We don’t know if we would have put up with 20 years of all the setbacks that the seller of this 1954 Packard convertible for sale on Hemmings.com endured. Then again, according to our research, Packard built just 1263 convertibles that year, 400 of which were Caribbeans, so this non-Caribbean convertible is still pretty rare. From the seller’s description:
I began the restoration project in 1992 and set-out restoring the car to a high standard with the intention of showing it. The car was stripped down to the bare frame, the entire chassis was powder coated and the suspension rebuilt while the engine and transmission was being rebuilt. This is where things started to go wrong. The mechanic working on the front suspension was badly injured when a strap holding a spring in place let go. Someone else completed the reassembly at the shop and I was never happy with the result. I should have taken this as a bad omen.
The newly rebuilt engine and transmission were reinstalled in the chassis. Work progressed on the car at a slow pace with the entire rolling chassis ultimately completed. Most of the chrome was replated and other component parts were restored during this time. The restoration shop, still short handed by the injury pretty much stopped working on the car not too long after completing the chassis.
To move the project along I took the car to another local shop that had a great reputation for doing metal work. Once there the body work from the firewall back was done all in metal. The rockers required minor patching, the rear quarters required patching and the paint was stripped from the rest of the body.
The car was supposed to have the doors, trunk and other sheet metal fitted and finished but a change in job status for me forced me to halt the project. The car was moved to my garage in 1995.
The story jumps to 2009 when I set about to finish the car. I sent it another local shop that I had dealt with over the years with orders to get the car running and finish the bodywork and paint. I won’t go into detail but after 2-1/2 years and getting the help of an Attorney I finally got the car back. It still is not running and the paint is a disappointment. This shop managed to restore the dashboard, assemble most of the running gear and finish the rough bodywork okay. But, they never got the engine to the point of starting it, they botched the finished bodywork with panels that don’t fit and are wavy and need more blocking, the paint once visible in the daylight is not Packard Ivory and clearly a couple different shades.
The bottom line is this; the engine is rebuilt and turns freely, 90 percent-plus of all the chrome is done, the car has a new wiring harness, new brakes, rebuilt transmission, restored gas tank, 2 sets of wheels (original steel and factory wire), a full set of perfect NOS hubcaps, some new emblems and a lot for my blood. This is a perfect car for a do-it-yourselfer to finish or someone who wants a classic 1950′s car done their way.
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
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