FROM THE MISSOULA AUTO MUSEUM COLLECTION: Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale January 19th - 22nd, 2017 at Russo and Steele's 17th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Please contact us for more information. Introduced on January 15, 1954, Packard's 54th Series for the 1954 model year enjoyed total sales of nearly 31,000 cars and Packard again managed to hold onto 16th place in American sales rankings. Excitement was generated by the Panther-Daytona (also known as the Grey Wolf II) experimental sports car, which was driven by eventual Indy 500 champion driver Dick Rathmann to 110.9 mph (official) and 131 mph (unofficially) later. Experiments with supercharged engines began in 1953 and continued during 1954. Packard's Conner Avenue plant in Detroit was converted to include body production, giving Packard full control over body assembly for the first time. Despite all of its momentum, Packard officially merged with Studebaker on October 1, 1954 after many months of negotiations, marking the end of Packard as an independent manufacturer. The 1954 model year was also the last for the John Reinhart-designed "high pockets" styling theme that was first introduced in 1951. Updated design cues included a larger and more elaborate radiator grille with an imposing appearance. There were now two top-level Clipper lines, the Series 5401 Deluxe Clipper and Series 5411 Super Clipper - both sharing the same 122-inch wheelbase chassis. The Deluxe was distinguished by a continuous sweep spear side molding running along the bodysides from the headlamps to the bottom of the taillights. "Clipper Deluxe" scripts were found on the trunk lid. Interiors were richly appointed, including over 20 trim combinations comprising genuine leather, broadcloth, nylon cord and nylon matelasse materials in a veritable rainbow of color choices. Deluxe Clippers include a 4-door/6-Passenger Sedan, 2-door/6-Passenger Club Sedan, and 2-door/6-Passenger Speedster. Power was delivered by the larger 327 cu. in. L-head Packard straight eight with nine main bearings and 165 rated horsepower - a silky-smooth mill that was previously used in Packard's limousines. Just 8,963 Deluxe Clippers were produced for 1954, with this 2-door/6-Passenger example one of just 1,470 produced. Offered from the Missoula Auto Museum Collection, this 1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe 2-door is a particular attractive example marking the end of Packard's independence as a manufacturer. Finished with a red roof over white lower bodywork and complemented by two-tone red leather and black cloth upholstery, the Clipper carries a great presence in very nice overall driver quality with correctness and remarkable originality. Desirable features include a radio and automatic transmission.