Torsion Tension: 1955 Packard Patrician – Sold?

by | Oct 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

November 18, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Fighting for its survival, Packard Motor Corporation made one last-ditch attempt in 1955 to modernize the company’s “Senior” cars. The result was the stylish torsion bar suspended and V8-powered Packard Patrician such as the green survivor quality example originally listed on Craigslist in October 2021 in Rising Sun, Maryland offered at $10,000 or best offer currently.

Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Patrician priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $9,200 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $13,700.  Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $9,900 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $13,900.

The Hagerty Insurance Valuation Tool provides this synopsis of the 1955 Packard Patrician:

‘Packard tried to right the ship in 1955 with an elegant redesign of the Patrician, new 320- and 352-cubic inch V-8 engines, and self-leveling torsion-bar suspension on the top models. The bodies were handsome, with full-wide grilles, sweep-around windshields, cathedral taillights, and side trim that permitted tri-color paint schemes. The new mechanicals, however, were rushed into production, and oil pump problems and torsion-bar issues would cost the company dearly. Negative publicity and poor customer experiences hamstrung the company’s sales efforts for the remainder of its existence. The 1956 Packards’ engine ills had been ironed out, but it was too late, and Curtiss-Wright shifted production to sister company Studebaker’s South Bend factory, essentially treating Packard as a tax write-off. There would be no more big Packards after 1956, just badge-engineered Studebakers, and even those stopped appearing following the 1958 model year.

The Packard Patrician today carries the distinction of being one of the last top-level Packards built. The cars are fairly rare, and handsome as well. The 1955 cars are generally the least expensive due to their mechanical troubles, with the 1956 cars being good choices due to their extra power. Any car in “Easter egg” colors can carry a premium, and the overall build quality on these cars is very high. Trim, though, can be difficult to locate, and club support for later Packards is not on par with earlier cars, so new owners should be aware that they may not find a lot of support. Regardless, the cars are still eye-catching, and fun to drive.”

The interesting YouTube Channel Auto Moments provides a review and driving impression of a similar 1955 Packard Patrician:

This Packard Patrician appears to be a very solid and complete car. While we would leave the patina’d exterior paint as is, we would hire a professional upholsterer to repair the water-damaged rear seats as well as replace the carpet to make this car’s interior inviting again.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1955 Packard Patrician. The car runs and drives well and looks good. The body is in generally good condition and without rust. New brakes, water pump, fuel pump, gas tank, fuel lines, exhaust; the transmission was recently rebuilt. Torsion level ride working well. 47,128 miles on the odometer. Paint and chrome are in generally good condition, with small chips and a few larger spots of flaking on the roof. The upholstery is in moderate state with some larger areas of water damage. $10,000 or best offer.​

Restore or drive as-is: what would you do with this 1955 Packard Patrician survivor?  Comment below and let us know!


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