Ask the Man Who Owns One… That was the famous motto about Packard’s quality, and the person who gets all that attention could now be you with this affordable 1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe. After all, car crowds love to see these premium straight-eight classics.
This ultra-exclusive marque holds so much prestige that even the “affordable” Clippers were nearing Cadillac levels of luxury. That’s why this two-door Club Sedan looks so striking. These Clippers had plenty of chrome, and this one is complete, including the stylized multi-piece grille/bumper setup, long hood ornament, and stylish full-length trim that wraps around the rear to frame the taillights. The two-tone green was resprayed later in life. It has a nice shine, but it’s also settled in so that there are some people who may just assume it’s the original application. So it’s the kind of classic that looks like it has matured like old money.
The interior is pure premium Packard appeal. There’s plenty of room across the two textured fabric benches that have been well-preserved in plastic. The door panels, headliner, and carpeting are also quite nice. The style is quite original, right down to the nautical center cap in the Clipper’s steering wheel. Everything seems to just have an extra hint of this upper-class style, from the markings on the gauges, to the controls for the heater. Even the AM radio is on display, and it has fashionable Art Deco-like presentation.
A Clipper Deluxe means the upgrade to the larger 327 cubic-inch straight-eight motor. The engine bay has that honest and original appearance, which is the style people love to see on these impressively long blocks. But beyond the classic feelings, you can see an investment in the right pieces, like a rebuilt carburetor and a newer water pump. That means it fires up with little encouragement needed and maintains Packard’s signature smoothness. Plus, the automatic transmission and power brakes give you that easy cruising quality you don’t find in too many other early ’50s classics.
The sale comes complete with the owner’s manual. They made fewer than 1,500 of these Club Coupe Clipper Deluxes 65+ years ago, and so what was rare in ’54 is now hardly ever seen today. Who knew this kind of distinct premium vintage could be so affordable?
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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States