1953 Packard Clipper


We all have cars that we’ve owned and miss because for reasons we can’t quite remember, we sold. Today begins a new series of blog posts about cars I’ve loved and cars I’ve owned. If you would like to write a post about one of your favorite cars, drop me note using the Contact tab above.

In 1941, coincidentally the year that I was born, the Packard Motor Car Company introduced the Clipper model, as part of Packard’s nineteenth Series of automobiles. Later in 1948 The Clipper nameplate was dropped as Packard issued its twenty-second series automobiles. When James J. Nance became the company’s president in 1952 he decided to separate Clipper as it’s own marque to target the mid-range market and keep it apart from Packard’s high-end cars but dealers hated the idea of losing their best selling car and it became a Packard after all, that is until 1956 when it become a separate marque but by them it was too late for Packard.

The above car is a 1953 Packard Clipper Club Sedan that Mary and I originally purchased to participate in The Great Race (we never made it; our sponsors evaporated.) We kept it only a short while and after participating in several car shows and Packard Club events sold it to a private museum in Phoenix.

Notes on above photograph: It was made (using the self-timer) with a tripod-mounted Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN and 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (at 80mm) with an exposure of 1/250 sec at f/8 and ISO 100.

What is surprising about our Clipper was how modern it felt to drive, especially when compared to its contemporaries form Ford and Chevrolet. The manual steering and brakes did not require excessive effort and after replacing the worn out shocks it drive and road like a modern big car. The straight flathead eight cylinder engine could cruise at highway speeds and we easily kept up with traffic flow, never dawdling behind like in an “old car.” When driving it I always got big smiles from everyone from young people to little grey-haired grannies. It was a great car to own, much cheaper to maintain than some modern German cars I’ve owned and like other cars that will appear in this series, it miss it to this day.