One of the greatest American car manufacturers before the Seconds World War, Packard completely misjudged the US market after the war. They thought that they could go back to their old models, but the public wanted more. It took the company years to adapt their production to the tastes of the day; to give you an idea, Packard was unable to offer a V8 until 1955! In an effort to update their look, Packard bought Studebaker, and produced the 1958 Packard Hawk based on a Studebaker body. I think that it’s one of the finest-looking car of the 1950s, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to sway customers back to Packard. Only 588 of them were ever built.
The Packard Hawk was powered by a supercharged, 275-horsepower 4.7-liter V8 that coupled with a three speed automatic transmission, could push the coupe to a top speed of 125 miles per hour. Acceleration to 60 mph was an impressive 8 seconds. The Packard Hawk was a modern car by any definition, with European-inspired leather upholstery, all-wheel drum brakes, an independent front suspension and modern and understated instrument panel, white on black.
In terms of styling, the 1958 Packard Hawk was a cut above the rest, with its stylish and restrained tail fins, (fake) hood scoop and aggressive bumper and front end; none of that, however, was enough to save company from going belly-up, sad to say.