If you like I thought that the Cadillac was top of the
American Motor Industry, in the first to the mid fifties. We forgot to
think about the fine make of Packard! Oh yes! Packard made one of the
most handsome top of the line models that even out perform the other
high-end brands in the period. The name was the Caribbean and up to 1955
it only came as a convertible at a staging price tag of nearly $6,000
USD. It was not a car for every man as they only produce 500 cars in
1955. The beautiful highlight of the cars was their sparkling tri-color
on the exterior as well as the interior. The most striking color-scheme
is in my taste The Rose Quartz, Gray Pearl Poly and Jade White. Road
Signature have the model in scale 1:18 in this lovely color, and I was
lucky to get one.
When unpacking the model, you will notice that this model car is one of
the early ones from Road Signature, but as usual the paint work is very
fine and the chrome parts shine like the real thing. The point were the
model show its age, is on the plastic parts; they are more fragile and
crispy, sure due to a more low cost plastic compared to the later
models. That has an impact if you chose to disassembly the model. So be
cautions about the plastic, special the steering wheel and underbody
parts when/if you go with an custom super detailing as me!
The advertising department of Packard has made some fantastic drawings
in the brochures, where the car looks low, long and wide! But they are
much exaggerated. So much that I thought that the model was way to high
and short! But no the model is perfect to size the drawings are the
When I buy a model car for my collection, one of the first things is to
do some research on the net of the real car. This also gives me some
references to see what I can improve on the model to give it a more
realistic appearance. I found some photos of the real car, which shows
the models interior need some paint on the linings on the doors and
seats. The car comes without carpet (as always in this price segment)
But I saw a guy on the net, who use the soft part of Velcro band as
carpet! This model only need black carpet; this is the easiest color to
find in Velcro! hope some day to find Velcro band in more colors.
Road Signature model cars always need a new paint on their steering
wheels, just as this one Here Im glad of my Liquid Chrome pen from Molotow as some interior parts need extra chrome paint.
As said before the chrome parts on this model is great. The front grill
is marvelous casted, only the holes need some black paint. The big
emblem in the grill gets some gold paint on the V-shape wings. I most
give high-five to Road signature; the headlights is outstanding good,
only the directional-lights and courtesy light on the side of the car
need white paint over the chrome.
The wheels are always good on those models from this maker, and if you
look carefully on the center of the hubcaps emblem and text is shown.
The wheels themselves are wire wheels, but Road Signature has made them
solid with spokes molded in. But its easy to give the wheels a more
realistic looks - with a help of black paint. The tires are well made
with white walls.
If we go back to the rear end of the model car, the first things that
strike you is the fantastic well designed Cathedral shape tail-lights
one of the hallmarks of the Packard Caribbean. Seldom the taillights
from Road Signature, comes with real red plastic, but the over painted
red on chrome look very realistic. This is also the case on this model.
Backing lights had white paint applied here and the holes on the exhaust
pipes where black painted.
The deck lid to the trunk can not be opened on this model. The doors have
the old fashioned dog-leg type hinges, but when closed the doors have no
ugly gabs the same can be said on the hood it opens fine and have no
severe gaps when closed. (Remember this is more seen on a light color
model than a darker one)
The engine compartment is a bit sparse, but can be super detailed if
one chooses. The parts are very plastic looking, but new paint and wires
can make the difference.
I know in scale 1:24 Danbury Mint make some fantastic
models of the 1956 Caribbean but if you are willing to spend some hours
on the model from Road Signature it come close to a fraction of the
cost if you go all the way on this model, one thing are for sure, it will
stand out in your collection.
I will give this model
3 out of 6 stars ******
Below here are pictures of the model,
historical description, old brochures, technical data and some movie clips for
the real car. So please enjoy!
Packard Caribbean 1955
What a fantastic color scheme
Grill, wire wheels and lights is super
This car is even prettier
seen from the rear
Well made emblems all ower
Look at those tail lights!
Exhaust pipe integrated in
the rear bumper
The car designer Richard A.
Teague did a great job
A car that is a headturner
Packard where more expensive
than a Cadillac
Nearly $6,000 in 1955
Profile shot in the showroom
Lots of chrome trims on this
Only 500 cars were made in
But you can own one in scale
Tri-color Rose Quartz, Gray
Pearl Poly and Jade White
Take a closer look
Note the twin radio antennas
on the fins
A nice strait car with all
the trim well mounted
It most be one of the most
flamboyant instrument panel ever seen
The back of the doors is
The interior fits the
Style, fashion and glamour on
This car welcomes you every
time you open the doors
The paintwork is impeccable
as always on those models here
I just love this car
A shame Packard is no more
Leather cushion on one side fabric on the
Velcro as carpet
A glimpse of the V8 motor
1955 Packard Caribbean
By Thomas A. DeMauro and others
The Packard Caribbean was a personal luxury car produced by the Packard
Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, during model years 1953 through
1956. Some of the Caribbean's styling was derived from the Pan American
Packard show car of the previous year. It was produced only as a
convertible from 1953 to 1955, but a hardtop model was added in its
final year of 1956.
In 1955 model names and series positions were shuffled once again.
Two-door offerings from most affordable to most opulent included the
Clipper Super, Clipper Panama, Clipper Custom Constellation and Packard
Four Hundred--all hardtops--and the Caribbean convertible.
Following the ever-present lower, wider, longer theme
that characterized the 1950s, chief stylist Richard Teague's sleek
exterior modernization included a wall-to-wall grille, heavily hooded
headlamps and a front bumper featuring an air intake and bulbous guards.
The grille trim wrapped around the fenders to flow into the side trim.
Interior appointments and exterior trim were also revised and generally
varied with each model, and multi-tone paint treatment choices seemed
more prevalent than ever.
The Caribbean however, received new quarter panels
with a chrome simulated air intake at the leading edge behind the door
and tall cone-shaped tail lamps that filled in the ends of the fins and
had backup lamps under them. Also new was the better integrated rear
bumper that featured pass-through for the tailpipes. Body trim, the
grille texture and the wraparound parking lamps were also different from
the Clippers'. The Clippers were now 214 13/16 inches long and the
Packard Caribbean was 217 7/16 inches. Width was 78 inches.
Packard's highly-anticipated overhead-valve V-8 finally came to
fruition. The 352-cu.in. V-8 produced 275hp in the Caribbean and had a
dual exhaust. The engine had an 8.5:1
compression ratio and employed four-barrel carburetors--the Caribbean
actually had two carburetors.
A new Twin Ultramatic transmission featured a two-stage torque converter
and retained direct drive. It was standard in the Caribbean . The electrical system was also upgraded, to 12 volts.
The 127-inch wheelbase was maintained for Packards (the Caribbean had it
for the first time) New
Torsion Level Ride was innovative, replacing the coil/leaf springs with
torsion bars. Direct-action shocks were retained and anti-roll bars were
also employed front and rear to aid in reducing body lean in cornering.
A Load Levelizer unit was mounted on the frame to level the car when a
load change was detected. .
The Packard Caribbean had 12-inch
brakes and 15 x 6 wheels with 8.00 x 15 tires. In
1955 hit 60 mph from rest in 11.5 seconds and almost floated over the
worst possible surfaces, including railroad tracks. (Packard delighted
in displaying the difference between its Patrician sedan and a Cadillac,
filmed tackling a notorious rail crossing in downtown Detroit.) At last,
Nance had a styling/engineering package that fit his idea of what a
Packard should be.
It certainly suited the Caribbean, which now rode a more
competitive 127-inch wheelbase, made possible by a modern miracle called
plastic tooling. This not only took half the time and cost out of the
tooling process but permitted, as product planner Roger Bremer said,
"the production of a complete line of cars that would not have been
possible by conventional methods."
Instead of short and chunky Buick rivals, Packard now had long and
glitzy Cadillac competitors. For the first time, a Caribbean could look
an Cadillac Eldorado in the eye and beat it in a drag race.
Production was limited to 500 Caribbeans, which cost $5,932 again
nearly $2,000 more than a 1955 Cadillac convertible.
Body style: 2-door convertible
Engine 352CID Dual 4-bbl. 275 hp V8
Wheelbase 127 in (3,226 mm)
Length 218.5 in (5,550 mm)
Width 78 in (1,981 mm)
Old brochures of the car
Video of the real car from
1955 Packard Caribbean
1955 Packard Caribbean
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