53 Caribbean Basket Case;need trunk lid, trans

Discussions related to interchangeability between years and models, and currently available modern sources for parts.
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CanyonJerry1943
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:33 am

53 Caribbean Basket Case;need trunk lid, trans

Post by CanyonJerry1943 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:36 pm

Well, today I dug out a 53 Caribbean out of garage that has been stashed away since 1980. The bad news is it is highly disassembled (virtually everything apart), as well as likely missing who knows what.The car was scattered about in the garage. Major items I know (haven' inventoried it yet) that are missing are the trunk lid and the transmission. Good news is it looks fairly straight with little to no rust (California car for many years). I have done several basket cases before (not Packards), and have found having a parts car that is assembled really helps. Can someone tell which model has a deck lid that will fit? I assume most 1953 Clipper models would have a transmission that would be appropriate. It would be nice to find a two door, but that seems unlikely. Any leads on a trunk lid or tranny appreciated.

Dave Czirr
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Re: 53 Caribbean Basket Case;need trunk lid, trans

Post by Dave Czirr » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:24 am

The 1953 Caribbean started life as an incomplete Clipper convertible which was then shipped to Mitchell-Bentley for the conversion. So I'd guess a trunk lid from a Clipper convertible would work, though that won't be easy to find either. I don't believe the trunk lid from a 2-door closed car will fit as the trunk was modified to create the space for the top well. As to the transmission, the Ultramatic was NOT standard equipment so the car could have been built with either a standard shift or the automatic; if nothing else the configuration of the steering column should easily tell you which. An Ultramatic should be easy for locate, the standard shift unit no so much.

CanyonJerry1943
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:33 am

Re: 53 Caribbean Basket Case;need trunk lid, trans

Post by CanyonJerry1943 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:56 pm

Thank you for the information. I spent the day sorting through the contents of the garage in which I found the 53 Caribbean, No parts associated with a transmission were found, though the were several clutch discs and a manual bell housing and some parts from a later Packard (several push button controls) and an earlier Studebaker. And a ton of trash and garage junk some 30 years old. Ugh, what a dirty job. And I still have two or more days of stuff to go through. Nothing marked.
I searched the internet for a 53 Clipper line car with Ultramatic for a a parts car. Since I have no transmission, I'd prefer an automatic anyway. There is a '54 4 door Clipper for sale, but I am not knowledgeable enough to know the differences between a 53 and a 54. Should I expand my search for a parts car to a 54 ?
Thanks for any reply.
Jerry

Dave Czirr
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Location: New Jersey

Re: 53 Caribbean Basket Case;need trunk lid, trans

Post by Dave Czirr » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:30 pm

There were two different Ultramatic transmissions in 1954; towards the end of the run Packard introduced a modified Ultramatic known as the "Gear Start". It was the precursor to the Twin Ultramatic of 1955 and added a new forward driving range that started in Low range and transitioned to High, thus giving a 3-speed effect. For your '53 Caribbean you do not want the Gear Start version but I believe the traditional '54 Ultramatic will interchange with the '53 unit. Several easy ways to tell them from each other, easiest is via the dipstick/filler tube; the Gear Start tube is elongated and accessible from under the hood, driver's side. The traditional Ultramatic filler tube must be accessed from beneath the car.

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