Midsouthern Restorations

1955 Packard Caribbean Convertible

The 55 Packard Caribbean convertible pictured here was taken out of storage after the transmission went out 26 years earlier. The customer from Knoxville, Tennessee wanted a total mechanical rebuild. This car has the famous Electric Torsion Bar suspension. The ride level of the car compensates continually, even while parked if you put weight on the bumper. All of the torsion bar twist had to "unloaded" while bushings, springs, and joints were replaced. The owner had all the specialty tools required. There is one picture of an electric compensator after it was rebuilt. The motor, transmission, and rear drive were rebuilt. This engine was the first V-8 design for Packard, and this one came from the factory with two four-barrel carburetors. The original bat wing air cleaner was reinstalled as well. New exhaust was ordered up, and the electrical wiring was repaired where needed. The paint was left alone, just buffed. The car showed its age but was all new under the skin. Pictured is the original convertible top that was in the down position for the 26 plus years. All top hydraulics were replaced. When the top came up, it was found to have shrunk. It was very dirty and was scrubbed with soap and bleach. Heat lamps were used and pressure applied until the top stretched itself down to windshield. The customer reworked the interior when the car was back in his garage. He has since passed on and will be missed as a friend and an excellent source for Packard information.