Last Of The Line: 1958 Packard “Packardbaker”

1958 brought an end to the storied Packard marque. It was not an elegant end by most accounts, as basically low-budget add-ons were attached to the basic Studebaker shell to create a different look that not everyone found attractive. This beautiful and largely original example is up for sale here on eBay and bidding has already passed $12,000 — so someone sure likes it now! It’s located in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, but if you are in the USA don’t let that put you off as the seller can help with the necessary paperwork to bring the car across the border.

The dual fins are a result of the add ons, just like the headlight pods. These styling features weren’t very successful in the marketplace, and only 675 were made. This is an older repaint that is still pretty nice, although there is a bubble or two present (pointed out by the seller). Bumpers are said to be in “original condition”, which I guess means they haven’t been replated, and have some minor bumps to show the part.

You can really see the add-ons in this photo. Honestly, I like the nose, although I’m not sure others share my opinion (my wife, looking over my shoulder, went “yuck”). The color certainly looks nice to me — hopefully you agree with that?

Inside, the car appears largely original except for fresh carpet. The driver’s side armrest is pretty deteriorated, but apart from that it looks nice to me. The car has 76,000 miles on it, and it looks like it was very well taken care of (apart from that armrest!)

The 289 V8 offered 225 horsepower and 305 ft-lbs of torque. In this case, it was attached to a two-speed Flite-O-Matic transmission and got rid of its gases through dual exhausts. Those 675 cars were the last gasp of the marque, as there were no Packards produced after July of 1958. Would you like to make this rare one yours?

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. mark

    Wow, This is nice, don’t think I have ever seen one of these. Great find!

    2
  2. jmolsn Member

    I’m one of the bidders! I’m one of the lovers of the look! I just purchased a heat damaged 1958 4 door that would love to have this in the garage next to it!!

    1
    • Vince H

      jmolsn,

      Good luck I hope you get it at a good price.

  3. jmolsn Member

    This is the one I just purchased

    4
    • KEN TILLY

      Lucky you JMOLSN

    • Paul

      Very cool. Will you be able to restore it for $13 to 15K?

      • Vince H

        @Paul

        You are right you can’t. There is not much demand for them as most Studebaker or Packard people don’t want them. It should be saved since so few are left.

      • Paul

        I do agree with you Vince H. Cannot allow this history to be wasted. The beauty and the dollars are in the eyes of the beholder… Good luck

    • glen

      Is that your garage? NICE!

      • Ed

        Looks like a Sharon Steel Building of West Midlesex Pa.
        Johnny Coral now owner George Muha when I sold their products. The building, George and Johnny were terrific to work with. Our last year we were highest sq footage of sales.

    • Richard Schickling

      I have a ’58 hardtop for sale, and its ready to go, Interested ?
      55packardv8@gmail.com Rick

  4. 86 Vette Convertible

    I guess that’s what happens when you have designers on drugs. Even the oil filter, if that’s original having it upside down leaves nowhere for the oil to go other than down the front of the engine when it comes time for a change.
    Sorry but looks like a doper designed this one IMO.

    Don’t take it wrong, I like Packards but this definitely is not one of them.

    • AmericanMotorist90

      Haha do you realize when an oil filter is mounted like that, the oil drains down into the engine before you take it off so there almost no mess like you get when they’re flipped the other way and all the oil comes draining out if the engine? I take it you’ve never done an oil change on a classic with a filter mounted this way before. It’s an ingenious design.

      • 86 Vette Convertible

        I have never done an oil change on an engine with a setup like this. That begs the question, then where is the check valve or does the thing have to pump up prior to putting oil out to the engine? Sorry but it doesn’t seem too smart to me.

        May be a rare car, but it does absolutely nothing for me. Sorry.

      • Craig M. Bryda Member

        Similar to Ferraris filter mounts.

      • DRV

        I have that on my BMW and my Volvo…

        1
      • Bill McCoskey

        The oil filters designed for these engines have a built-in valve system that when there is no oil pressure, it’s sealed at both entry & exit. There is really very little excess oil when removing the filter, far less than the filters you remove from under the car. I had a 1957 Packard Clipper & ’58 sedan, and the ’58 had a remote oil drain valve installed by the first owner. Changing the oil & filter was a matter of sliding the drip pan underneath the car, opening the remote valve located on the firewall, drain the oil while changing the filter, close the valve and fill the engine with 5 quarts. Start to finish 5 minutes.

        And don’t forget to pull the drain pan out before driving off. I did that once because I wasn’t thinking about what was underneath, because I didn’t have to jack it up & get under the car

        1
      • Loco Mikado

        These are a partial flow oil filter as opposed the the full flow filters were are used to today. Up until the 50’s most engines didn’t have an oil filter and up to the 60’s most were partial flow filters.

    • Metoo

      And find out what they were smoking when they thought the double find were a good idea.

      • Ed

        I seen a fourties or early fifties Packard with a chassis greaser. A lot of terrific plumbing.

  5. DRV

    These fall into the “so ugly it’s cool” category for me. Everything except the hardtop screams wrong, which makes it look like a DeSoto.
    The rear fins might have been the inspiration for the Sydney Opera House…https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CgY4n5BsK9o/VafsZ-ccfcI/AAAAAAAAVSE/hwiiUfAjLnA/s1600/Sydney%2BOpera%2BHouse.JPG

    • mikeH

      LMO—The Sydney Opera House is one of the ugliest buildings ever constructed.

      • John D

        but, it is Iconic ugly!

  6. Rube Goldberg

    Whenever I see these cars, a tear comes to my eyes. This car was the end of one of the most important car makes ever. My grandfather had a ’48, he bought new, and our family had a 1950 for almost 30 years. ( 1980-2010) Packard, at that time, was simply the best. Their contributions to WW2 undoubtedly, helped us win the war. No, these were not designed by drug addicts ( I always dislike that analogy). It was the late 50’s, and everybody was doing radical changes. This wasn’t all that much different from the other cars of the time. Studebaker threw everything they had in the parts bin at these, and it failed miserably. Again, a sad end to a wonderful car, and this should be in a museum, and I believe I saw an exhibit at the Studebaker museum featuring these.

  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    I thought of this Daimler SP250 when I saw the Packard.

    1
    • DRV

      Both are a little fishy…

      1
  8. Jeffro

    I actually like the look of this car

  9. Dave Mc

    Unique and rare. Good luck with the bidding jmolsn. Hope it’s yours.

  10. DB

    I didn’t realize Packard and Studebaker were of the same big house. I really like the design, too.

    • Dick Johnson

      Studebaker-Packard company, or STP for short. Andy Granatelli made that mark famous. Might still be a can(showing my age) er, bottle or two of STP at Walmart in the oil additive aisle.

      Packard-Merlin engines in P51s, Packard V-12s in PT boats sure helped during WW-II. Not to mention the engineering efforts made for supercharging and turbo research during the war.

      • Dirty Dingus McGee

        Actually, Granatelli’s first dealings with Studebaker and Packard were when he worked at, and soon bought, Paxton Products, makers of the supercharger used in 1957-58 and again in 63-64. It was a couple years later that STP came along.

      • Bill McCoskey

        I have a can [about the size of a “Monster” energy drink] from the late 50’s from Studebaker, marked “Studebaker Treatment for Petroleum”, AKA — STP!

        1
      • DweezilAZ

        “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”. Not Studebaker-Packard.

        Though they did try to tie it into their marketing as “Studebaker Tested Products”, the company had been around through the early fifties as STP produced by Chemical Compounds and was acquired by Studebaker-Packard in 1961.

        S-P was diversifying out of automobile manufacturing during 62-64.

  11. ags290 Member

    This one makes my heart go thumpity thump! She is a beauty eh?

  12. John D

    I must admit, I was thrown off a bit after reading Jamie’s headline, but it is an apt description of this car. After studying the design, I can see the Studebaker Hawk whose body it shares. It is unfortunate that this ‘Swan Song’ effort, became an ‘Ugly Duckling’ by such brazen parts bin shopping to build something that hit all the current design themes. I guess in that light, it achieved success. I think it might have sold more if it didn’t smack of so much me too-ism. With the filter of 60 years, I find it as attractive as unusual and figuring if it would be better to travel around Lake Huron or Lake Michigan.

    • Paul Bellefeuille

      It shares the body with the Studebaker Starlight Coupe..the larger cars. The Packard Hawk and Stude Hawk are the same. The Packard Hawk has the “toilet seat” trunk lid..

      • Bill McCoskey

        The Hardtop could be ordered with the fake spare tire on the trunk lid too. However it would not fit on the sedan trunk, that trunk lid was too flat.

  13. Rock On Member

    @jmolsn- is that your sweet garage? Good Luck with your bidding!

  14. kuzspike

    Those tail lights have been a favorite of custom car builders since they came out.
    These are on a 1953 Chevrolet

    • Bill McCoskey

      The lenses have been replicated due to the high demand for them, however the pot metal light assemblies have not, and they can cost well over $500 each for NOS or mint examples. And while the 4 lenses on the ’57 and ’58 cars are the same as the 1956, the chrome housings are not. The 56 versions have studs in the back, and mounting them on the car is done from inside the trunk. The Studebaker fenders didn’t allow any access, so the later cars have 3 screw holes, one on either side of the lenses and one at the top peak.

  15. Mark S. Member

    As a Canadian it is my hope that it is bought by another Canadian if I had the means and the place to put it I’d be bidding. Al to many of our classic cars end up south of the border. As for the add ins that have been mentioned that has become come practice.

    • SAM61

      Ok is this Studebakers version of a DeSoto or did the stacked fins inspire the Sydney Opera House architect.

      The new owner should cut a deal for short-term display at the Studebaker Museum in South Bend. Highly recommend a 3-5 hour visit if you are in the area.

  16. Vince H

    The transmission is a 3 speed. It has a second gear start. If you start in low shift to drive and back to low it will lock in second.

    • Loco Mikado

      It is the 3 speed BW transmission that was also used by Ford, Mercury, AMC, Jeep, Studebaker and even Jaguar. There are probably others. Some were second gear start and some were dual range with both first and second gear start.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Vince H is correct, but only on the V8 Studebaker powered cars. The 6-cylinder cars started in 1st gear. To make the V8 cars start in first gear each time you stop, pull the trans pan & filter, and there is a small spring that holds the valve closed unless the shift lever is put into low. Pull out the spring, replace the filter & pan, and it will start in 1st each time.

  17. Paul

    If I were looking for a new car in 1958, I would have had to pass this one up, even though I do like the color. Fast forward to 2018 and since so few were produced and the condition it is in, I would have to entertain the idea. A piece of automotive history that has to be preserved at what seems to be a reasonable price. One could no t restore one for that money…

    • Ed

      Bill what is the reason to start in second gear.

  18. Jack Quantrill

    It looks frog-like!

  19. Reg Bruce

    @86 Vette Convertible
    The oil filter being mounted (upside down) is really not that unusual on a number of cars from the ’60s onwards. The check valve is inside the filter and may be in the form of the neoprene/silicone filter sealing gasket or an internal ball check valve — or both. Yeah; can still be just a little bit messy to replace but a lot less so than changing a baby’s diaper.
    RB

    • KKW

      If mounting an oil filter upside down was a good idea, all manufactures would have done it, and would still be doing it. Check valve or not, a certain amount still runs back when the engine stops, including some of the garbage the filter is meant to catch in the first place.

  20. Craig M. Bryda Member

    uh…..Rick Dore ?

  21. PETER P BAUSYS

    I have never seen one of these before but I am so tired of today’s jelly-bean school of car design that I would proudly drive this Packard/Stude around.

  22. Joseph Muzy

    In reality there were only 588 produced. Although not my favorite these cars are highly sought after and the Packard Hawk registry keep track of everyone of them including parts cars.

    • Bill McCoskey

      It’s not a Packard Hawk, it’s a 2-door hardtop. This was a one-year only body style, because the next year saw the introduction of the compact Lark.

    • Vince H

      @Joseph Muzy
      There were 588 Hawks. This is not a Hawk.

      • martin daly

        Studebaker produced approximately 588 GOLDEN HAWKS for 1958. Way off the number of ’57’s built, which was well over two thousand. I owned a ’58 GH for several years back in the late 90’s-2000’s.

  23. DRV

    I rate cars in many ways. One is the feeling when you open the garage door , and another is turning around to get a look as you leave the car. I am not sure how I feel about this one even though it’s pegged the interesting meter.

  24. Dwilson

    Never seen this before but I like the design.

  25. John Taggart

    wow the last of the Studes and that Packard a shame to an end of an era and the designs far ahead of some of the uglies how cool it would be if someone were to bring them back not necessarily the design but the names and make a super car out of them dream on man

  26. Tiger66

    @Joseph Muzy: 675 produced is correct. This is not a Packard Hawk (588 produced), it’s a Packard Hardtop based on the Studebaker Starlight as previously noted. S-P went to all that expense to develop a 2-door hardtop roof, only to use it for just one year.

    In the ’50s, cars had to be “different” every year, so stylist Duncan McRae did what he could with no budget, thus the fender pods (there was no money for a proper quad-headlight fender) and the double fins. The result is strange but cool. The ’57-58 Packardbakers were meant as stopgaps until a new Packard could be produced, but the company could not get the financing, which spelled the end of the brand.

  27. glenn

    I wonder how much money it would cost to bring back the Packard moniker in a new car line and make it the world standard as cadillac once was

    • Andy

      Billions. Folks have tried, but only a huge car company would have the funding, expertise and equipment to pull it off, and all the companies who could do it already have their own luxury brands. Possibly China, Korea or India could do it.

  28. Pete

    I have actually been to Red Deer, it is not far from Gull Lake. 10 miles farther north and your heading into the wilds of Alberta. The end of civilization. That is a loverly car. I would be proud to own and drive it.

  29. John

    The nose kinda reminds me of an early T-BIRD..KINDA..

  30. LAWRENCE

    So far….the most talked/posted about find of 2018 !

  31. pete

    I think it is a beauty, being a GT hawk owner going on 40 years I always brag about the design of the engine, no chain, solid lifters, easy to work on, about 10 minutes to change the water pump. Mine does not have the filter on top but if it did I would take a punch to the top of it about 10 minutes before I unscrewed it.

    • Rube Goldberg

      I learned that a long time ago. Punch a hole in the bottom of the filter, let it drain, and hence, no oil bath.

  32. Bob

    The front end of a Nissan Leaf reminds me of this:

  33. Gay Car Nut

    Sweet looking Packard. This has, IMHO, the best looking front end of any previous Packard except the 1950-54 model year Packard. It’s a damn shame that at this point, Packard was on its way out.

  34. robert Hershgeer

    Probably the best car Studebaker ever made. Its not even close to the quality that Packard made in the past. Such a shame they did not continue the Packards of 56 into 57 & 58 with minor changes, Allowing Studebaker to make the Clipper brands of Packard then it might have had better sales, and kept going. Packard being the full size and luxury line with the Packabakers as the Clipper and lower price lines. Still they did make a good looking car to a degree.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.