1956 Packard, It’s Almost Over

Click on the picture to Z O O M in.

Click on the picture to Z O O M in.
Tens years after the war, the U.S. car market was more than the “Big Three” There were other manufactures trying to compete with GM, Ford and Chrysler. Kaiser Frasier, Willies, Studebaker, Packard, Crossly, Rambler and probably a few I don’t remember. This 1956 Packard was really the last of the big car models released by Packard. They did have 1957 models but only sold about 4700 cars in 1957. Packard had already merged with Studebaker by that time but Cadillac had really taken over the luxury car business and it was too late for Packard in 1956.

For 1956, Teague kept the basic 1955 design, and added more garish touches to the body. Headlamps were hooded in a more radical style in the front fenders, slight shuffling of tinward distinguished the ’56. “Electronic Push-button Ultramatic,” which located push buttons to control the automatic transmission on a stalk off the steering column, proved to be trouble-prone, adding to the car’s reputation as a lemon which would soon become an orphan. Model series remained the same, but the V8 was now enlarged to 374 cubic inches for Senior series. In the top-of-the-line Caribbean, that engine put out 310 horsepower. Clippers continued to use the 352 engine, however.

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© Fred Winograd copyright 2010


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