Packard Hawk

About the Packard Hawk

This car is the most sporty model of the four Studebakers with Packard badges that were produced in 1958, which was the last year that a Packard car was produced. The car was produced during the twilight of Packard when its car plant in Detroit was already leased out. All the Packard products for that year were all Studebaker products that were retrimmed and rebadged. The Packard Hawk was actually a Studebaker Golden Hawk 400 that has modified deck lid and fibreglass front end. The car was designed to compete with the Ford Thunderbird, which was a market favourite with a new version for that year.

While the Studebaker Hawk used a Mercedes-style upright grille, Packard Hawk went for a low, wide opening just higher than the front bumper and covered the car’s whole width. Above the grille were a smoothly sloping hood and nose that reminded one of the 1953 Studebakers. However, the hood had a bulge like the Golden Hawk, which accommodated the engine. The car had a full leather interior and the dashboard which turns on once the engine starts working had full instrumentation. The car also had an exquisite touch with padded armrests outside the windows like in custom boats and early aircraft.

The car’s styling was somewhat controversial at that time with mixed reviews; some even described it as catfish or vacuum cleaner. Today, it is more appreciated. Most of the cars had the Borg-Warner three-speed automatic transmission, and about 28 had the Borg-Warner T85 three-speed w/overdrive manual transmission. Most of the cars came with a limited-slip differential that the manufacturer called Twin-Traction. Only 588 units were sold, and it cost $3995, which was about $700 more than Studebaker Golden Hawk. Although it had most of the Studebaker Golden Hawk features, the interior was more luxurious, and there were options of power seats and electric window-lifts.

The car is regarded as the Packardbaker in the final years of the automaker coupled with the rarity of the car, makes it a collectible. Today, the Packard Hawk is about twice the cost of the Golden Hawk. Since it used the Studebaker drivetrain, finding the mechanical parts is quite easy, but the trim and body parts are difficult and near impossible to find, making its restoration costs far above its value.

The specifications of this car include;

  • A cast-iron V8 engine with Silver Light dish-type pistons
  • The compression ratio of 7.5:1
  • Displacement of 289 cubic inches
  • 5 Main bearings
  • Delco-Remy breaker-point ignition
  • dual exhaust cast iron Exhaust system
  • 275 hp at 4,800 pm
  • Body types include soft top prototype, five-passenger hardtop, and Two-door.
  • rear-wheel drive with a front-engine layout
  • solid lifters, In-head valves valvetrain type
  • dual exhaust and cast-iron exhaust system