Packard's long history as one of America's premier automakers reached the end in 1956, the last year of production for the senior Packards. It was a convoluted ending, involving Curtiss-Wright, Mercedes-Benz and Studebaker. The Packard star that shone most brightly during this difficult period was the Caribbean, a limited production 2-door hardtop and convertible that boasted a 374 cubic inch 310 horsepower version of Packard's excellent overhead valve V-8 engine with dual four-barrel carburetors, Packard's equally excellent Ultramatic automatic transmission and the innovative Torsion-Level suspension. Packard built only 539 Caribbean’s in 1956 with convertibles slightly outnumbering hardtops, 276 to 263. This 1956 Packard Caribbean is one of those few hardtops, a reminder of how great Packard had been, and still was in 1956 even if mortally wounded. It is finished in Dover White with Packard's tri-tone paint scheme of Scottish Heather and Maltese Gray in the body side accent strip and lower border respectively. The interior features the Caribbean's reversible seat cushions, grey leather on one side and highly textured grey cloth on the other and it has a white vinyl covered hardtop. It is a beautifully and thoroughly restored car with rare optional chrome wire wheels with Packard center caps and the Ultramatic transmission as well as radio, heater and power brakes. Paint and chrome are gorgeous, the dash sparkles and the engine compartment is impressively detailed. The restoration while done some time ago has aged extremely well and is still a particularly sharp and impressive car that can be proudly shown. Even as the end was drawing near Packard built excellent, high quality cars. This 1956 Packard Caribbean hardtop is ample evidence of that.
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