Advance auto zone blog about fast cars and auto trader

Advance auto zone blog about cool fast cars, and auto trader

1958 Packard Hawk - 50-Year-Old Memory

Its godfather was crisis; its sire was wannabe corporate savior Roy Hurley. The 1958 Packard Hawk was a last-gasp effort to save the once-proud automotive manufacturer from extinction. Only 588 Hawks rolled off the assembly line before Packard went defunct, but some vintage-car aficionados think the Hawk was one of the snazziest sports cars made in America during the 1950s.

1958 Packard Hawk Packards essentially became Packards in name only, and sales continued plummeting as Packard lovers derided the more inexpensively constructed mid-'50s Packards as "Packardbakers."

To restore Packard's reputation for quality, Hurley decided to use his custom-built two-door hardtop as a prototype of the '58 Hawk. Touted as the "Family Sports Car," the Hawk actually began production in January 1957. Although similar-looking to Studebaker's 1957 tail-finned Golden Hawk, the Packard Hawk was distinguished in key ways by its designer, Duncan McRae. Hawk front hoods were among the first automotive uses of fiberglass. Lighter than metal and aerodynamically low to the ground, the hoods stabilized fast-flying Hawks by utilizing the downward air pressure thrust on the car's front end much better than those of Golden Hawks. Supercharged, the Hawk became the fastest production vehicle in Packard's history. Its 289-cubic-inch Studebaker V8 engine--as powerful as the standard 352-cubic-inch '56 Packard--made its much lighter body a virtual rocket.


© Source: autoweek
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