Wordy Wednesday #179 “1953 Packard Clipper”


In 1941, the Packard Motor Car Company introduced the Clipper model, as part of Packard’s nineteenth Series of automobiles. In 1948 The Clipper nameplate was dropped. When James J. Nance became the company’s president in 1952 separated Clipper as it’s own marque to targeted the mid-range market and keep it apart from Packard’s high-end cars but dealers hated the idea of losing their best selling car and it became a Packard after all until 1956 when it become a separate marque (again) but by them it was too late for Packard.

The above car is a 1953 Packard Clipper Club Sedan that Mary and I originally purchased to participate in The Great Race.  We kept it only a short while and after participating in several car shows and Packard Club events sold it to a private museum in Phoenix.

What was surprising to me about our Clipper was how modern it felt to drive, especially when compared to its contemporaries from Ford and Chevrolet. The manual steering and brakes did not require excessive effort and after replacing the worn out shocks it drove and road like a modern big car. The straight flathead eight cylinder engine could cruise at highway speeds and we easily kept up with traffic flow, never dawdling behind like in an “old car.”

When driving it I always got big smiles from everyone from young people to little grey-haired grannies. It was a great car to own, much cheaper to maintain than some modern German cars I’ve owned and like other cars that will appear in this series, it miss it to this day.

Author: Joe Farace

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