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classic

1955 PACKARD CARIBBEAN CONVERTIBLE

The three-tone paint styling that we see on this 1955 Packard Caribbean Convertible is something that was quite unique to the senior Packard line-up.

The Caribbean, around since 1953 and elevated to senior Packard status in 1954 was a flagship model. It was only available as a convertible until its final year in 1956 when a coupe was added.

1955 saw a restyle but because of cost limitations they still used the same body shells that had been in use since 1951. There was a new wraparound windshield and clever use of new trim and slight modifications such as headlights and taillights, it was hard to spot what they had done. Major credit has to go to the Packard designer Richard Teague for an amazing transformation.

rear view of a very nice 55 Packard Caribbean


Sitting at the top-of-the-line the Caribbean had a whole host of standard features that were optional extras of other cars in the Packard line-up.

The heater was standard. We take that for granted now but it was an $80 option in other Packards. Other features that came standard included: Radio with antenna, 4-way power front seat, power windows, power steering, power brakes, fender skirts and full wheel covers and a full leather interior.

Interior shot of a 1955 Packard Caribbean Convertible

Packard were now finally using V8 engine starting at 320 cubic inches. The Caribbean enjoyed the benefits of the larger 352 cubic inch displacement engine with the most powerful option using dual 4-barrel carburetors. This produced 275 horsepower and came with an Ultramatic Drive automatic transmission as standard, although a 3-speed manual was available as a special order.

1955 Packard 352 V8

Also new for 1955 was Packard’s Torsion Ride self-leveling suspension, something that made Chrysler sit up and take notice as it proved to be exceptionally smooth and something to rival their ownTorsion-Aire.

The Caribbean is 218.5″ long with a wheelbase of 127″ and is 78″ wide.

Packard produced just 500 of these Caribbean Convertibles for the 1955 model year at a base price of $5,932.  This was an expensive car in its day. A Series 62 Cadillac Convertible the same year would have cost around $1,500 less! But make no mistake these were classy cars with Packard producing some lovely cars in the mid fifties. It was such a shame that they were to last just three more years.

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classic

Licensed Eleanor Tribute Headed To Mecum Auction

In terms of performance, Ford has truly made waves with the latest iterations of the Mustang, especially the hardcore GT350 and GT500 Shelby variants. But there’s still something about the original Shelby Mustangs that clearly captivates gearheads, as proven by the recent auction of Ken Miles’ famous prototype racecar that fetched $3.85 million in July 2020. Ford Mustang and Shelby Mustang owners must be loving all these headlines, hoping that their cars are now creeping up further in value, which translates to the expectation that even more awesome examples will probably hit the market soon. And now, Mecum Auctions has followed up on the “Flying Mustang” with the listing of a 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback that’s received an extensive restoration to transform it into a licensed tribute of the famous “Eleanor” movie car from the Nicolas Cage remake of Gone in 60 Seconds.


Eleanor might very well be the second-most famous movie Mustang of all time, following Steve McQueen’s green car in Bullitt, which had previously held the world record for most valuable auction before Ken Miles’ car shot into the stratosphere. While this Eleanor recreation likely won’t get anywhere near the level of those two Mustangs, it looks certain to command some serious dough thanks to a frame-off build that cost an estimated $200,000.

Of course, fans of the Nicolas Cage film will remember the famous “Go Baby Go” button that activates a NOS system to help him blast away from a helicopter in the Los Angeles River’s concrete channel. This car does feature a nitrous system, to go along with a 427ci V8 and a five-speed stick shift. The interior and body kit were both built by Mustangs To Fear, while coilovers come courtesy of Rod and Custom, with a Heidts four-link setup at the rear. Wilwood braking all around will help slow Eleanor down, even if bidding is likely to be fast and furious.

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classic

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1969

The original Camaro ZL1 was a model that debuted in 1969 and sold through just a few selected dealerships. It was basically a backdoor model, and not a lot of people even knew about it. It had all-aluminum 427 V8 with over 550 hp, race suspension, and heavy-duty components. It as a real drag racing monster, though, and only 69 were made. These things are still sturdy and dependable by today’s standards, and owning one is a true gift.