Tips, Tricks & Trends

Freak Show Friday: This Mess Honors The Packard Motor Car Company

Making a modern-day Packard from a production Lincoln is so many levels of wrong. First, Lincoln was probably the closest competitor to Packard. And it is definitely not the best-looking car to begin your quest to make a modern Packard. Then, looking at the modifications made to give this a Packard look is atrocious. The confluence of all of this bad is what makes for a good Freak Show Friday. Within a certain context, something really bad can become really good. This is a really good Freak for Freak Show Friday.

Lincoln Town Car Packard conversion

Packard was the most prestigious brand in the US-maybe the world

There was a time before WWII that Packard was the most prestigious brand in the US. Maybe even the world. Head and shoulders above Cadillac. But after the war Packard came out with the “pregnant whale” and it was all downhill from there.

1952 Packard Pan America concept car

No doubt Packard had some great cars after the war, but its image and misdirection had it circling the drain for a decade before giving up the ghost in 1956. For 1957-58 Packard was just a mangled up Studebaker. That’s why many consider the 1956 Packard the last of the best. 

We are assuming this was a low volume conversion we hope didn’t move the needle

1941 Packard Darrin phaeton

This Freak started out as a Lincoln Town Car. The ugly Town Cars from the 2000s. We are assuming this was a low volume conversion that we hope didn’t move the needle much. How many bad modern interpretations of Packard do we need, after all?

Not to be critical but everything that is done to make this a Packard is bad. Really bad. The two-tone breakup visually shortens the car. As do the bubble skirts. Horrid. Then the faux vinyl top landau mistake going on at the back of the top is just bad. Do you see how “atrocious” and “bad” keep popping up in the description of this?

The proboscis Packard faux grille accentuates the massive front overhang

Lincoln Town Car Packard conversion

The icing on the cake is the fake front grille. Modern cars need an area ahead of the front wheel centerline to package everything that needs air. Air conditioning, brakes, engine cooling, and more. It gets crowded. But, to add the proboscis Packard faux grille just accentuates the massive amount of front overhang. It just piles bad upon worse. 

When viewed directly from the front the modern headlights tying into the faux grille are not bad. But viewed anywhere besides the front you see the length of the overhang. Ugh!

1956 Packard Caribbean

Out in the back is the “Packard-Esque”  Continental fake vinyl-covered spare tire

Lincoln Town Car Packard conversion

Out in back the “Packard-Esque”  Lincoln Continental fake vinyl-covered spare tire form and crap chrome trim is all just a mess of bad. There’s nothing upscale or Packard-like about this cheap-looking attempt at we-don’t-know-what. Rather than eluding a bit of “class” it just screams “I have no taste and think this mess is classy.” It also says “I’m willing to pay a lot of money for this mistake because I’m an idiot.”

1953 Packard Caribbean

The only thing redeeming about this is that there are still Packard enthusiasts that will go out of their way to honor the marque. Even as bad of an attempt as this is it is a heartfelt homage. Packard deserves to not be forgotten, but not like this. This is a travesty. It’s embarrassing. We’ve included some images from Packard’s better days to show how it has maintained a reputation for quality, class, style, and better days.


1952 Packard convertible