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Jean Marais' 1955 Caribbean and other French V8 Packards
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2016/9/27 19:02
From France
Posts: 24
Recently discovered that famous (at least to us here ) French actor Jean Marais owned a 1955 Caribbean. Singer Edith Piaf also had a Caribbean, a 1956 convertible, and that car still exists. Jean Marais' Caribbean fate is unknown.

About Jean Marais: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Marais

Edith Piaf's Packard is photographed here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fil ... tible_Model_5699_1956.JPG

About license plates and dates:
- Jean Marais' Caribbean plates are "BL 78" which denotes a 1955 registration in the "département" of Yvelines.
- Edith Piaf's Caribbean plates are "ET 75" which denotes a very early 1956 registration in the city of Paris.

And while browsing some old LIFE magazine pictures on Google, I found that picture of Place de la Concorde with a 1955 Four Hundred.

In the meantime, I try to keep the Patrician road ready, as the original French Packards either disappeared or are in museums. Guess what: I had a Treadle Vac failure, and had to rebuild it. The car then passed the technical inspection and is now registered.

I'll keep this post open for the Packards I would be aware of in France, today or back in the day. I always appreciated these Detroit irons out of their US context. I let you image how "chic" it was to drive a Packard in Place de la Concorde or Place Vendôme back in 1955, or cruising down the Champs Elysées...

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jpg  Concorde-01.jpg (55.25 KB)
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jpg  Au garage.jpg (57.96 KB)
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Posted on: 2018/2/22 1:16
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Fred
1956 Patrician Touring Sedan
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Re: Jean Marais' 1955 Caribbean and other French V8 Packards
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Joined:
2007/5/20 1:34
From Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
Posts: 10435
G'day Fred,

Sharp eyes to spot the Packard in the Life picture of the Place de la Concorde'

Just wondering, did you attend the Euro Packard Meet in 2011?

Posted on: 2018/2/22 2:51
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Mal
/o[]o\
====


"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

'38 Eight Sedan 38's are great! (Sold July 2009)
'41 120 Club Coupe 41's the One! (Sold October 2017)
'48 2222 "Almost" Rolling Limo Chassis and Engine (Sold Sept 2019)
'50 Eight Touring Sedan(Sold Feb 2020)

Project Blogs:
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What's this? >>>>>> FAQ - Add your Packard to the Owners Registry
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Re: Jean Marais' 1955 Caribbean and other French V8 Packards
Home away from home
Joined:
2006/5/29 17:21
From Pahrump, NV
Posts: 2053
Fred,

Nice Patrician! I just got back from 20th Pontiac Heaven event in Phoenix (great Pontiacs too!) and took my 55 Pat out on some errands. I had 4 encounters with Packard lovers here in Pahrump, NV including an older woman who chased me down until I made my last stop. She just had to see my Pat and talk about it -- which I was more than accommodating.

I'm sure you've had similar experiences in France.

One time there was a bus load of French tourists stopping at the local shopping center before continuing their trip from Las Vegas to Death Valley in the Summer. Instead of all going into the supermarket for the stop, they all came over to my Packard to see it, take pictures and ask questions. Since my French is from High School I couldn't understand most of their questions, but fortunately a couple of the tourists spoke excellent English so we had a fun conversation. I opened every door, the hood and trunk lid for them and they loved it.

The French seem to love their cars and others. Enjoy your Packard.

Craig

Posted on: 2018/2/22 4:21
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Nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure! Ellen Ripley "Aliens"
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IDIOCRACY - no longer just a movie - it's HERE! It's NOW!
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True now more than ever.

Website: 1956PackardPanther.com
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Re: Jean Marais' 1955 Caribbean and other French V8 Packards
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 16014
I don't have the data for 1955 but an unusually large number (29) of the 1956 Caribbean convertibles were built for export; #5699-1228 was an export model for delivery to Boulogne, France. Last I heard, as of a few years ago, #1228 has survived in a museum in France - presumably it and the Edith Piaf car are the same vehicle. The car as built had paint scheme MTV and interior trim code 90, chromed wire spoke wheels, and speedometer in kilo/hr.

Posted on: 2018/2/22 6:00
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Re: Jean Marais' 1955 Caribbean and other French V8 Packards
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 691
Hello... I believe the Jean Marais 1955 Caribbean still existed at least in the mid-1970s. A fellow from France wrote to me in California and sent photos of his 1955 Caribbean along with pics of him driving it and his kids in the car. I believe he even sent me the serial numbers from the car.

That part of my files are buried in storage right now, but perhaps this summer I will have time to dig them out and look again. I never got around to completely digitizing my collected information on 1955 Caribbeans... which is considerable. Most I had was in letters, notes and 3 x 5 cards. But years went by and I was busy with my career.

In the meantime, I'm trying to track down a rumor of a Packard Pan American supposedly somewhere in France. Some say it is in a garage. Others say it is in a museum. And there are other rumors. But so far, I have had no success in finding this car.

Do you know anything about it?

Thanks!

Posted on: 2018/2/22 10:48
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Re: Jean Marais' 1955 Caribbean and other French V8 Packards
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/7 19:30
From Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 2000
Great pictures!
Thanks for posting.

The crest looks like it’s missing on the grill.
It looks like a piece of the trim is missing on the top of the windshield.
Maybe a dent in the lower bumper?
The car appears to have clear glass.

One picture he appears to have longer hair than the other, I wonder if they indicate a different year?

Nice looking 56.

Posted on: 2018/2/22 16:55
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Re: Jean Marais' 1955 Caribbean and other French V8 Packards
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 16014
Your keen powers of observation are duly noted!!

Posted on: 2018/2/22 17:19
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Re: Jean Marais' 1955 Caribbean and other French V8 Packards
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/6/10 13:46
From Packardia
Posts: 5263
But now the hair is short again. There is more to it than meets the eye. What's behind all this?
Click on the hairless icon to lift the curtain.

Attach file:



jpg  Marais.jpg (41.68 KB)
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Posted on: 2018/2/22 22:28
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Re: Jean Marais' 1955 Caribbean and other French V8 Packards
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2016/9/27 19:02
From France
Posts: 24
Answering the best I can, and many thanks for the valuable inputs:

- Packard Pan American: I'm not aware of such a car here, but who knows. When I see Chrysler Ghias or Eldorados in the most unexpected locations, then why not...! I know of a 1953 Patrician with the Derham roof.

- Piaf's Caribbean: the museum the car is located in is not too far away from where I live (60 miles). I'll probably pay them a visit this summer, and try to get confirmed it's 5699-1228. The Packard importer was Ets Barbezat ("Ets" means "Etablissements").

- Jean Marais' Caribbean: if the car survived the 70s, then it is highly possible that the car still exists today, somewhere. The 70s were pretty harsh for those cars, usually sent to the crusher, no matter their rarity: they were old, outdated, not maintained, gasoline was (still is) expensive... Eldorados, Imperials, convertibles... Many were crushed.

- Extra equipment on the rear: these are the mandatory French/European reflectors, because of the road regulations. One can see them on a 1956 Clipper that appears in a movie with Yves Montand ("César et Rosalie"). The license plate number EN 75 denotes a '55 autumn registration in city of Paris.

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jpg  Clipper56-Cesar-Rosalie.jpg (26.75 KB)
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Posted on: 2018/2/23 0:35
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Fred
1956 Patrician Touring Sedan
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Re: Jean Marais' 1955 Caribbean and other French V8 Packards
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 691
Quote:

PP56FR wrote:
Answering the best I can, and many thanks for the valuable inputs:

- Packard Pan American: I'm not aware of such a car here, but who knows. When I see Chrysler Ghias or Eldorados in the most unexpected locations, then why not...! I know of a 1953 Patrician with the Derham roof.

- Piaf's Caribbean: the museum the car is located in is not too far away from where I live (60 miles). I'll probably pay them a visit this summer, and try to get confirmed it's 5699-1228. The Packard importer was Ets Barbezat ("Ets" means "Etablissements").

- Jean Marais' Caribbean: if the car survived the 70s, then it is highly possible that the car still exists today, somewhere. The 70s were pretty harsh for those cars, usually sent to the crusher, no matter their rarity: they were old, outdated, not maintained, gasoline was (still is) expensive... Eldorados, Imperials, convertibles... Many were crushed.

- Extra equipment on the rear: these are the mandatory French/European reflectors, because of the road regulations. One can see them on a 1956 Clipper that appears in a movie with Yves Montand ("César et Rosalie"). The license plate number EN 75 denotes a '55 autumn registration in city of Paris.


Ahhh. Thank you so much for responding.

RE: the Pan American in France... I have repeatedly been told of this car in various locations. One rumor is that it is in a museum, but so far museums I have contacted say no. Another rumor is the car is at a villa located outside of Paris. Still another story has the car in the south of France. Are any of these rumors factual? I have no idea.

RE: the Piaf Caribbean... 5699-1228 on my Roster has been in a museum since 1988. In 1976 it was in Lyon and owned by a fellow named Pierre. This car was originally assigned to South Bend in my records and left from there to Europe. I see the car in the museum has sprouted an odd gray paint job with reddish-orange stripe (hard to determine stripe color in the photo). However this car was originally MTV color. Also the interior now appears to be gray and seats/upholstery patters/colors completely changed. Front seat cushions appear adapted from Mercedes. Removable cushions appear to be permanently removed. It would be nice to see more photos of this Caribbean.

RE: the Marais Caribbean... I will look in my records this summer when I can get into deep storage in my warehouse. There was also a 1955 Caribbean in Belgium at one point and I never got around to checking the numbers to see whether or not these were the same car.

Again, thanks for the response. I would love to see more images of your Patrician. I had one just like it many years ago, same color with factory air and twin rear antennae. No idea where that car is today.

Oh yes, somewhere I have a pair of the French safety reflectors in little round housings. These were on a Mercedes convertible I had long ago.

Posted on: 2018/2/23 5:53
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