Packard Caribbean 1953





Lucky Die-Cast

scale 1:18

Model number: 92798YE


Review of the model:

If you are looking for a 1953 Packard Caribbean - in excellent condition. You will have to spend over $ 110,000 and that figure is just going one way over time, as the cars become harder to find. Sure this is not a car for everyone nowadays. But on the other hand this was not a car everyone could afford back in 1953, with it's high price tag of $5,210! –Way higher than a Cadillac.

But this is the fun thing about collecting Die Cast Car in scale 1:18, they are a lot cheaper than the real cars (If your collection is restricted to fewer than 1000 models). Lucky Die-Cast made this fabulous car in scale 1:18 at a budget price and as always I will try to find out if the model is good for the money spend.

The model car have been produced in a number of colors, the now easy to get, are the Dark red and Light Green metallic colors. As always then the maker is Lucky Die-Cast the paint applied and the prep work is formidable. And let there be no doubt the model in those colors is very good looking. On the other hand I fell in love with the light yellow color, known as “Carolina Cream” and among the web shops here in Europe I got the last one, as this color is now discontinued from the maker. Anyhow it is surely subjective matter, as I know many who dislike yellow cars!

The model have a very good representation of the interior just out of the box, but if your are willing to spend some joyful hours to upgrade this model it can in my perspective be even better. As mentioned before in earlier articles, I prefer to research about the real car before I cast myself out in a super detailing spree. The 1953 Packard Caribbean here is one of the better ones so only a little extra detailing is needed.

I started to paint the upper parts of the doors and other trim work with Liquid Chrome. The steering wheel needed a bit of black paint on the horn handle. The floor of the car is in black plastic and has a texture to simulate carpet. That is okay as the dark color help, but has the carpet been in light cream or light grey – the plastic feeling have been more pronounced. I had purchased a band of Velcro and as on the Packard 1955 model I applied it as carpet around the seats and pedals (For a proper job you have to disassemble the model) The last jobs on the interior are the back side of the doors, that got a mixed yellow paint job and the small buttons on the canvas cover became chromed.

When we look on the side of the car, there are a few issues that need attention to make it more realistic. First thing is the spoke wheels on this luxurious model. Due to the price range it will be over the top to demand true spoke wheels on this model (I know some makers have models with that feature, but they are often poorly made and give the model a “toy-like” appearance) On this car the spoke are molded in the wheels. I think this is the best way to show it on a low budget model as this. Because your only need to paint the wheels over with black paint and remove the excessive paint with a cloth or a swap before the paint is harden – It’s the same procedure as when we have to make “holes” in the front grill on other models – easy and give a remarkable result. (Remember the spare wheel too).

As you will read further down in the history of the car; the rims of the wheel wells are padded with chrome trim. This piece is just painted silver on this model, so again the pen from Molotow is helping us to bring some real chrome on the trims.
The last thing we have to do when we go around the car is; just to hollow out the exhaust pipe with a small handheld drill! Otherwise the model here is perfect including the front that shall not be altered at all.

Now I had used the time you tell about what I managed to detail the model, but we have also to see what the makers have done that make this model so fine. I will begin with the fantastic chrome trim that always stay in perfect order and shine like the real thing. Also the fine hinges on the doors that give minimum gabs around the fenders! – That is a feature that give the model a true to scale appearance when displayed or held in your hands. The windshield plastic is of good quality as it gives no distortions and looks like real glass. As said before the front is perfect just out of the box. And the headlight lenses are well made and placed perfect. Try to open the hood and you will see a motor with details that often more expensive model only have. In fact this straight eight engine is one of the best I have seen from Lucky Die-Cast ever! Go around the car and see the many emblems including on the hubcaps as well. This is very well done job here. The Packard Caribbean 1953 is a beautiful car and this model is it too!

I can not praise the effort enough that The Yatming Group had laid in this model – And remember to a low purchase cost under 40 Euros here in Europe.
I can highly recommend this model to other collectors.

I will give this model 3+1 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!




  A true luxurious high-end car in 1953  
  A timeless classic car  
  And a beautiful model from Lucky Die-Cast  
The color is Carolina Cream and suits the car well
One of the few cars who looks good with a Continental Kit included in the design
This is a big spots car from Packard in 1953
Note the fine spoke wheels on this model (Molded in the wheels and have a black-wash paintjob)
A perfect front and many fine details already in out of the box mode!
Elegant car both for the man and his wife
Note the big chrome trim around the wheel wells
A small Packard emblem just aft the door
The interior match fine with the exterior
A car that welcomes you to a tour out in the open
Note the new carpet made of the soft part of Velcro tape
Good hinges on the door that give smaller gabs than the traditional budget doglegs found on other models in this price segment
Well made hubcaps with Packard emblems
The trunk can not be opened on this model
But if you open the hood a very detailed engine compartment is included on this fine model
The last year for the Caribbean with a flat eight motor with 180 hp.
Lots of chrome on the front grill
I can highly recommend this model to you!




Back in the days when American cars were about the only ones real Americans could buy, including the era of the 1953-1956 Packard Caribbean, your average Detroit automaker wasn't satisfied it had arrived until it offered a "limited edition." That term is fairly vague, and they didn't use it much then, though production of such cars was undeniably limited.

Yet in the booming seller's market of the late Forties, the American industry could hardly meet demand for its standard models. So except for a few low-volume traffic-builders like the Chrysler Town & Country, Detroit simply spewed forth a "turgid river of jelly-bodied clunkers," to use Ken Purdy's phrase -- and the public happily bought every one.

Inevitably, though, the market became satiated and real competition returned by about 1950. Three years later, Ford launched a sales "blitz" against Chevy, shipping huge numbers of cars to dealers regardless of orders, and the competition became murderous. One result of this cutthroat marketing was the "sports car," which usually meant anything with a convertible top, lots of performance, a few unique styling touches, and top-of-the-line price tag.

Of course, some of these were true sports cars, like the Nash-Healey and Chevrolet's Corvette. Most, however, were just modified standard ragtops with higher-grade trim and, sometimes, a hotter engine. But whether genuine or fake, they had the same purpose as their late-Forties forebears: to attract the proletariat into the local emporiums, where it might eyeball the latest-and-greatest, then depart in one of the more plebian models.

In the upper reaches of 1953's regimented market, Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, and Packard fielded two-ton "sports cars" with wheelbases of 120-plus inches and no less than 165 horsepower: respectively, the Skylark, Eldorado, Fiesta, and Caribbean.

The last was no hasty reply to General Motors. Packard conceived the Caribbean around the time Cadillac first thought of Eldorado in 1951 and for much the same reasons: a more youthful image and extra publicity. (Chrysler was similarly moved to release the C-300 in 1955, though it was far more sporting than any of these.) But whereas the GM cars were in-house designs issued mainly to gauge public response to forthcoming features like the wraparound windshield, the 1953 Caribbean had little that was really new.

That, perhaps, stems from its origins at the Henney Company of Freeport, Illinois, long-time supplier of Packard's professional-car bodies. Henney president C. Russell Feldmann hoped to expand his Packard business by tailoring a low-volume, high-buck "sports" model, and had designer Richard Arbib working on a proposal by the fall of 1951. The result, named Pan American, duly appeared at the various 1952 auto shows.

Packard had already been thinking "sports car" for some time when the Pan American concept appeared in 1952 as a precursor to the 1953-1956 Packard Caribbean. Packard's body shop, Henney Company, was commissioned to conjure up a hardtop on the firm's 1949 chassis and again on the 1952, both called Monte Carlo.

Packard also studied an Italian-made Abarth as a possible entry in the sporty segment, and conceived an odd rig named Panther, later to become the prototypical Panther Daytona. But the Pan American was the most successful of these efforts because it actually led to a production model, the Caribbean.

The original Pan American began as a stock 1951 Series 250 convertible. Packard president Hugh Ferry gave Henney president Russell Feldmann only six weeks to deliver it, in time for the opening of the New York International Motor Sports Show on March 29, 1952. With designer Richard Arbib working evenings and weekends, Feldmann met the deadline.

Arbib's concepts were akin to those of contemporary customizers in that the Pan Am was dramatically lower than stock. It also resembled the 1953 Cadillac Eldorado in having channeled bodysides -- again for a lower look -- plus chrome wire wheels, and a metal tonneau covering the soft top and its yet-to-be-developed folding mechanism. But unlike the Eldo, the Pan Am had only a single bench seat (Henney had closed up most of the space behind) as well as "continental" exterior-mount spare tire and a functional hood scoop.

Henney general manager Preston Boyd told Feldmann that their firm had spent close to $10,000 on the first Pan Am and would have to charge over $18,000 apiece for copies, including overhead and Arbib's salary. But his estimate apparently pertained to that one car, not a production version.

Though Feldmann kept trying to sell Packard on the idea of at least a small run ("Don't you think it remarkable that interest in this car is still so keen?" he asked in July), no more than six Pan Americans were built. Evidently, cost dissuaded Packard from thoughts of even limited production.

In October 1952, Packard decided to offer a limited run of "sports cars" that, in due course, emerged as the 1953 Packard Caribbean, which was the first production Caribbean. (The Pan American sports car, which led directly to the Caribbean, inspired a series of monikers with a Latin American flavor: "Balboa" in 1953, for a one-off showcar; "Pacific" and "Panama" in 1954, for Packard and Clipper hardtops.) To keep a lid on price, the firm shunned sectioning and lowering; with an eye to sales, management insisted on six-passenger capacity.

The Caribbean (accent on the third syllable, please) thus arrived as a full-size convertible sharing most sheet-metal with the stock ragtop. Trouble was, Packard's standard convertible was an afterthought, riding the firm's shorter, 122-inch wheelbase and competing more with Buick than Cadillac. To get around this image problem, Packard simply priced the Caribbean at $5,210, more than $1,000 above Cadillac's Series 62 convertible.

Responsibility for Caribbean design fell to Dick Teague, a young stylist of exceptional talent, Packard's "wizard of facelifts." His modifications to what was essentially the Series 250 convertible shell were mild but effective: radiused rear wheel openings, molded-in "bugeye" taillamps from the senior Packards, bright metal on beltline and wheel openings, a "continental" (outboard) spare, wire-spoke wheels, and a Pan-Am-style air-scoop hood.

The interior was luxuriously trimmed in leather. Power was supplied by Packard's 327-cubic-inch, five-main-bearing straight eight with 180 horsepower as used in the 250s (now known as the Packard convertible and Mayfair hardtop) and available with optional Ultramatic self-shift transmission.

The result was dramatically clean for 1953, lacking even a "Caribbean" nameplate. And it sold quite well for what was basically a cobbled-up job. Packard built 750 Caribbeans for the model year to best both Eldorado (532) and the Olds Fiesta (458), though Buick built more Skylarks (1,690).

That Packard Motor Car Company would offer such a car at all was decided by its flashy new president, James J. Nance, recruited by outgoing president Hugh Ferry to light a fire under an old-line automaker that seemed to have dozed through the early postwar years. (Road tester Tom McCahill said, the 1948-50 line of "pregnant elephants" Packards looked as if they'd been designed "for an old dowager in a Queen Mary hat.").

One of Packard President James J. Nance's objectives in the early 1950s was to resurrect Packard's prewar image of total luxury. The way to do this, he said, was to establish the cheaper Clipper as a separate make and load Packard with loaded Packards.

He did, and the evidence is that it worked. As a former Packard dealer said: "I don't remember anything that was a better showroom traffic-builder after the war than the Caribbean. That car was a classic."

Technical specification:

Production 1953: 750 cars

Price: $5,210

Body and chassis
Body style: 2-door convertible
327CID 4-bbl. L-head "Thunderbolt" 180 hp 8-cylinder

Outside length: 5413 mm / 213.09375 in
Width: 1978 mm / 77.875 in, wheelbase: 3099 mm / 122 in
Reference weights: shipping weight 1864 kg / 4110 lbs estimated curb weight: 1945 kg / 4290 lbs


Old brochures of the car

























































































































Video of the real car from YouTube

  1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible  
  1953 Packard TV commercial  
  1953 Packard Carribean  


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Aeronautic Aug. 2018


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