1951 Packard 250 Convertible
Legendary Packard prestige and luxury made affordable was the 250's mission in 1951, and as this elegant, sporting convertible demonstrates, it's just as true today. Only 2572 Series 250 convertibles were built in 1951, making this a rare car with legendary straight-8 power and undeniable Packard presence. The all-new 250 was designed to be a low-cost Packard, but everything's relative, as it still cost as much as a Cadillac in 1951. The styling was conservative as ever, but with a handsome, rounded look that would serve until 1956 when Packard merged with Studebaker in a last attempt to stay alive. Wearing period-appropriate white paint, this handsome convertible has a look that commands attention beyond your average Fords and Chevys and when parked next to a comparable Cadillac of the period, you can see where the money was spent. Bodywork is quite good, with straight bodywork and good panel alignment, suggesting that this car, like most Packards, lived an easy life with people who loved it. The finish is older and perhaps showing a few signs of age, but like a movie star who is aging gracefully, it would be an insult to try to make it better. Instead, it has a wonderful all-of-a-piece look and feel, from the traditional Packard grille up front to the optional chrome "fins" on the rear fenders. The interior isn't entirely authentic, but they did work to get the look right using a combination of pleats and flat panels, and the upholstery is quite comfortable when the sun is overhead. Matching red door panels were created at the same time, and there's plenty of bright trim to make the Packard feel special inside. A big steering wheel frames three gauges with all the vitals and simple two-tone faces, as was the fashion in the early '50s. The shifter controls Packard's "Ultramatic" automatic transmission and operation feels quite modern, so getting this one out on the road is easy even for first-timers. The center stack houses the AM radio (not operational, which isn't surprising) and heater controls, proving that nothing much has changed in the past six decades. The upholstery is in very good condition with minimal wear, the carpets look quite good, and like the exterior, everything looks about the same age and condition so it's quite a pleasant place to spend some time. The black canvas convertible top is a new replacement unit, and it folds easily and seals up well enough to make this a no-fear car on tour. And there's a giant trunk that's as neatly finished as the interior and it includes a full-sized spare on a matching wire wheel. Packard's bulletproof 327 cubic inch straight-8 is as smooth and torquey here as you'd expect. Thanks to a freshly rebuilt carburetor and tune-up, it starts with a muscular 8-cylinder burble and moves the car with an uncanny ease. The engine bay was obviously well-detailed when it was restored and shows signs of use today, but all of the original equipment is intact, from the oil bath air cleaner to the accessory orange oil filter canister on the side of the block. The Ultramatic automatic transmission shifts almost imperceptibly and this car gathers momentum so easily that you'll often find yourself going 10 MPH faster than you thought. The underside is clean with no signs that this car ever lived in the rust belt, and it appears to have a recent reproduction exhaust system that sounds right. Flashy wide whitewall radials on gorgeous chrome wire wheels add an expensive upscale look that suits this Packard just fine. Hailing from the Truett Cathy collection, this pretty Packard offers performance and style in equal measure. Call today!