Pick of the Day: A one-year-only 1954 Packard Pacific

Car is back on the road after 25 years in a West Texas airplane hangar

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Pick of the Day is this 1954 Packard Pacific hardtop

To separate its Packard and Clipper models and to emphasize the sportiest of the more expensive Packards, in 1954 Packard offered what it called the “Packard Line,” which included the Caribbean convertible coupe, the Packard convertible and the Pacific hardtop.

One of the 1,189 1954 Packard Pacific hardtops is the Pick of the Day, being advertised on ClassicCars.com by its private owner in Franklinton, Louisiana.

The Packard Pacific was a one-year wonder, produced only for the 1954 model year.

“Packard made only 1,189 Pacifics, and all came with the largest displacement of any straight eight ever placed in a Packard: 359 cubic inches, fed by the very dependable WCFB four-barrel carb with a newly developed aluminum head installed only in these ‘Senior’ Packards in 1954,” the seller notes. 

“This special head was designed for high performance and to prevent detonation and overheating. It all worked very well, and this lightweight head saved many pounds in weight.   

“This particular car had a 327 cast-iron head on it when the present owner acquired it. It ran well, but was not ‘original.’ So, the present owner searched and finally found a pristine Aluminum 359 head in like-new condition within the last 2 years (at a premium price, like the totally re-manufactured WCFB carb now installed with the new head).”

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The seller adds, “The original Delco Distributor is still in the car and runs great, as are most of the essential parts which are mounted. The electric power seat was added by the original owner, as was the Vintage (Air) A/C compressor when the original compressor was no longer rebuildable. The addition of a very dependable 12-volt conversion system included the 12-volt alternator for modern battery demands is a very good improvement.

“Succinctly stated: Packards were among the best-engineered, best-built and most-luxurious cars of all American cars. They were built to last, and they accomplished their goals without compromise. Their sales motto touted their known customer satisfaction: ‘Ask a man who owns one.’ They never considered ‘built-in obsolescence’ to be worthy of a Packard.”

With its straight-8 rated at 212 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque, the seller says the car cruises “with ease” at modern highway speeds and stops properly with its 13-inch drum brakes, “a full inch larger than the next year’s fastest street cars, the Chrysler 300s, which had only 12-inch brakes. [(I now own two 300 letter cars, and have owned 3 others.)”

The seller adds that the car recently was stripped to bare metal and repainted with black top and Chariot red lower body, an original Packard color combo that the seller found preferable to the car’s original tan and red paint.

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The Continental kit apparently was added in the late 1980s when the car was being refurbished by its then owners, husband and wife antique dealers in San Antonio, Texas. 

“The original green bumper jack comes with the car (neat cranking arm to raise and lower the car), though I recommend the use of a bottle hydraulic  jack for jacking the sturdy steel frame before replacing any flat,” the seller says, adding that the car comes with two spares, one in the trunk and another in the Continental kit.

The car was found by the seller’s former partner after being parked for 25 years in an airplane hangar in San Antonio. 

“A new OEM gas tank came with this car, but had not been installed,” the seller reports. “Thus my excellent mechanics opted to utilize a 5 gallon jug of fresh gasoline hooked directly to the fuel pump and the carburetor to crank the old Packard for the first time in a quarter century.  

“It took them all of a half hour to have her running on her own power, blowing out soot from years of sitting without freshening the oil, gas and other fluids until the day they cranked her in 2016.  How’s that for durability?”

The seller has had the car since 2016 and reports the 91,465 miles on the odometer to be accurate.

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“This car came with a black front awning above the front windshield, but this was long-gone before I found her. However, awnings are still available from Packard suppliers and private owners in the Packard club.”

The car is on offer for $28,900. 

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.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I would be happy to offer “$25000 Australian currency” for this Packard “landed in Port Melbourne Australia.”
    cheers, Don .

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