CC Capsule: 1958 Packard Hawk – Last Flight of a Once-Proud Bird

9139189100_5ba5467b72_c Photos by ReturnoftheYeti at the Cohort

I was tempted to do this with a humorous theme (“Hi, I’m Pauline the Packard. I was living at the Parkview retirement home in Memphis until one night when I had  hot toddies with Hank the Holden. Next thing I knew, I was flat on my chassis at Methodist Hospital, and the Doctor was telling me  he was going to give me an engine from a Studebaker. A Studebaker!”) But then I thought about the rarity of this species of Hawk, and decided a more sober approach was in order.

One thing that struck me was that while the ’58 Hawk did the signal the end of another chapter of the independents of American auto manufacturing, it was also one of the first obviously badge-engineered cars to be sold in the United States (discounting the North-of-the-border specials).

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That being said, I actually like the Packard’s styling better than Studebaker Hawk’s, despite it’s catfish-like maw. It seems to fit in a little better with Raymond Lowey’s and Bob Bourke’s styling than the ‘Classic’ lines that its Hawk brethren had inflicted on them in an attempt to bring it into line with what folks who shopped for cars at Brennecke Chevrolet were expecting to bring home. Even the back was better if you discount the toilet seat  that got stuck back there, which leads me to wonder if Virgil Exner was moonlighting again, as he did for the 1947 Studebakers. At least this time, he didn’t get fired for it.

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And yes, it does look like someone with a bad toupee or a hair dyed a shade that doesn’t quite jibe with their complexion. This one has lost the gold applique that once highlighted the tacked on tail-fins, as well as one side of the outside armrests, but it’s much more intact than the other 1958 Packard that we found at the curbside previously. It may still have the supercharger that was its claim to fame, as well as the reason for the Pep Boys hood scoop. One could argue that J.C.Whitney was doing a land office business with S-P in 1958 with all the tacked-on gewgaws and doo-dads that the models that came down the line had on them. I’m surprised that they did not have curb feelers as standard equipment.

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When I did my research for this, I went over to Packardinfo.com and looked at the list of Packard dealers. I noticed the Millikan Motor company was listed as a dealer for Cape Girardeau, MO. I remember my mother working for the Cape Senior Center in the same block of Broadway as the address given for Millikan motors(207 Broadway)  in what used to be an old car dealership. Would the CC Effect be in force?

As it turns out, no. The building she worked in (230 Broadway) used to house Harris motors, the Chrysler dealer. Millikan did eventually morph into Jason’s Dean Taylor Cadillac Olds (although he seems to get it confused with Van Matre Buick, which was where the Cape Police Building is now), however, so maybe it did work. Another little connection – The Missourian’s Jackson Bureau used to be the Prill-Hahs Motor Company, a Ford Dealership, with Mr. Max Prill being a member of the same church as my family as well as mentoring  yours truly when I wound up using my bit-twiddling skills to keep track of things like food stamp account balances.

3824014042_e33a53e381_zPhoto by Ehisforadam on Flickr!

Another thing my research turned up was a listing for what appears to be this car (how many Packard Hawks can be left?) on bringatrailer.com stating it had been sold. Hopefully, Pauline has a new home and enjoying lots of Simoniz and Bleech-Wite and now looks like these two (above and below), but then again, this is Curbside Classic.

Packard_Hawk_rearBlack rear from Wikipedia.com