For 1955 the Four Hundred name was re-employed by Packard and assigned to the automaker’s senior model range two-door hardtop. Visual cues that helped to easily identify the 400 included a full color band along the lower portion of the car topped by a partial color band that truncated along the rear edge of the front doors. “The Four Hundred” in gold anodized script adorned the band between the front wheel well and door edge.
Changes to the 1956 Four Hundred followed those changes to the entire senior Packard line as it attempted to further distance itself from the Clipper, which was now its own marque in 1956. The Four Hundred shared its body and chassis with the more expensive, new-for-’56 Caribbean hardtop.
Senior Packards received a new grille texture and multi-tone paint schemes. The cars also received an altered headlight housing, with a slightly longer hood stretching over the headlight, as well as a more distinctive egg-crate grille over 1955. All ’56 senior Packards moved the Packard crest to the front of the hood, leaving the “circle-V” emblem in the grille looking somewhat bare.
Power was increased as the new-for-1955 V8 was enlarged from 352 to 374 cubic inches, with a corresponding upgrade in horsepower ratings. A new electronic push-button control for the Ultramatic automatic transmission was offered as an option on the Four Hundred, the push-buttons located on a pod mounted via a stalk off the steering column. Although sophisticated, it proved troublesome. A simpler column-mounted selector was standard.
Production totals for 1955 came to 7,206 units for the Packard Four Hundred, and 3,224 units for 1956.
The 1956 Packard 400 offered here has been in the same ownership from 1975-2017 (history prior to 1975 is unknown) when I sold it to the current owner. He has improved the car with the rear axle service, full brake service, new radiator and 4 new whitewall radial tires. A detailed list of the work done can be provided upon request. This Packard remains mostly original, other than a paint job (and carpet) sometime in the late 60’s to its original blue. It runs very well, the transmission and push button selector work well. Radio, power antenna work well, lights, directionals. Both heaters and fans working, but the heater core is disconnected, Not working are the fuel gauge, wipers and interior lights. The pictures should clearly show the cosmetics of the car, both inside and out.