1954 Packard 250 Convertible - $34,900
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The paint job is probably 25 years old at this point but it’s in good order and shows nicely with a soft gloss that seems entirely appropriate for a car of this vintage.

Last of the straight-8 Packards. One of 863 built. Older repaint, new interior, great color combination. Smooth, torquey 359 cubic inch straight-8 with 4-barrel carb. Automatic, power steering, power brakes. Nice chrome. A big Packard convertible that’s just right to drive.

Only 863 of these handsome Packard ragtops were built in 1954, and they were essentially the same as the vastly more expensive Caribbean. The look is conservative by 1950s standards, but there’s still plenty of ornamentation to make it look like the high-end car it is. The color could safely be called Packard Cream, a popular choice on pre-war Packards and just as handsome on this 1950s ragtop. The familiar Packard grille is still very much in evidence, so nobody will mistake it for anything else, and it’s actually a much bigger car than it appears to be in photos—a clever trick by the stylists. The paint job is probably 25 years old at this point but it’s in good order and shows nicely with a soft gloss that seems entirely appropriate for a car of this vintage. There’s no evidence of major metal surgery or rot and the doors swing closed with a reassuring thunk. The bright work is a combination of original and restored pieces, all of it looking right at home here with nothing standing out as too nice or too deteriorated. The famous “cormorant” hood ornament was an option and looks appropriate out there leading the way. You also get bright stainless and a set of vestigial fins out back that show Packard hadn’t quite committed to following trends. From any angle, however, this is a handsome car.

The beautiful red interior has been recently restored and looks fantastic. Correct patterns give it a 1950s look and the fresh padding makes the seats all-day comfortable. It also features new carpets with floor mats, new door panels, and a repainted dash, which matches everything else. We don’t know why they didn’t refinish the steering wheel, but it has no serious cracking or delamination, so that would be an easy detail to remedy. The gauges are big and easy to read and all appear to work except the clock, which isn’t a surprise. Same with the original AM radio, which powers up but doesn’t make sounds. A few bright chrome bits brighten things up and yes, the power windows work although the rear quarter windows sometimes need a little help due to fresh weather seals that are a little tight. Overhead there’s a tan power convertible top that stows itself slowly but surely and it looks sleek with a matching red boot installed. A good-sized trunk shows no rot or other issues and includes a full-sized spare tire.

The big news—literally—is under the hood where the previous year’s 327 cubic inch engine was replaced by a 359 cubic inch straight-8, the biggest ever fitted to a Packard motor car. With a 4-barrel carburetor, it makes a rather stout 212 horsepower, which was near the top of the pecking order in 1954 and more than enough to make the Packard feel effortless in everything it does. Dressed in correct Packard Bronze paint with an oil bath air cleaner, it looks right under the hood and shows signs of conscientious maintenance, including recent belts and hoses and a recent tune-up. It starts easily, idles nicely, and has that smooth Packard straight-8 hum that nobody else was quite able to replicate. It sounds expensive. Power steering makes this massive ragtop easy to handle around town and with Packard’s rugged Ultra-Matic automatic transmission, anyone can get in and look like a million bucks. We don’t believe the body has ever been off the frame, so the undercarriage has 70 years of grime on it, but there’s no sign of rot or structural issues, the body mounts are good, and the floors are solid. Even the spare tire well is 100% intact with no perforation. This car was obviously not used in the snow and salt. It looks like the power steering system has been recently serviced with a new cylinder and hoses, and the exhaust system is appropriately muted for a luxury car like this. It cruises easily at 65 MPH and feels well-assembled, as is frequently the case with cars that haven’t been completely blown apart. Steel wheels with Packard hubcaps are outfitted with recent 235/75/15 Coker wide whitewall radials.

Big, unusual, comfortable, and elegant, this Packard offers the right enthusiast the opportunity stand out without making a lot of noise. Essentially the last of the Packard-engineered Packards, it reminds us why these cars are cherished by their owners. It’s not a perfect car, but it drives well and offers the kind of quiet elegance that was a cornerstone of Packard’s ethos for decades. If ‘50s flash is getting a little tiresome, perhaps this handsome Packard would be a good alternative. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1954 Packard 250 Convertible
Price: $34,900
Stock Number: 119059
Odometer Reading: 63,362
VIN: 54792379
Engine: 359 cubic inch straight-8
Transmission: 2-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.54
Wheelbase: 122 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 235/75/15 wide whitewall radials
Exterior Color: Packard Cream
Interior Color: Red leather
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