The Packard Clipper 1955: A Lasting Legacy of American Luxury and Style


The year 1955 marked a significant milestone in the automotive world, and the Packard Clipper of that year stood as a shining example of American luxury and style.

Packard, a renowned luxury automaker, had established a reputation for crafting elegant and innovative vehicles.

The 1955 Packard Clipper exemplified the brand’s commitment to excellence and set new standards for luxury cars of its time. In this article, we will delve into the history, design, features, and enduring legacy of the Packard Clipper 1955.

Historical Background

Founded in 1899, the Packard Motor Car Company had garnered a loyal following of affluent clientele who sought the pinnacle of automotive craftsmanship and luxury.

In the early 1950s, Packard faced challenges amidst changing consumer preferences and increasing competition from other luxury car manufacturers. The Clipper model line, introduced in 1941, became Packard’s core offering during this period.

The 1955 Packard Clipper was part of the carmaker’s Twenty-First Series, which was introduced in 1954 and continued through 1956. This series marked a significant refresh for the Clipper, bringing about various design and engineering changes that aimed to revitalize the brand.

The Design and Styling of the 1955 Packard Clipper

The 1955 Packard Clipper boasted an elegant and distinctive design that set it apart from its predecessors and contemporaries.

The car’s exterior featured a sleek, streamlined appearance, aligning with the design trends of the era. The front grille was a prominent focal point, with horizontal bars extending out to the fenders. The Packard emblem was displayed proudly at the center, a mark of distinction and quality.

At the rear, the Clipper showcased stylish taillights, chrome accents, and an overall cohesive design. The car’s lines and contours exuded a sense of grace and sophistication, making it a standout on the roads of the 1950s.

Luxury and Comfort in the Cabin

Step inside the Packard Clipper 1955, and one would find a sumptuous and well-appointed cabin that epitomized luxury and comfort.

Plush seating, often upholstered in premium fabrics or genuine leather, cradled occupants in opulence. The dashboard featured an array of elegantly designed gauges and controls, reflecting Packard’s commitment to both aesthetics and functionality.

Packard’s attention to detail was evident in the cabin’s craftsmanship and materials. Chrome accents and wooden trim added to the sense of refinement, and the overall layout exuded an air of elegance.

The Powertrain and Performance

Under the hood, the 1955 Packard Clipper was equipped with a robust and capable V8 engine.

The standard powertrain was a 320 cubic-inch, overhead-valve V8, which produced around 225 horsepower. This engine provided ample power for smooth acceleration and confident highway cruising.

The Clipper’s powertrain was paired with Packard’s signature “Ultramatic” transmission, an automatic transmission that was smooth and reliable, providing seamless gear changes.

This feature contributed to the car’s reputation for effortless driving and further solidified its position as a luxury automobile.

Innovative Features and Technology

Packard was committed to incorporating innovative technology into its vehicles, and the 1955 Clipper was no exception.

One notable feature was Packard’s “Easamatic” power brake system, which provided power assistance to the braking system, enhancing stopping power and safety.

The Clipper also featured Packard’s “Torsion-Level” suspension, a hydraulically controlled system that maintained the car’s ride height regardless of passenger or cargo weight.

This feature ensured a consistently smooth ride, even under varying load conditions.

The Legacy of the Packard Clipper 1955

The 1955 Packard Clipper played a crucial role in the brand’s legacy and stood as a testament to the excellence of American luxury automobiles during the 1950s.

However, despite its virtues, the Clipper line faced challenges in a rapidly changing automotive landscape. By the end of the 1950s, Packard would discontinue the Clipper model line and focus on its higher-end offerings, but the legacy of the Clipper would endure.

Today, the 1955 Packard Clipper is cherished by classic car enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Restored examples of the car evoke nostalgia for a bygone era of American luxury and automotive craftsmanship. Its sleek design, luxurious interior, and advanced features continue to captivate admirers of classic automobiles.

The Packard Clipper 1955 remains a timeless symbol of American luxury, style, and innovation in the automotive world. Its elegant design, luxurious interior, advanced features, and capable performance set it apart during its time and continue to inspire admiration today.

As a classic car from a golden era in American automotive history, the 1955 Packard Clipper holds a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts and collectors, a testament to the enduring legacy of a brand committed to excellence and refinement.

1931 Franklin Series 15 Convertible Coupe

1931 Franklin Series 15 Convertible Coupe


  • Single-family ownership from new until 2014
  • An attractive, well-preserved older restoration of a rarely seen body style
  • Powered by Franklin’s signature air-cooled inline-six, rated at an impressive 100 hp; fascinating engineering throughout
  • A CCCA Full Classic; also ideal for participation in Franklin Treks and club activities

The Franklin Automobile Company of Syracuse, New York always did things its own way. Between 1902 and 1934, when the marque went defunct, each Franklin was powered by an ingeniously designed air-cooled engine—a stretch of solely air-cooled production no American automaker has ever exceeded.

Even as consumer trends forced Franklin to adopt more conventional styling, including the addition of false grilles (behind which there was, of course, no radiator), the automaker continued its tradition of air-cooled innovation. By 1931, it offered a six-cylinder L-head engine that produced a stated 100 horsepower—remarkable power density for the era. When coupled with Franklin’s relatively lightweight bodies, this led to cars that were speedy and nimble, yet still luxurious-feeling; they were also lower-maintenance and economical to operate compared to the more conventional automobiles on the market.

The Franklin Series 15 Convertible Coupe offered here was purchased new by the president of South Boston Savings Bank, of Boston, Massachusetts, who drove it as his primary car until his unexpected passing in the mid-1950s. The banker’s daughter and her husband inherited it, and together, they would drive it to many different places during the summer months. As their son, the previous owner, fondly recalled, “There was a section of street near our house that would flood to a foot in depth, and we would drive through in the high-riding Franklin, waving to those stranded in the puddle. One day at a picnic, it rained on the way home, so my sister and I rode in the golf bag compartment, with the rumble seat closed!”

The Franklin was shown and driven by the family in the area around Grand Rapids, Michigan for some 40 years. It was rebuilt in the mid-1990s, with research performed to determine the original colors, to which the car was returned; it was subsequently maintained in driving condition until the family parted ways with the car in 2014. Following its acquisition by its new owner, a prominent

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