Rome Arnold, 65, a former investment banker living in Southampton, NY, in Packard Caribbean in 1953, told AJ Bame.
Unlike today, in the 1980s there were many vintage cars that were restored at low cost. I lived in Manhattan and was looking for something I could use to go to the beach on the weekends. I took out the standard catalog of American cars. At that time, I discovered the Caribbean Sea.
It was built during the exciting period of American car design. In 1953, Packard debuted the Caribbean Sea, Buick debuted Skylark, and Cadillac announced El Dorado. All were limited edition cars. The latter two were long-standing models of the brand, but not so many in the Caribbean as the Packard brand soon disappeared.
The Caribbean was the most interesting to me. It was designed by a man named Dick Teague, who later became famous for the design of AMC Pacer. To create the Caribbean, Teague and his team adopted a standard packard convertible and greatly customized it. They broke the tradition: no hood decorations, and the word Caribbean is nowhere to be found in 1953 models. Power steering, brakes, convertible tops, adjustable seats, retractable antennas, windows, etc. were major issues in 1953.
It wasn’t easy to find. PACKARD only manufactured the 750 in 1953. There were only four colors: Matador Maroon, Sahara Sand, Polaris Blue, and Gulf Green. I only liked the russet color. So I fulfilled my mission to find something of this color.
Classic Packard Offers Unique Caribbean Wedding Cruise
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