The 1954 Packard Mitchell Panther Supercharged Concept Car is a piece of exquisite machinery. The refined elegance portrays the look of style and grace. Any auto enthusiast would be pleased to have this rare beauty as a part of their collection. In all there are only four Panthers that were built. The first two productions were built as show cars. The next two were designed with one as a hard top, and the other a convertible.
The Panther was an all fiberglass body that featured a 122″ wheel base. The Packard Ultramatic transmission. The Ultramatic was a marvelous piece of machinery perfected by Packard engineers that became overshadowed by competing Hydra-matic self-shifting transmission by Cadillac.
Performance was no stranger to the Panther, even though just a concept car to reinvigorate auto buyers to go with the Packard line. All four cars were fitted with a straight eight 359ci engine. With a power output of 212 HP and 275 HP with the supercharger added in 2 of the vehicles, performance was never a question. Forced draft carburator with the McCulloch superchargers afforded the Panther the kick it needed to put it in the class of the Roadster.
The 1954 Packard Mitchell Panther Supercharged Concept Cars were introduced at a time when sports cars and roadsters were feverishly sought out by everyone who was anyone. It came at a wonderful time, but could not withstand the fierce competition of competitors like Corvette, the Darrin, Thunderbird, or Nash-Healey.
The panther was a stylish sport convertible that took personal luxory seriously to try and be competitive in a hard market. The design of the beauty was similar to other models previously produced by Packard. The taillights were the same as those found on the Clipper, but were replaced later with a cathedral style lighting.
One thing that may have helped lead to the demise of the Panther is that it was being displayed at the same time that Packard was introducing a V8 OHC. This strategic mistake and the popularity of other cars of the time have all led to the 1954 Packard Mitchell Bentley Panther becoming quite the collectors item. Of the four originally crafted, only two are said to still be in existence. Recently at auction a fetching price of $700,000 was sought and met. Not to bad for a car that never progressed past the concept stage.
The 1931 Packard Model 833 Dual Cowl Phaeton was produced in a time frame that automakers were striving to make cheaper cars. The Packard took the opposite approach by creating a more luxurious automobile with a starting price of $1000. The automaker believed that wealthier customers would purchase the vehicle regardless of being in the midst of the Great Depression. The plan backfired and few models were sold.
The 1931 Packard Model 833 Dual Cowl Phaeton featured a distinct grille guard and dual windshield mounted lights. The rear mounted spare was covered with metal and chrome giving a luxury appearance to the vehicle. This particular rear mounted spare model is one of the most sought after classic vehicles.
The 1931 Packard Model 833 Dual Cowl Phaeton had wind wings and six disc wheels. The tires were completely black which was a unique for luxury automobiles. The vehicle sported a 100 horsepower and 319 cubic inch eight cylinder engine. The Model 833 boasted a four speed transmission and a rear trunk.
The interior was designed with a hand finished wood panel and a unique V frame windshield. Ventipane fly windows and a rear windshield were the reason the car was called the Dual Cowl Phaeton. The rear windshield was a new feature designed to help protect the passengers seated in the back.
One 1931 Packard Model 833 Dual Cowl Phaeton was located on a used car lot in Los Angeles, CA in 1961. The vehicle still had its original paint and leather interior. The car was in surprisingly good condition. The Packard went up for auction and obtained bids as high as $120,000 but did not meet the reserve so it went unsold.
1931 Packard Model 833 Dual Cowl Phaeton Photo Gallery:
The 1953 Packard Caribbean, a first year limited run available only in a convertible model, is easily recognized by its fully exposed rear wheels, chrome trim encircling the entire body, the lack of a “Caribbean” nameplate, and the wide, low and upfront hood scoop. The Caribbean, purposely priced at more than $1000 over a comparable Cadillac convertible, was designed and produced as a show car to enhance Packard’s image. Meant to shine a trendy sports car light on the entire Packard line, which had become perceived as a slow, large and unfashionable series of sedans favored by dowdy elderly widows, the Caribbean was Packard’s attempt to infuse new interest in their automobiles from top to bottom.
After years of languishing following World War I, Packard was ready to spice up their market image, and the Caribbean, with its Latin American inspired name and new dramatically clean style lines, was Packard’s symbol of its new identity. Priced at $5210 with a production run of 750 units, the 1953 Caribbean was powered by a 327 cubic inch straight eight cylinder engine rated at 180 horsepower and available with a 3 speed manual transmission or an optional Ultramatic automatic transmission. With single exhaust, a 20 gallon gas tank, spoked wheels and a continental spare tire, the Caribbean weighed in at 4265 pounds spread out over a 122 inch long wheel base.
The Caribbean sold well in 1953, and today, because of its short production run and drastic departure from Packard’s previous stylings, it is very sought after by collectors.