Packard introduced their “Touch Button Ultramatic” transmission control pad on 1956 models. It was standard on the 1956 Caribbean and a $52 option on the Clipper and lesser-priced models. The mechanism was built by Auto-Lite, a major Packard supplier.
Unlike Chrysler Corporation pushbutton controls, Packard’s was electrically actuated and used an electric shift motor (essentially a modified starter motor) to physically move the gears. At times, it would prove to weak to move the car out of Park on a steep hill and cause a circuit breaker to blow. The system was problematic, but because 1956 was Packard’s last year before bankruptcy, the system was never perfected.