A lot was happening with the Packard Motor Company in 1953. This was the year that Packard brought back the Clipper line as its base model automobile. Before 1953 the Packard Clipper line did exist as its self standing line which started in 1941. The 1953 Clipper base model lasted through 1956. Before the Clipper line was reintroduced in 1953, the Packard 200 was the base model automobile.
The wheel base of a 1953 Packard Clipper is 122 inches. The line was broken up into two separate Clippers. The base model Clipper, and the Clipper Deluxe. There were different models in each class. The total number of Packard clippers produced for 1953 was just over 63,000. The different Clippers offered for 1953 were as follows.
Clipper four door sedan
Clipper two door sedan
Clipper Sportster two door sedan
Clipper Deluxe four door sedan
Clipper Deluxe two door sedan.
Many things were happening at the Packard Motor Company in 1953. Introducing the Clipper was one of Packard’s efforts to help save the automobile manufacturer. This is because the company saw itself declining. Many people were less interested in the higher class automobiles and were looking for the more affordable models. This was tough for the Packard Motor Company, because Packard was always known as a higher end automobile. Many people believe this is what led to Packard’s failure in 1958.
The 1953 Clipper had many of the same styling aspects in all of the models offered. The Clipper was a larger car, the four door sedan base Clipper was rated to sit six people. All of the Clipper models had the Packard inline straight eight flathead engine that Packard had been using for some time. The lower end clipper had the 288 straight eight and the deluxe models had the 327 straight eight. The 288 engine produced 150 HP, and the 327 engine produced 180HP. This was odd that Packard was still using a flathead inline eight engine, due to the fact that most automobile manufactures had already switched to an overhead valve V8 design. Packard was the last automobile manufacturer to switch to a V8 engine in 1956.
The Packard Clipper line offered the working man the ability to own a Packard, while the experienced Packard owner could still own his top of the line automobile. What Packard would you have chosen?
It is truly a shame that the Packard name had to come to an end, but one thing is for sure, if you would ever like to know more about a Packard, all you have to do is “Ask the Man Who Owns One”.
(My personal 1953 Packard Clipper-Four door sedan)