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Jay Leno's 56 Caribbean Convertible
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JWL
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He featured it on his latest garage episode. Nice looking non-restored car. Take a look.

Posted on: 6/16 11:47
We move toward
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What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: Jay Leno's 56 Caribbean Convertible
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ECAnthony
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Originally delivered in Pittsburgh, Penn., the car has been in Illinois for many years. It is 1 of at least 15 painted "VMV" -- Corsican Black / Dover White / Corsican Black. It features a special-ordered all-leather interior.

Posted on: 6/16 14:10
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Re: Jay Leno's 56 Caribbean Convertible
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humanpotatohybrid
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Yeah I saw. Nice episode.

What I thought was interesting is that he said he wanted to restore his survivor 55 Caribbean but then realized you could just buy a restoration for the same price as doing one. Speaks to the increasing cost of such endeavors.

Also I don't know why you would restore a survivor car in the first place. Even if you have unlimited money I don't see the point, as survivor cars are unique and valuable in their own right.

Posted on: 6/16 22:04
Owner of '55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Jay Leno's 56 Caribbean Convertible
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PackardDon
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Love Jay and his show but rarely watch it although the black and white Caribbean caught our eye a couple nights ago so we saw it. We have also seen Jay in person a few times as part of the San José Celebrity Speaker Series and he’s surprisingly un-funny in those!

Posted on: 6/17 2:04
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Re: Jay Leno's 56 Caribbean Convertible
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Tim Cole
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Did the rear seat cushion fly out of the car?

Posted on: 6/17 7:35
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Re: Jay Leno's 56 Caribbean Convertible
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JWL
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Jay commented that he secured the seat cushions with double sided tape to avoid a "pillow fight" if he had to stop suddenly.

Posted on: 6/17 11:33
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: Jay Leno's 56 Caribbean Convertible
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kevinpackard
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The cushion was still in the car, just pushed up against the back of the front passenger seat. Floating cushions must have been a nightmare on those open top cars.

His Caribbean is a beautiful car. Love the black-white-black.

-Kevin

Posted on: 6/17 11:50
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Re: Jay Leno's 56 Caribbean Convertible
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acolds
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They have snaps to hold them and the cushion fit into the seat frame rather tightly . The original seats from Randy's car still had the snaps and they still worked, The new ones are a tight fit in the frame as well. Not a expert but just feeling on the matter. Jays car is very similar to Randy's except for interior colors. In video he made a few mistakes in regards to Caribbean but I respect him for his car knowledge to mention them he is true car guy with money to do his car collecting justice

Posted on: 6/17 12:11
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Re: Jay Leno's 56 Caribbean Convertible
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PackardDon
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He nearly always makes mistakes - some quite serious - on makes and models with which I am familiar so I take what he says with a grain of salt on other makes and models where I am not overly familiar.

Posted on: 6/17 12:54
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Re: Jay Leno's 56 Caribbean Convertible
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Leeedy
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Jay, bless his heart, makes several mis-statements in this video. And there are more in the article on the internet written about it...

• He repeats over and over that the seat cushions "come loose like a pillow fight when you stop." Cute, comedic thing to say, but the original cushions as made by the factory had tongues with snaps on them. These snaps held the cushions in place. Someone has quite obviously repopped the cushions in this car and made them incorrectly (they look too flat and probably with lighter foam). You think Packard would have released an obvious silly problem like Jay describes? No way.

• Jay says that the hood is "very heavy" and "filled with lead." Where does this silliness come from? Not true at all. Jay has a 1955 Caribbean, so he ought to know better. 1956 Caribbean hoods had the scoops pressed into the sheet metal– not added on. No lead. Just not true– no way no how. The hood is lighter than the 1955 hood and is certainly no heavier than typical hoods of that era. This is not a new Toyota... ALL 1950s American car hoods were "heavy" by modern standards.

• Jay calls the 1956 Ultramatic transmission simply a "two-speed" and goes as far as to say, "you don't miss a third gear." Wow. This is a huge understatement and typical classic car auction company speak. And comparing it with Chrysler is a very sad comparison. And it certainly was not like a Chevy Powerglide! Let's be fair! The 1956 Twin Ultramatic was a very sophisticated automatic. It had a fully aluminum case (like modern transmissions of today) when most automatics were heavy cast iron. The Ultramatic was one of the first automatics to have a "PARK" position when others of that era merely had "NEUTRAL" and you had to set the parking brake to prevent the car from rolling away!

The Ultramatic had a most unusual design that included a lock-up torque converter. So unlike some other mere "two-speed automatic"... when the Ultramatic went into high gear and then locked up you had direct-drive from the engine to the rear wheels. Rather than a slippery slush box, this transmission had a large clutch plate in the torque converter. Almost like a third gear. Why isn't this feature ever discussed?????

Of course the push button controls on this Twin Ultramatic were fully electronic, not like the cables on Mopars. One hugely misunderstood feature of these push-buttons was a thing called "Automatic Park." Whenever the ignition switch was switched "off", a second or so later, the transmission would automatically go into "PARK" position. This was in fact an early electronic anti-theft feature. People who never took the time to read the owner's manual (including tow truck drivers and mechanics) would push the "NEUTRAL" button with the ignition switch off and expect the transmission to go into "Neutral". Then get upset that the transmission was still in "PARK" (as it was designed to be). This resulted in false rumors that these transmissions were prone to locking in "PARK". Yessssss, I know some did.

• Jay makes a big deal of the modified trunk interior (he thinks it is original) and the covered spare tire. Sorry, but they didn't cover the spare like shown. This car is not completely "unrestored"...I've seen it up close years ago.

• Caps on the wire spoke wheels are obvious repops (probably the wheels too). Originals did not have a red painted hexagon. Instead, the original hexagons on wire wheel center caps were trimmed in red reflective Scotchlite. Packard also sold the adhesive-back Scotchlite red hexes as accessories.

• Jay makes it sound as though Studebaker and Packard didn't get together until after 1956. Actually they merged in 1954. Officially, the company that built the 1956 Caribbean was the Studebaker-Packard Corporation. The cars that people rejected were the Studebaker-built 1957 and 1958 "Packardbakers" that Packard originally had no intention of building. These cars were made as emergency stop-gaps after Packard had basically been commandeered by Curtiss-Wright and the Detroit, Utica and California facilities forcibly sold off.

Cute video, and comedic things said that might appeal to those who don't know Packard or 1956 Caribbeans... but there are so many more accurate and relevant things that could have been said here.

Posted on: 6/17 17:00
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