Rare Supercharged 1958 Packard Hawk

Packard automobiles built-in 1957-58 were rebadged Studebakers and would be the last to carry that storied name, which dated to 1899.  One of those cars was the Packard Hawk, a Studebaker Golden Hawk with a “fish mouth” grille. But it would come with a supercharged V8 as standard equipment and just 588 copies were ever built. The seller’s car is one of those rare automobiles and looks good after sitting for years, but the frame is weak. Located inside a warehouse with other vintage cars in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this Hawk is available here on eBay. The bidding has reached $4,000 but the reserve is still waiting to be met. Barn Finder Larry D comes through with another great tip!

In the early 1950s, there was talk of Studebaker, Packard, Nash, and Hudson getting together to form what was envisioned to be the fourth-largest U.S. automaker. By 1954, Nash and Hudson had decided to go their way and formed American Motors, leaving just Studebaker and Packard to join forces that year. For a variety of reasons noted here and also here, that marriage didn’t work well, and Packard’s manufacturing and engine plants were sold by 1956, leaving the marque to soldier on as reworked Studebakers for two years. As Packard had been long known for being a distinctive quality, luxury car, both customers and dealers did not take to the changes, and the last Packards were built in the summer of 1958.

The 1958 Packard Hawk was one of the last attempts to keep the brand relevant. It used Studebaker’s 289 cubic-inch supercharged V8 for propulsion, a powerplant that produced 275 hp. And it was well-appointed with a leather interior. But if you parked one next to a Studebaker Golden Hawk of the same year, they looked the same except for the front and rear treatments. The seller’s car is one of those last-gap Packards and is in running condition with a 3-speed automatic transmission.

As the story goes, this car has documentation indicating it was purchased new on the East Coast and found its way to Michigan in 1961. It was a daily driver until 1968 when it was parked in anticipation of a restoration that never happened. The current owner bought it in 2017/18 and moved it to Pennsylvania with the same goal in mind. However, the condition of the frame is said to be far worse than that of the body (which looks good in the photos), and that caused the owner to decide against tackling the project.

We’re told that this Hawk is 100% complete and correct, which I take to mean stock. The factory supercharger is in place and the car is equipped with a posi-traction rear end. Exterior rust looks to be minimal, but the seller says the frame is weak and the trunk has several patches, so the underside of the car will have to be rebuilt and that sounds like a major undertaking. The passenger compartment looks good, although the leather is stretched for its age and likely needs to be redone.

Finding a nice Studebaker Golden Hawk isn’t an easy task, but locating a Packard version would have to be a tougher job given that only a few hundred were built. If this car can be saved, Hagerty estimates that one in Excellent condition to be worth north of $40,000. But you’ve to learn to love that grille!

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Comments

  1. jmolsn Member

    I want a Packard Hawk for my orphan collection but this one with its frame issues is too much for me also. The seller sent me some pictures of the rust area and its pretty bad. Maybe some one can find a useable frame and do a body swap?? Too bad its a beautiful car!!

    Like 15
    • CCFisher

      Probably easier to find a solid replacement frame than to find another complete, running 1958 Packard Hawk project.

      Like 16
  2. Dan H

    Last weekend we had movie night and my wife picked “When Harry met Sally”. After seeing this car, I understand the “baby fish mouth” scene better, lol.

    Like 3
  3. Poppy

    Looks very complete down to the vinyl exterior arm rests. Frames are easy to come by. This should be a later frame for the one-piece driveshaft. Leather seats may even be salvageable with some cleaning/conditioning and new foam underneath. The crumbling foam is why they look so deflated.

    Like 10
  4. Will Fox

    Unfortunately, the frame/floor issues will prohibit many from being able to buy this. It appears fairly complete but that alone won’t sell this car. A very sad fact with old cars from salt states.

    Like 8
  5. Bob C.

    Russ, about the merger of the independents. Years ago I read that it was George Mason, Nash president’s idea to become a “Big Four” with Nash, Hudson, Studebaker, and Packard. Unfortunately, he died unexpectedly in 1954, so his plan never happened. There were also differences between the companies that couldn’t be agreed on.

    Like 4
  6. Michael B B Nicolella

    This looks like a worthwhile project (within certain cost limits), there are frames around and the rest of the parts seem to be there. Doing a lot of your own work (you do need some skills and tools here) you might be able to rebuild this thing for a total of $20,000. Again, doing much of your own work.

    Like 8
    • Kdancy

      Even if you do it “yourself”, I would wager 20,000 won’t be close if you use quality material for the paint and body, rebuild the motor, supercharger (around a 1,000.00 just for that), transmission, rear end and interior (which is quite expensive for the correct one).
      Tires, chrome/trim polishing, and the frame and suspension parts. The entire brake system and fuel system as well.
      And you always find extra “needs” when taking one apart.

      Not a cheap build, but a nice car when and if finished.

  7. HC

    Great find. Packard in name only, looks like to me. Swapping another Studebaker frame could be done but isn’t for the faint of heart. Surely the same reason owner is letting it go. Maybe someone with the passion and deep pockets will bring her back.

    Like 4
  8. Browndog

    I had a 61 Stude Lark with a broken frame in front of the drivers door…

    Like 1
  9. Kerry

    I restored one of these a few years ago. The cost of restoration for this one will be more than the Haggerty estimate in excellent condition.

    Like 5
  10. robert lewis

    that is 1 ugly front end

    Like 2
  11. Johnny

    I hope someone will fix it up. The saler should stop and think. The frame would stop alot of people and he should consider . He should come down on the price. Do a little figureing INSTEAD of THINKING what its worth FIXED UP. Bring the price down around $2500 and he have people interested. It takes time to locate parts ,money and labor . Just to make it driveable. You don,t do it over night. At least he was honest about it. More then the guy who tried to sale me a 64 Mustang awhile back,. I hired a friend to haul it back. Until I saw the frame was gone. The owner put a NEW carpet in it.To cover a big hole. The only thing I seen holding it together was a little metal behind the chrome. Plus it was down in a hole.As soon as you would try and winch it onto the trailer. It would have broken into. I passed and the guy got mad. Said he waited on me and thought I would buy it. I looked at him and told him he lied to me and I had to pay a man to haul it. Hell no I,m not gonna buy it.All its worth is for he chrome and glass. The body is shot,the motor and transmisson is stuck. Keep it. Look them over real good-look can deceive you.

    Like 5
  12. David D. Taylor

    My first look caused my heart to skip a beat. I do love that front – so similar to the 55 Packard (Hawk??) I do appreciate the seller’s honesty about the frame. I believe Kerry and Johnny hit-the-nail-on-the-head.

    At the very least, it needs frame-off restoration to replace rotted frame. A possible solution is build a new frame. But then – COST.

    Like 5
  13. GEOFF GOGLE

    want to join discussion

  14. ADM

    The Catfish. In the Jack Irish TV series(ACORN), Guy Pierce drove two Studebakers, both right hand drive. First, a ’60 Silver Hawk coupe, and then a ’62 GT Hawk convertible.

    Like 3
  15. Rj

    I don’t care what any of the Deaks think. Replacement, rebuilt, or a
    new built frame would be fine if it’s the only way to keep this Hawk alive.

    Like 3
  16. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    A year or two ago a Packard Hawk Convertible came up for auction. It sold for $103,000.00 needing full restoration. I wonder what is going on with it. Sure would like to see it restored. As for this one; coupes are never as valuable as drop tops nor are they as rare. A frame can be purchased but that still leaves considerable amount of body and mechanical work to be performed. I personally would choose a nice Golden Hawk if I were in the market for such a vehicle. This would fall very short on my long list of dream cars. In other words it would be near the bottom.
    God bless America

    • Frank of Eden

      Never seen a ’58 Packard convertible… did not think that they made them. Turns out that they did NOT! There was one that an engineer who worked for Packard built, owned and kept for himself until he passed. There is a pic. of that beautiful blue Packard on this site:

      https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1958-packard-hawk/

      • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

        That’s the same came car I was referring to Frank. Mike Butts bought it on auction at Bring a Trailer. He paid $102,000.00 for it.
        God bless America

        Like 2
  17. Scott

    Such a big supercharger and such a SMALL carburetor.

    Like 4
    • Bill McCoskey

      Scott,
      While it’s been a while since I last worked on the ’57 & ’58 supercharged Studebaker engines, I think this carb is the wrong one, and I’m not sure it will fit inside the carb pressure box cover. I suspect this carb is off a 6 cylinder Studebaker engine.

      Like 1
  18. John Klintz

    Yep, I still hold Studebaker responsible for destroying Packard, then they went on to destroy themselves. The rusted-out frame is but one example of their substandard engineering and “quality” of materials.

    Like 4
    • jwaltb

      Hold a grudge long?

  19. Jim

    Love the front end of these….always have. I guess you either love them or hate them.

    Like 10
  20. Craigo

    The front looks like a platypus a face only a mother could love.

    Like 3
  21. Wingnut

    If I’m not mistaken, the odometer reads 185079 & a half. Mechanically, it is worn out!

  22. jacques roy

    je serait preneur a $ 4000. mais les enchere sont beaucoup trop elever ce serait in projet dans mes corde j,ai reconstruit beaucoup plus abimer

    Like 1
  23. Vinnie G

    If I had the money I’d get this car but, I’m working on two cars now. To me get a new frame while the car is taken apart and put it back together. Maybe a couple two to three years and your done with a rare car looking great even with the funny front.

    Like 2
  24. Brian

    The hawk was not the final car badged as a Studebaker, the 1963 Avanti was. It was also the first street car to break 200MPH with the triple supercharged R3 pack.

  25. Kerry

    The one we restored and finished in 2014
    58LS-558 cowl tag. #558
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYlva-6N1Lo

  26. Kenny

    The engine in this car appears to be a ‘62-‘64 Studebaker V8… the yellow valve covers, and the more modern 2-barrel carb give it away. Check that engine number… and I’ll bet you’ll find I’m right…

    • Vince H

      @Kenny engine is not that new. You can see the oil filter in front of the distributor. The carb looks right to me for this engine. Engine # should start with LS. This car is not far from me. With the bad frame I am not going to look at it.

      • Kenny

        Vince— I’ll bet money that is a early ‘62 engine. They didn’t go to a full flow filter mounted below until late that year. So the top mount filter was still used. There were no yellow valve covers until ‘62 as well.
        I’ll be interested to see if someone reports the engine number in that car.

  27. Steve

    So the Hawk had a frame and not unibody?

    Like 1
    • Ed P

      Studebaker never built unibody cars.

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