more than a perceived notion. And Packard's halo effect on the public would be its Caribbean Convertible.

In 1953, Packard would introduce its Caribbean. In 1952, Packard would produce its Pan-American concept car and it would be on display at the 1952 New York International Motor Sports Show. Though not entirely, this concept car would serve as some foundation for the Caribbean. The Caribbean would be part of the Cavalier line from Packard which had a price tag that would be considered mid-range. However, with Mitchell-Bentley providing the convertible bodies, the Caribbean would be notably different than the Cavalier.

The focus of the Caribbean was on producing a more sporty car. Therefore, the car would lack a good amount of trim and other brightwork, especially on the side of the car. The car would show a little emotion with its full-wheel cut-outs and rocker panels trimmed in chrome. This would help give the car a more modern feel with a little edge and sportiness. The car would certainly be a stunner and it seemed the halo effect would work.

It seemed Packard had gotten it right. It had the luxurious amenities of beautifully trimmed chrome, wire wheels, plush leather interior and a continental kit that made it truly one of the company's best. It even looked sporty with a faux hood scoop. But old habits die hard and the old side of Packard would come back and would ruin the party.

Packard enjoyed sales that exceeded Cadillac and Oldsmobile. But in 1954, the safe and stuffy tradition of Packard would come creeping back into the car's design. The wheel cut-outs would be flattened on the following year's design and chrome would come back in abundance taking away the sporty edge the car initially had. This would be further demonstrated by the fact a hardtop model of the car would also be made available, but the vast majority that would be sold would actually be the convertible. This 'numbing' of the design would lead to sales dropping significantly and further causing the hemorrhaging to continue.

The final act would come with a merger with Studebaker in 1956. Packard had released an updated model of the Caribbean in 1955. The updates would be extensive and promising, but the company was out of time. This would lead to a merger with Studebaker in 1955 and 1956. The merger, and Studebaker itself, would cause the process of developing a new model of the Caribbean to slow almost to a halt. The company would decide rather late to produce an evolution of the Caribbean, but it would come out swinging with a 374 cu. in. V-8 that produced over 300 horsepower. As it was, Packard didn't necessarily come out swinging. It was going down swinging. While perhaps the best of the Caribbean model, the 1956 edition would come too late to help save the company. And in the end, the public would see through the expected halo effect and would see Packard for what it was.

In January of 2012, at the RM Auction in Arizona, a 1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible would be made available for sale. Chassis number 2678 would have a mysterious early life. However, it would be one of the rare examples of the Caribbean Convertible in that it came with special-order black paint that elegantly finished the car and gave a striking contrast to the chrome. To match, the interior would include black and white leather upholstery. Powered by a 327 cu. in. 180 hp inline eight-cylinder, this particular model of the Caribbean Convertible beautifully demonstrates the halo effect Packard was going for with its sporty convertible.

Chassis 2678 had, at one time, been owned by the Packard specialist Tom Crook. Since 2003, the car has been part of Karl Blade's collection. An older previous restoration to the car had been completed some time in its past, but in 2006, Al Prueitt and Sons would give the car a thorough touch up. During that time the car would be disassembled and entirely stripped of its finish. The car would then be completely refinished. In addition to the finish, new window glass would be installed. The chrome would be re-plated and new radial tires would be fitted.

These restored elements would go well with the power options already on the car which included hydraulic windows, hydraulic seat and top and power steering and brakes. Once the transmission and the engine would be entirely rebuilt the restoration work would be done, and at a cost of more than $102,000.

The car would be shown at the Packards International National Meet in 2007 and would earn a perfect score and an award for Best Paint and Best in Class in Postwar—Open. The car would also receive the Packards International Circle of Excellence certificate, what many consider to be a coveted achievement to earn.

Expected to earn between $100,000 and $125,000, this certainly would be one of the 'halo' Packard Caribbean Convertibles that wouldn't just cause one to perceive why the 1953 model of the Packard Caribbean Convertible was so popular. The car would provide the evidence needed to support the assumption.

Sources:
'Feature Lots: Lot No. 203: 1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ12&CarID=r136&fc=0). RM Auction. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ12&CarID=r136&fc=0. Retrieved 6 January 2012.

'Collectible Classic: 1953-1956 Packard Caribbean', (http://www.automobilemag.com/features/collectible_classic/0802_1953-1956_packard_caribbean/index.html). Automobile. http://www.automobilemag.com/features/collectible_classic/0802_1953-1956_packard_caribbean/index.html. Retrieved 6 January 2012.

'1956 Packard Caribbean', (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1956-packard-caribbean.htm). Demystifying the World. http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1956-packard-caribbean.htm. Retrieved 6 January 2012.

Wikipedia contributors, 'Packard', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 December 2011, 05:54 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Packard&oldid=468488808 accessed 6 January 2012

Wikipedia contributors, 'Packard Caribbean', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 December 2011, 22:39 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Packard_Caribbean&oldid=466069274 accessed 6 January 2012

Wikipedia contributors, 'Halo effect', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 1 January 2012, 22:39 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Halo_effect&oldid=469010880 accessed 6 January 2012

Wikipedia contributors, 'Packard Cavalier', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 4 December 2011, 23:33 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Packard_Cavalier&oldid=464121188 accessed 6 January 2012

By Jeremy McMullen



2021 Gooding & Co : May : Geared Online

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $80,000-USD $100,000 
Sale Price :
USD $63,800

2012 RM-Automobiles of Arizona

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $100,000-USD $125,000 
Sale Price :
USD $74,250

1953 Packard Caribbean Auction Sales

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1953 sales)
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible
Chassis#: 2678-2436
Sold for USD$34,100
  2021 RM Auctions : Auburn Fall
 
1953 PACKARD CARIBBEAN CONVERTIBLE
Chassis#: 2678
Sold for USD$63,800
  2021 Gooding & Co : May : Geared Online
1953 Packard Caribbean image  
1953 PACKARD CARIBBEAN CONVERTIBLE
Chassis#: 26782583
Sold for USD$44,000
  2020 Barrett-Jackson : Scottsdale, AZ
 
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible
Sold for USD$96,800
  2020 Mecum Auctions : Kissimmee
 
1953 Packard Caribbean
Chassis#: 2678-2583
Sold for USD$52,640
  2019 RM Sothebys : The Guyton Collection
 
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible
Sold for USD$49,500
  2019 Mecum : Kissimmee
 
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible
Sold for USD$40,700
  2018 Mecum : 2018 Chicago
 
1953 Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible
Chassis#: L600204
Sold for USD$112,200
  2018 Worldwide Auctioneers : Scottsdale
 
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible
Sold for USD$46,750
  2018 Mecum : Kissimmee
 
1953 PACKARD CARIBBEAN CONVERTIBLE
Chassis#: 26782688
Sold for USD$51,000
  2017 Premier Auction Group
 
1953 Packard Caribbean
Sold for USD$65,000
  2017 Leake Auction : Dallas Fall
 
1953 Packard Carribean
Sold for USD$55,000
  2017 Carlisle Auctions : Fall Carlisle
 
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible
Sold for USD$36,300
  2017 Auctions America : Auburn Fall
 
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible
Chassis#: L415994
Sold for USD$51,700
  2017 The Auburn Auction : Worldwide Auctioneers
 
1953 Packard Convertible
Sold for USD$55,000
  2017 Russo & Steele : Monterey
 
1953 Packard Caribbean Cabriolet
Chassis#: L410304
Sold for USD$59,350
  2017 Artcurial : Retromobile
 
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible
Sold for USD$102,500
  2017 Mecum : Kissimmee
 
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible
Sold for USD$36,300
  2016 Auctions America : Santa Monica
 
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible
Sold for USD$79,200
  2016 Auctions America : Fort Lauderdale
 
1953 PACKARD CARIBBEAN
Sold for USD$58,500
  2015 Leake Auction - Dallas
 

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1953 Packard Caribbean's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1953 Packard CaribbeanL4119582020 RM Sothebys : Palm Beach Online $70,000$75,000
1953 Packard Caribbean Custom ConvertibleL4115512020 Bonhams : Amelia Island Concours $65,000$80,000
1953 Packard Caribbean 2019 Fall Carlisle Auction   
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible 2018 Mecum : Indianapolis$55,000  
1953 PACKARD CARIBBEAN CONVERTIBLE267826882018 Premier Auction Group$70,000  
1953 PACKARD CARIBBEAN CONVERTIBLE267822262017 Premier Auction Group$45,000  
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible 2017 Auctions America : Auburn Spring $100,000$110,000
1953 Packard Caribbean 2017 Branson Collector Car Auction$44,000  
1953 PACKARD CARIBBEAN CONVERTIBLE 2015 Mecum Dallas$60,000  
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible 2015 Leake Auction Tulsa, OK$69,000  
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible 2015 Mecum : Kissimmee$100,000  
1953 Packard Carribean 2014 Leake Auction : Tulsa   
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible 2014 Mecum : Indianapolis$62,000  
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible 2013 Auctions America Auburn Spring$29,000  
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible2678-20612012 Bonhams Quail Lodge Sale $95,000$110,000
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible 2012 Leake Auctions Tulsa$75,000  
1953 Packard Carribean Convertible 2011 Dana Mecum's Original Spring Classic Auction 24th Year$72,000  
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible 2011 Leake Auction, San Antonio, Texas$62,500  
1953 Packard Caribbean ConvertibleL 4103042011 Bonhams Automobilia, Motos de collection et Automobiles d'exception au Grand Palais $80,000$120,000
1953 Packard Carribean Custom Convertible267824942010 FAIRFIELD COUNTY CONCOURS D'ELEGANCE, EXCEPTIONAL COLLECTORS' MOTORCARS AND AUTOMOBILIA $90,000$110,000
1953 Packard Carribean 2010 Branson Auctions September 2010$67,000  
1953 Packard Caribbean Two Door Convertible 2010 Leake Auctions Tulsa, Oklahoma$69,000  
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible 2010 RM Auctions Collector Cars of Fort Lauderdale$55,000$80,000$100,000
1953 Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible 2009 Leake Auctions Tulsa 37th Annual Leake Auto Auction QuikTrip Center$73,000  
1953 Packard Caribbean 2009 The Scottsdale Auction : Gooding & Company $120,000$150,000
1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible 2008 Mecum High Performance Auction at Kissimmee, FL$70,000  
1953 PACKARD CARIBBEAN 2007 Silver Auction Arizona in January$80,000  
1953 PACKARD CARRIBEAN CONVERTIBLE 2003 Kruse Auction Gonzales, LA$52,000  

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Packard Caribbean Vehicle Profiles
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Model Year: 1953
Profile
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Model Year: 1953
Profile
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Model Year: 1953
Profile

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Model Year: 1953
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Model Year: 1953
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Model Year: 1953
Profile

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Model Year: 1953
Profile
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Chassis Num: 2678
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Chassis Num: 2678-2061
Engine Num: L405945
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Chassis Num: 26782406
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Chassis Num: 26782494
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Chassis Num: 26782691
Model Year: 1953

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Chassis Num: L411551
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Coachbuilder: Mitchell-Bentley
Chassis Num: L415743
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1954
Profile

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1954
Profile
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1954
Profile
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1954
Profile

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1954
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1954
Profile
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1954
Profile

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Chassis Num: 5478-2145
Model Year: 1954
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Chassis Num: 54782393
Model Year: 1954
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1955
Profile

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Chassis Num: 5588-1033
Model Year: 1955
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Chassis Num: 5588-1220
Model Year: 1955
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Chassis Num: 5588-1269
Model Year: 1955
Profile and Auction History

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Chassis Num: 5588-1341
Model Year: 1955
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Chassis Num: 55881163
Model Year: 1955
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Chassis Num: 55881258
Model Year: 1955
Profile and Auction History

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Chassis Num: 55881335
Model Year: 1955
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Chassis Num: 55881437
Model Year: 1955
Profile and Auction History
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1956
Profile

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1956
Profile
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1956
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1956

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1956
Profile
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1956
Profile
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1956
Profile

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1956
Profile
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1956
Profile
Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Model Year: 1956
Profile

Custom Hardtop Coupe
Packard Caribbean Custom Hardtop Coupe

Model Year: 1956
Custom Hardtop Coupe
Packard Caribbean Custom Hardtop Coupe

Model Year: 1956
Profile
Custom Hardtop Coupe
Packard Caribbean Custom Hardtop Coupe

Chassis Num: 56971154
Model Year: 1956

Custom Convertible
Packard Caribbean Custom Convertible

Chassis Num: 56991056
Model Year: 1956


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