1953 Packard Cavalier 0 Red Convertible 327 cubic inch straight-8 Automatic

  • Location: Local pick-up only
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Packard
  • Model: Cavalier
  • Type: Convertible
  • Trim: --
  • Year: 1953
  • VIN: 26793151
  • Color: Red
  • Engine size: 327 cubic inch straight-8
  • Power options: --
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: --
  • Interior color: Black
  • Options: --
  • Vehicle Title: Clean

1953 Packard Cavalier -- Description

Here are some interesting coincidences: this 1953 Packard Cavalier convertible is sitting next to a 1953 Packard Caribbean convertible here in our showroom. They have the same chassis. The same engine and transmission. The same suspension. Most of the bodywork is the same. The dashboard and gauges are identical. From behind the wheel they feel almost exactly the same. The biggest difference? This handsome red ragtop costs about 25% as much as the Caribbean. Think about it… It appears that this... Packard has been a well-maintained car all its life. There’s no evidence of a frame-off restoration, but it has been freshened along the way—repainted here, a new interior there, and it still looks great and feels like a much more expensive car going down the road. Red is flashy, no doubt about that, and even though this paint job is probably approaching its 30th birthday, it still looks quite good. There’s no sign that the car has ever been rusty or wrecked, so the bodywork is nice and straight and those big doors fit extremely well—perhaps better than those on the Caribbean next to it. They close with the same satisfying kerCHUNK sound and this car feels as sturdy as a locomotive going down the road, even with the top down. Sure, there are nicks and scratches, a few signs of use, and even some orange peel in the final finish, but we like the no-nonsense appeal of a car with nothing to hide. It is what it is, it’s not trying too hard, and in a world filled with ordinary cars, a Packard will always stand out. It has the same wide grille that is instantly recognizable and that stainless steel spear running the length of the bodywork makes it look sleek in a way that contemporary Lincolns and Oldsmobiles can’t quite match. The chrome is in great shape, more evidence that the car has lived a good life, and the little bolt-on chrome tail fins with “Packard” script look dressy. Add in the stylized cormorant hood ornament leading the way, and nobody’s going to believe you when you tell them how affordable this car really is. We’re fairly certain the two-tone interior has been freshened at some point, too—it’s just too nice to be 66 years old. The black and alabaster vinyl replicates the original patterns and it’s comfortable and durable, so it should look this good just about forever. Newer black carpets help with the finished look and the door panels were custom made to match the rest. The big steering wheel has a vestigial horn ring that’s plenty stylish, and the simple black dashboard puts everything right in front of the driver. Three round gauges include needles for fuel level and temperature, plus warning lights for oil pressure and generator status, with a big speedometer in the middle and a clock on the right. Secondary controls for the lights, windshield wipers, and heater are underneath and the radio, as always, is in the center. Everything works except the clock and radio, and that includes the power convertible top overhead. It might just be original, and with that in mind it’s in decent shape with no rips or tears, but it is a bit faded. Of course, if you’re doing it right, you’ll have it stowed under the boot and nobody will ever see it. There’s also a giant trunk and while we’re not thrilled with the shag carpet look, there’s no trouble underneath and it includes a full-sized spare with a jack. If you wanted to add some value to this car, the trunk would be a good place to start without a large investment. Packard’s famous 327 cubic inch straight-8 delivers a rather impressive 180 horsepower, complements of a 4-barrel carburetor—just as in the Caribbean. It’s as silky smooth as you’d expect from a Packard, and thanks to proper maintenance and care over the years, it runs great. Depress the accelerator pedal and it springs to life easily, assisted by a switchable electric fuel pump, and it idles well even when it’s cold. It’s quite clean under the hood, featuring new ignition components, fresh hoses and belts, and what appears to be new wiring and a fresh heater/blower motor. Power steering and power brakes are included, making this big convertible extremely easy to handle, and the big 8-cylinder engine’s low-end torque means that everything it does is pretty effortless. You could get in and drive this car right away without much familiarization at all. Packard’s 2-speed UltraMatic transmission was known for its durability and it works properly here. Right about the time you think it won’t shift, it drops into high and the car accelerates a little bit better. It will cruise easily at 70 MPH and the suspension feels buttoned-down, not sloppy, thanks to new components in the front end. You can see that this car has never been restored, but also note how clean the floors are with no evidence that it has spent its life in a harsh climate. There’s a newer muffler that gives it a muted 8-cylinder burble and just check out that over-built frame and heavy-duty body mounts—no wonder it feels so rock solid on the road! Perhaps the only real demerit is the spare tire well, which appears to have had some work on it in the past. It’s not coming apart, but given that this is the first place for things to happen, it isn’t surprising. We’d just leave it alone—it’s not like it’s going to get any worse, right? We also like the big 225/75/15 blackwall radials on the original wheels and hubcaps—it adds to the non-nonsense appeal. This isn’t a perfect car, but it’s a very good car at a very reasonable price. It’s unusual, it’s a convertible, and it drives superbly. If you’re looking at lesser cars that cost just as much, perhaps you owe it to yourself to step up to a Packard and see why they’re so special. Call today!