Pick of the Day: Packard launched post-war effort for 1951 model year

The ’51 250 convertible had a new design and an Ultramatic transmission

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pick of the day
For the 1951 model year, Packard finally unveiled its post-war design theme

Packard didn’t introduce an all-new post-war vehicle until the 1951 model year (the initial “bathtub” body was a stop-gap measure), but when it did, it did so in spectacular style with a wide grille between “guideline” front fenders matched in height by the car’s hood, with a one-piece windshield, wraparound backlight and smallish tailfins accenting the car’s rear. It also introduced its first hardtop coupe, the 250 Mayfair. 

The Pick of the Day is a 1951 Packard 250 convertible with Ultramatic transmission being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Cicero, Indiana.

General Motors was the only other automaker to deploy an automatic transmission developed in house. Packard’s Ultramatic featured a lockup torque converter with two forward speeds, low and high. Some say Packard would have been better off putting its money into the development of a V8 engine that would have made its cars more competitive in the marketplace.  

As it was, however, Packard sold more than 100,000 cars in 1951 when its styling and variety of paint colors thrust it ahead on post-war shopping lists, even if its powerplant was an old-school flathead straight-8. 

The Pick of the Day is a restored convertible finished in its factory bright-green color and riding on the company’s longer 122-inch wheelbase. 

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“Signature design cues for Packard’s 250 series included chrome trim moldings across the front fender into the door and jet-inspired louvers on the rear,” the dealership notes. 

“The immense grille on this Packard shines up front… Completing the sleek and elegant look are fender skirts which were standard on the 250 series. 

“An added bonus was that Packard’s low and sleek look made for a car that looked great with its convertible top up or down. 

“The interior is beautiful and carries all the luxurious attributes for which Packard was known. Finished in deep red and white seating is large and comfortable with soft leather while the dashboard typifies the jet-inspired look of the 1950s.”

The convertible draws power from a 288cid straight-8 engine. The odometer shows more than 142,000 miles.

“This cool classic is driver ready and just waiting to cruise,” the dealership adds. “This beautiful 250 Convertible represents a significant chapter in this great company’s history and all this one needs is a new owner and the open road.”

The car is being offered for $34,000. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Love your site. Thanks for the pictures. However Packard did in fact develop their own automatic transmission, in house. Theirs was unique with the lock up torque converter. While not snappy it was incredibly smooth and and quiet.

      • Just like something Perry Mason would drive. Always wanted a Packard, just not up to the maintenance co$t$. This one is exactly the color of my parent’s bedroom in 1965, and simply looks the business.
        Sweet.

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