1956 Packard 400 Coupe
The Packard 400 was an automobile built by the Studebaker-Packard Corp. of South Bend, Indiana during model years 1955 and 1956. During its two years in production, the 400 was built in Packard's Detroit facilities, and considered part of Packard's senior model range. The 400 model name was dropped from the Patrician model range at the beginning of the 1953 model range, however the Patrician name continued to occupy the premium trim level Packard from 1953 through 1956. For 1955 the 400 name was re-employed by Packard and assigned to the automaker's senior model range two-door hardtop. Production totals for 1955 came to 7,206 units for the Packard Four Hundred, and 3,224 units for 1956.
Gracing our hallowed halls here at the Classic Auto Mall is one of the last REAL Packards and a rare one to boot. Jamaican Yellow and Dover White, push button automatic, and a beautiful yellow and black interior this Packard has it all...Just Ask The Man Who Owns One! Sold new in Pennsylvania circa February 1956 and changing hands in 1970 to another PA family the car finally made its way North of the border. Over the next 30 years the car changed hands a few times and finally the restoration was finished by a member of the Niagra Packard Club who also was involved in the Toronto movie scene during the filming of Hairspray, the 2007 version. The car made a cameo in the movie, so add some film stardom into the rarity mix. We present to you a 1956 Packard 400 Coupe.
Wearing its original paint scheme, Jamaican Yellow fills out the center of this slab sided steel piece of art and is flanked both above and below by Dover White filling out the roof, lower sections of the doors and lower quarter panels. These mellow colors are separated below by a large ribbed stainless steel panel that runs the length of the car and contain a gold emblem on the fenders written in your grandmother's script and above by the tinted greenhouse of the passenger's compartment. Hovering outboard of the large Jamaican Yellow hood are the bat mobile-esque headlights that float above a large grid pattern eggcrate grill and massive chrome grill that sports dagmars that were so popular of the era. On back, dual cathedral styled taillights form the back of the rear quarters, and float above a rear bumper which creates an insert for these taillights, and also a frame for the round tailpipes. The bumper is a bit faded and shows signs of aging with minimal surface rust down low. Overall, the paint presents as expected for an older restoration and shows quite well with only minor chips, scratches and blemishes. Wide whitewall tires adorn all 4 corners and have Packard wheel covers. A shout out to the trunk, which shows in Jamaican Yellow and is rust free. The Consignor states that the sale will include a Packard jack, tire iron, fender skirt tool and (replica) storage box. Further, custom trunk material was made for the car and is also included.
Swinging open the massive door we are greeted with more ribbed stainless-steel panels at the bottom of the door followed by a pleasant mix of yellow and black vinyl and some black pattern infused broadcloth. A black arm rest floats in the center of the door as does a chrome window crank and door handle. Rounding out the door, on top is a highly polished stainless-steel topper that is mirror like in appearance. Sprawling twin bench seats (split in the front for entrance to the rear) run side to side in more yellow vinyl, white vinyl, and black patterned broadcloth. Both sets of seats present in excellent condition and give a ton of eye as well at posterior appeal. The original dash is present, which is also two tone utilizing a gold metal mesh punched panel, and surrounding gloss black. We note a padded dash, a safety feature that was just starting to become the new norm. All the instruments are in chromed bezels within the gold mesh and this is fronted by an original two tone white and black steering wheel made of bakelite atop the steering column and a push button stalk mounted on the right. Gauges and knobs are bright and shiny retaining their original design from the factory including the radio insert. Above is a beautifully preserved headliner nice, tight, and white with chrome ribs to snaz it up. Carpets are black and are almost new with only minor soiling on the drivers rubber insert pad.
A 374ci V8 producing 290hp is topped with a single 4-barrel Rochester carburetor mounted securely under a batwing style air cleaner assembly. Chrome Packard valve covers are seen along with power steering. A 2-speed Twin Ultramatic automatic transmission sends power back to a rear axle with a 3.54 ratio. This entire set up will keep you cruising down the highway with ease.
Only surface rust is showing on the frame, x-frame, suspension components, and floor pans. No invasive rust is to be seen anywhere. A newer dual exhaust system is noted that has stock style mufflers and tailpipes that exit thru the rear bumper. Power drum brakes are noted all around. Now for something totally out of the ordinary...Packard did away with coil springs on all four corners and installed a torsion-level ride system at all 4 corners. Taken right from the Packard information packet: Full-length torsion bars, at each side of the chassis, connect front and rear wheels making them work as a team to smother bumps and road shocks. At center of the chassis is a power controlled Levelizer which automatically maintains the car at ideal ride level, regardless of passenger or luggage load.
The car started with a few pumps of the gas pedal and handled our test track with ease. Braking was sufficient and bias-free. Acceleration was more than adequate, and the torsion-level ride system provided a comfortable ride. My esteemed colleague and I took turns driving the 400 and enjoyed every second of it. All functions were operating properly at the time of our test drive.
This car has had the majority of its recent service done by a Packard specialist in Maryland where is had the Ultramatic transmission adjusted, brakes repaired, the power leveling system repaired and the fuel gauge made operational. The carburetor was rebuilt by a specialist in Taneytown, MD and we can attest to the performance. The consignor has a multitude of extra parts included with the sale including but not limited to: an owner's manual, service manual, parts manual, service circulars, a restored push button motor, restored leveling switches, a restored pair of front side trim pieces, and a pair of repaired front grilled pieces just to name a few. This rare piece of the final REAL PACKARDS can be all yours along with some great history just by stopping into the Classic Auto Mall.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.