Packard turned from building top-tier luxury cars prior to WWII to Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engines during the war, but picked up in 1946 with the Clipper series they had introduced in 1941. The returning 1946 Packard Clippers were almost identical to the prewar cars, being semi-streamlined two- and four-door sedans with fade-away fenders. The grille remained tall and narrow, only now with fewer and thicker bars.
The Clipper could be ordered with a 245-cid straight-six engine that produced 105 hp, a 125-hp straight-eight engine that displaced 282 cid, or a 356-cid, 165-hp L-head eight. The latter engine was reserved for the luxury Super and Custom Super lines. The base Clipper rode on a 120-inch wheelbase, while the Super and Custom Super Clippers rode a 127-inch wheelbase. The Custom Super also came as a seven-passenger sedan and as a limo, both of which rode on 148-inch long wheelbases, which was one of the longest in the domestic industry. Prices ran from $1,700 for a six-cylinder car to $2,900 for a Custom Super Clipper sedan. The LWB versions were more than $1,000 above that price, still.
The 1947 model year was essentially identical to the 1946.
The Clipper is an interesting line to follow, with some of the 1946 and 1947 cars at the very top of Packard quality. Because of low production numbers, trim and parts are hard to find for these cars, and cars without needs can be difficult to discover. Once they are found, however, they are worthwhile additions to any collector’s garage..
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