This 1952 Packard Pan American 'sports car', built for company president Hugh Ferry to a design by Richard Arbib, was a stock Packard 250 convertible reworked by hearse and ambulance specialist Henney.
The Packard Pan-American is a concept car produced for the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan in 1952.
Conceived as a moderate-performance two-seater by Hugh Ferry, president of Packard, it was built by Henney, which was responsible for fitting custom hearse and ambulance bodies on Packard chassis. A status symbol for a carmaker at the time, this sort of car was a very unlikely project for Packard.
With styling by Henney, it was based on the 1951 Series 250 convertible, and ready in time for the 1952 New York International Motor Sports Show. Sectioned and channelled, in a fashion reminiscent of the 1953 Skylark, and wearing the trademark Packard grille, it "was elegantly trimmed throughout".
Packard spent US$10,000 building the Pan-American, and management tried in vain to imagine, let alone develop, a market for a roadster projected to cost at least US$18,000, at a time when the top-line Lincoln Capri six-passenger convertible went for US$3,665, the premier eight-place Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood US$5643, and even Packard's Patrician 400, their most expensive production model, was only US$3,767, and a six-seater.
As many as six examples were built. The Pan-American did inspire a successful six-place model, the Cavalier, which debuted in 1953.