1 of 588: 1958 Packard Hawk

For the rapidly dying Packard, the Hawk represented one component in the last roll of the dice for the company. That it was ultimately unsuccessful, and Packard quietly disappeared in late 1958 is now part of motoring history. With only 588 Packard Hawks built, they are a rare car, and this one will require a complete and painstaking restoration. If you feel that you’re up to the challenge, the Hawk is located in Hutchinson, Kansas, and listed for sale here on eBay.

Looking at the styling, the links between the Packard and the Studebaker Golden Hawk on which it was based are extremely obvious. The Packard received a different front-end treatment, as well as a faux spare wheel on the decklid to give the car that individual look. The body of this car is largely complete, and it is currently sitting on an El Camino frame to move it around. The original frame does come with the car, along with the vast majority of the original panels, although all will require restoration.

The Packard and Studebaker shared a common drive-line, with the supercharged 289ci V8 engine and automatic transmission. Packard did produce a manual version as well, but only around 28 of these were built, making them one of the rarest of the Packards. The engine in this one isn’t original, but the original engine and a supercharger are included in the sale.

The Packard also differentiated itself from the Studebaker with a more luxurious interior. You can just see some of the luxurious leather dash pad and machine-turned dash fascia in this shot. All of the interior trim in the Packard was leather, but apart from the pad, it now all appears to be gone. The positive on this is that the seat frames, along with the patterns for the door cards, carpet, and headliner, are all shared in common with the Golden Hawk, so obtaining these parts is not as difficult as you might first think.

The Packard Hawk raises the question of the ultimate price of exclusivity. If you compare the Hawk with its Studebaker brother, then you can expect the Packard to be priced nearly 50% higher than the Studebaker. When a Packard Hawk comes onto the market, which isn’t very often, a really good example will sell for up around the $39,000 mark. This one requires a lot of work, but it is certainly not beyond saving. The difficulty will lie in trying to obtain items like badges and trim pieces, which were exclusive to the Packard. The owner has set an opening bid of $5,500 for this car. I suspect that this project will be completed by someone more as a labor of love, rather than for sound financial purposes.

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Comments

  1. Gaspumpchas

    IMHO, the seller shot himself in the foot by the 5500 starting bid. My limited experience is to start low and let the bidders set the price and value. People by nature are scared off by a high starting bid. Anyhoo, this is one cool car. Wish I could see what the front end looks like, possibly like a stude?? You have lots of goodies here, would be great to have a shot or 2 of the frame. Good luck and happy bidding!!

    Cheers
    GPC

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  2. OhU8one2

    Packard is one of the car manufacturers I would like to still have around today. But rare is not always desirable. In the case of this Hawk, I prefer the Studebaker.

    1
  3. IkeyHeyman Member

    Don’t know what all comes with this, but if it doesn’t have the fiberglass snout and McColloch supercharger, you ain’t got diddly here.

    3
  4. RetroRick

    Junky and unloved then and now. Not a Packard in anything but name. A tragic and shameful end to a once great brand.

    4
  5. scottymac

    Learned something today, always thought the fins on this and other Hawk iterations were fiberglass. Not so here! Happy holidays to all (except the ex)!

    2
    • Poppy

      Just the first year Hawks in ’56 had Fiberglas fins. Until the Avanti, I think this car had the most Fiberglas on it of any Studebaker. Hood, nose, spare tire applique on the trunk lid.

      1
  6. Will Fox

    3 little but oh so important words on this one: TOO. FAR. GONE. Not only has the seller started out way too high with the opening figure, there isn’t enough of this one left to work with. As I always say, buy the very best example you can afford of any car you’re looking to buy. Pay more, and start with a more solid car and you are better off. This is just a pile of scrap for the crusher.

    3
  7. stillrunners

    So you have something rare and know what it is. Show us all that is special to this car….not a picture of a SBC….original engine with supercharger will get bids – not a late Camino frame.

    3
  8. lynn finlayson

    ive got a friend, here in alliance, nebr that has one with the original Packard v8 with stick and overdrive. had it running a couple years ago. all the glass is gone. has a dual quad intake in the trunk. they sold the air cleaner. thought it belonged on a caddy or chevy.. cant remember how much he wanted for it, but its still there and runs. has a couple spare parts in the back seat, whats left of it..

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  9. shanahan

    A while back BF had a ’57 Golden Hawk for 22k and it was nice. IMO You couldn’t make a car out of this for 30k.

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  10. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    I seem to remember the rear fins were fiberglass add-on parts?

    Does not seem to be the case here?

  11. Mike O'Handley

    I think I can answer some questions relative to this car. I maintain the Packard Hawk (PH) registry for the Studebaker Drivers’ Club, have a PH, and, for a couple of years I hunted for PHs for an Australian buyer who ended up with quite a few of these.

    First, in response to Lynn Finlayson, if your friend has a Hawk with a Packard engine, it’s not a 58L (Packard Hawk), it’s probably a 56H (’56 Studebaker Golden Hawk). The ONLY Hawk ever made by S-P Corp – Packard or Studebaker – that was factory-equipped with a Packard (352 ci – 275bhp) V8 was the ’56 Stude GH. NO OTHER VERSION of the ’56 Stude Hawk, hardtop (J-body) or coupe (C-body), was equipped with the Packard mill. It was used once in ONE Hawk model only and wasn’t even an option for any other, ’56 or otherwise. So, IF your friend has a PH, which was only made in ’58, and it’s equipped with a Packard mill, it’s value has been greatly diminished unless he/she has the original Studebaker V8 with the supercharger sitting around someplace. Check the vehicle serial number plate which is on the driver’s side A-pillar just above the dome light switch, if he has a PH, a PACKARD Hawk, the serial number will begin with 58L – anything else is a Stude and is not a Packard Hawk.

    I know, it sounds weird, but ALL PHs had the Studebaker 289 ci engine and came from the factory equipped with a supercharger. Some owners did have the supercharger, carb, and original intake manifold removed, and replace it with a single or dual quad manifold and carb(s), but a P.H. with the Stude 289 that’s missing the original manifold and the supercharger is less desirable than one with.

    There is another issue with the eBay listing. The owner says that this is PH number 258 of the 588 produced because the body tag says 258. That is incorrect. The vehicle serial number that’s found on the A-pillar, and is also stamped on the rearmost frame member, is the vehicle serial (VIN) number. In this case, the vehicle serial number is 58LS1266. 58 is the model year, the L designates it as a Packard, the S indicates that it is a Hawk (As opposed to the wagon, hardtop and 4-door models). 1266 means it was the 266th PH assembled. The fifth place in the serial number is always a number 1 that looks like a capital I or a roman number 1 followed by the three digits that indicate the assembly sequence. The PHs began with 1001 and run through 1588.

    As for the fins, the only year they were fiberglass was on the ’56 GH (No other Stude Hawk was equipped with fins that year) and after that, they are all steel, attached with screws with the pointed leading edge soldered with lead to the body. When those fins are removed so they can work on the crown of each rear quarter, whoever purchases this car is probably going to discover that the crowns of each rear quarter have completely rusted away.

    The body shown in the photos is in very poor condition. In order to make those replacement panels that are available on the market work, there needs to be enough good metal left in the body that there is something solid to weld the replacement panels to – I doubt you’re going to find that there. Someone buying this PH is going to need to purchase a second K body that’s solid, or at least a LOT more solid than this one, in order to make a replacement floor pan, hog troughs, etc. work. That’s not too difficult, there are quite a few 56 – 58 K bodied Stude Hawks still floating around on the market in unrestored condition with fairly solid bodies.

    The fiberglass bits are also a concern. The hood and nose piece are all fiberglass and specific to the PH. If the either is gone, replacing it is going to be really hard.

    The front fenders aren’t clearly shown. If the front fenders are rotted out, it won’t be too hard to find a used or NOS left front fender, but good luck finding a weldable right front fender – they are as scarce as hen’s teeth – PLUS the bottom-front of any replacement fender will need to be modified a bit, by adding a little metal extension, so that the nosepiece can mate properly to the front fenders.

    As far as being “restorable”, based on the photos shown, there isn’t much left there to work with. However, IF the driver’s side A-pillar with the serial number plate and the hood and nosepiece are there, one could “restore” this PH using a donor K body and a 54 – 58 hardtop frame. The A-pillar would need to be excised from the original and grafted onto the donor. That’s because, though it has two little U-shaped slots at either side that one would assume are for screws, the stainless steel serial number plate is spot-welded to the A-pillar. A proper restoration using a donor body would require that original A-pillar with the spot-welded plate.

    The serial number on the back frame member? It wouldn’t be there anyway – even on a car with little rust they are barely legible. If the frame of this is as rusted as the rest of the vehicle, that last frame member is probably completely rusted away or is as thin as tissue right now. Besides, it’s practically impossible to see that frame serial number without removing the back bumper and valence anyway.

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