1956 Packard 400

Packard never gave up on innovation and imaginative design, even in 1956, the last year of production for the senior Packard. The Twin Ultramatic transmission took what many people believe to be Detroit's best automatic of the period and made it better with a selectable high performance mode. Even more innovative was the Torsion Level Ride system while linked the front and rear suspensions through long torsion bars, mechanically interacting to counteract body roll and reduce jounce and rebound. A small servo detected rear suspension load deflection and adjusted the rear torsion bars automatically to maintain rear ride height. It was impressively ingenious, much more durable than air suspension systems and relied on the standard frame and suspension so it could be offered as an option to standard steel springs. Both Torsion Level and pushbutton controlled Twin Ultramatic were standard on the 290 horsepower 374 cubic inch overhead valve V-8 powered full-size Packard Patrician sedan and 400 2-door hardtop. Despite their sophistication, Packard built only 3,224 of the 400 Hardtops such as this before production ended in Detroit in mid-August. 1956 Packards are known for their flamboyant paint schemes, nowhere better seen than in this dramatic coral and white livery with its coral, black and white vinyl upholstery and interior trim. Chrome wire wheels with wide whitewall bias ply tires, dual rear antennas, rear fender skirts, radio, heater and power steering complete its presentation. The paint and chrome are very nice; the interior is even better including retaining original trim where possible. The under hood presentation is very tidy, as is the trunk. It doesn't appear ever to have been allowed to deteriorate into a restoration project, but rather had its needs addressed as they arose. It has great presence on the road with loads of eyeball appeal and will be a stunning car for tours and cruises in the coming season.

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