Today we'll be looking at one of several Packards that still roam Alameda's streets. I'm not sure what it is about Packards in this town, but up until a the early 90s there was a shop downtown that specialized in Packard repair and referred to itself as a Packard dealer, so apparently there's a hard core of Packardheads on the island.
And why not? This is a helluva good-looking car.
The Cavalier for '53 came with a 327-cube straight-8 that purred out a respectable 180 horses. This one packs the two-speed Ultramatic automatic. Now there's a good transmission name!
As has happened with a couple of other cars I've photographed for this series, the owner (in this case, the owner's daughter) came out and offered to sell me the car, which drives just fine. Tempting... very tempting!
The interior is still in pretty good shape.
I'm pretty sure nobody is going to confuse this car with the 80s GM product with the same name.
The list price of the '53 Cavalier was $3234. For comparison's sake, the entry-level '53 Ford sedan sold for $1743 and a '53 Jaguar Mark VII went for $4170.
The trim details are just gorgeous; the Cavalier was a respectably high-end car in its day.
Packard was pretty much done after the '56 model year, although some rebadged Studebakers were sold as Packards for the '57 and '58 model years. It's a shame they joined the long list of American carmakers to downward-spiral into oblivion in the postwar era.
What Will Become of Detroit's Packard Plant? [internal]