Last of the Line: 1958 Packard Sedan

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The 1958 model year would be the last for the storied Packard brand. Having merged with Studebaker in 1954 in the hopes that both brands could continue to be relevant, that turned out not to be practical. The 1957-58 models were reworked Studebakers and not received well by dealers and buyers. This non-running ’58 Packard sedan looks to be in good physical condition, having been stored for upwards of 40 years. The seller saved the car and it’s in Auburn, Washington now, available here on craigslist for $3,800. Thanks to T.J. for bringing this “Packardbaker” to our attention!

At the conclusion of 1956 Packard production, the newly merged Studebaker-Packard disposed of Packard’s manufacturing assets. As a result, 1957-58 models would be slightly reworked and rebadged Studebakers with a higher level of trim to help differentiate them. Packard dealers were appalled by the changes and short-cuts, and some pulled their contracts, so sales would drop to new lower levels. One of the few positives was that the “new” Packards used a supercharged 289 cubic inch Studebaker V8, just as powerful as the previous larger Packard motor. As a result, the cars turned out to be much better performers on the road.

Production for the 1958 model year would drop to 2,000 or so mainstream Packards of which maybe 1,200 were the 4-door sedan like the seller’s car, and the company pulled the plug after that. Studebaker as a car brand would soldier on through 1966 before it, too, disappeared from the automotive landscape. This car is said to have been in storage since the 1980s and the seller recently rescued it with his or her trailer. The Packard doesn’t run and that may or may not have anything to do with the radiator having been removed.

This looks like a solid automobile with minimal rust. What we see is surface rust limited to the bottoms of doors, but the seller says there is a bit more in the inner fender wells. The floor and trunk pans are said to be pretty solid. The interior is okay and would work at least for the onset and the wheels are adorned with Packard wire hubcaps. Packard’s version of these cars was more awkward in its styling compared to the Studebaker Presidents they were based on. But the history of the brand and the small number of likely survivors would make this a great restoration candidate for not a lot of money.

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  1. Brent in Winnipeg

    Homer Simpson design.

    Like 6
    • Stan

      🎶 🎵…..Yes, and now you heard my strange proposal
      Get that Packard up and let’s move
      I wanna be there before the day
      Tries to steal away and leave us behind
      I’ve made up my mind..
      And I wanna be there..
      I want to go back down and lie beside the sea there
      With a tin cup for a chalice
      Fill it up with good red wine
      And I’m-a chewin’ on a honeysuckle vine.. 🎶 🎵

      Like 5
    • Scott L.

      More Home-ly than Home-r, I’d say.

      Like 3
      • Jimmy Novak

        More fleet and sensible than the 1958 GMC and Ford Bulgemobiles.

        Like 0
  2. SmokeyMember

    Just Terrible………such an embarrassing end to such magnificent marque with a wonderful history. I cant accept a Packardbaker.

    Like 18
    • Mike

      They put the ugh in ugly.

      Like 5
  3. tiger66

    This isn’t a Packard “Clipper,” it’s a Packard Sedan. That’s what Packard called it in the sales brochure. There were no Clippers in ’58 because Packard’s last use of the Clipper name was on the ’57s.

    Like 14
    • Russ Dixon Russ DixonAuthor

      You are correct. Sources aren’t clear. Updated.

      Like 8
  4. bobhess bobhessMember

    Could it be that building the word’s ugliest car had anything to do with Packard’s demise?

    Like 6
    • alphasudMember

      You could say it’s the Daimler SP-250’s big brother

      Like 3
  5. Fred W

    Every styling element grafted on and a face only Mother Packardbaker could love. Still has more pizazz then todays electric shaver blobs. I’d have to preserve it.

    Like 15
    • Psychofish2

      My eyes cannot make those fins work.

      Like 0
  6. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    I always thought that all the Detroit cars of ’58 weren’t as attractive as the ’57s or ’59s, and this car marches right along with the rest of them.

    Although, I did see ’58 Hawk at a show, in 2-door flavor in black, and it was actually pretty cool.

    Like 8
    • Ted Coombes

      I have a ’58 Packard Hawk. As the saying goes, the fiberglass nose they attached to a Studebaker Golden Hawk makes it look like a catfish coming down the road.

      Like 6
  7. Ed H

    I’d take it, would me a cool cruiser.

    Like 13
  8. swolfMember

    It needs to be saved if for no other reason in that it represents a page in American automotive history.

    Like 19
  9. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking car. If only more pics were posted on craigslist. Given its condition, assuming everything works, and the car is safe to drive, I’d be willing to pay just less than the asking price, that way there’s money enough left over for inspection and restoration.

    Like 9
  10. Steve Clinton

    They always reminded me of a catfish.

    Like 3
    • Bob C.

      Now THAT looks like a Packard Hawk, Steve.

      Like 0
  11. J_PaulMember

    1958’s version of a Cadillac Cimarron — a once-storied brand trying to rebrand basic goods as a luxury item. Given some of the amazing Packards that came before it, it may be one of the most depressing cars in American manufacturing history.

    That said, being depressing doesn’t mean it’s not interesting. Take it to a show, and you are almost guaranteed to have the only one there.

    Like 9
    • Psychofish2

      Cadillac is still doing the Cimarron treatment to Chevy SUVs but they call them Escalades.

      A sucker born every minute and al that

      Like 5
  12. KurtMember

    Very striking looking, sure to get attention at a car show.Next to the Edsel.

    Like 5
    • carl showalter

      I’d take this before a Edsel any day. Not that I wouldn’t take a nice Edsel wagon.

      Like 0
  13. RNR

    See Cold War Motor’s You Tube review of the companion ’58 Studebaker hardtop: “Rare and No One Cares”.

    Then subscribe to the channel and watch a bunch of guys have more fun than they should with old cars.

    Like 2
  14. 370zpp 370zppMember

    Fins that gave birth to fins.

    Like 0
  15. Burger

    I own a 58 DeSoto Fireflite convertible. Hard to beat for sleek and well designed in those years. I have owned it since before finned cars were cool. These days, my interest in unusual/seldom seen cars goes even further to the sedans and wagons and low end models that car guys passed over as parts cars for their top end hardtops and convertibles. While I can certainly understand the aesthetic attraction of say, a 55 Bel Air convertible, …. at what point does a person get bored with seeing them all the time and want to see or own something really different, just for the sake of NOT being just another sheep in the flock ? This thing is straight up cool, even if it is an exercise in not-so-cohesive design elements. I would be happy to tour the California coast in this fine touring sedan !

    Like 4
  16. John Traylor

    I do not think there is a square inch of this car that is attractive. Looks like it was beaten with an ugly stick.

    Like 0
    • Burger

      I would say the same thing about a 58 Chevy, … fat, bloated, shaped like a turd, covered in incohesive and pointless gee-gaw ….. yet lots of people think they are the “cat’s pajamas”. It was a time for pushing the limits on bizarre. Some did it with grace. Others, not so much.

      Like 1
      • carl showalter

        I always thought the 58 Chevy to be way better looking than the same year Buick,Olds,Ford.etc. I’d rather have a 56 Chevy but that was my first car.

        Like 0
  17. theGasHole

    I still like them, always have. Don’t care that almost no one else does (maybe that’s the attraction for me). Nice to see someone asking under $10k for anything these days.

    Like 3
    • KurtMember

      Definitely unique, and because they are not popular, collectible.

      Like 1

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