Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Awesome Supercharged 1958 Packard Hawk

For it's final year, the glorious Packard name in fine automobiles offered up a real jewel, the 1958 Packard Hawk. It was essentially a luxury modified Studebaker Hawk, but included some beautiful additions giving it a real early muscle car appeal. With a special fiberglass front end, a dummy rear tire trunk lid, a hood scoop, and the addition of a McCulloch supercharger, which pulled nearly one horse per cubic square inch at 275 horses from the 289 cubic inch engines, the 1958 Packard Hawk had an aggressive appearance. It might have been the closet thing in the 1950's to those aggressive 1970's vintage Pontiac Trans Am muscle cars. The 1958 Packard Hawk was a pioneering muscle car design and one of the greatest automobiles ever produced in the U.S.

At the time, the styling was somewhat controversial, where only a mere 558 examples were sold, leading Studebaker to drop the Packard name after 1958. But in more recent times, the Packard Hawk has gained more acceptance as an early luxury/muscle car design.

The interior was all leather, with aircraft style armrests and some details that remind the driver of those luxury boats of the 1950's as well. It was simply stunning to sit in one, let alone to own one.

Amazingly, examples of this very rare luxury/muscle car tend to sell for less than Corvettes or Thunderbirds of the same vintage, yet sell for twice as much as Studebakers of the same era. But finding one is a difficult task, as few collectors seem willing to part with their cars.

The supercharged 1958 Packard Hawk is certainly a great automobile. With styling aggressive enough to start a war, this was one of the coolest 50's cars of all time.


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