Rare, Supercharged Packard Hawk Was Parked 53 Years Ago, Begs to Be Restored

America’s top-selling luxury car brand in the 1920s and 1930s, Packard ran into trouble as an independent manufacturer when Ford and GM waged the brutal sales war of 1953-1954. It joined forces with Studebaker to create the fourth-largest U.S. automaker, but things didn’t go as planned. Having lost its manufacturing and engine plants in 1956, Packard began selling revised Studebakers. That’s when the Packard Hawk was born.

A sporty two-door coupe, the Hawk was a significant departure from the usual Packard designs. But that’s because it wasn’t a full-fledged Packard, but a slightly revised Studebaker Golden Hawk. Featuring a catfish-style nose instead of Studebaker’s upright grille, the Hawk came with luxury extras such as a full leather interior and padded armrests mounted outside the windows.

In addition, it was sold with Studebaker’s supercharged, 289-cubic-inch (4.7-liter) V8 as standard (an optional unit on the Golden Hawk). Built in 1958 only, Packard’s final year on the market, the Hawk saw the light of day in just 588 units.

It’s one of those rare classics that you won’t see in the metal very often and that’s why I’m all hyped up about one of them being auctioned off on eBay right now.

This white-painted Hawk is as original as they get, numbers-matching V8 and all. It’s been sitting in storage for more than 50 years now and it comes with original paperwork that tells us a few things about its past.

Apparently, the original owner sold the Hawk to someone in Michigan in 1961. It was used as a daily driver until 1968 when it was put into storage with plans of a full restoration. Sadly, that day never came and the coupe sat until 2017 or 2018, when it was acquired by the seller and moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The plan was to put it back on the road after 50 years, but the owner gave up on the idea due to an “extremely weak” frame.

Although there are no photos of the frame to assess the damage, the trunk floor looks like it needs to be replaced. The body also shows some signs of rust, but it’s in surprisingly good condition for a car that’s been sitting for more than half a century. The interior doesn’t look bad either. The leather upholstery is still in one piece and the dashboard is complete.

As for the engine, it still has the original McCulloch supercharger. There’s no word as to whether it currently runs or not, but it did when it went back into storage in 2018. Needless to say, it should run again with a bit of work. Back in 1958, this V8 was rated at a solid 275 horsepower.

With no specific info on that “weak” frame, this car needs to be inspected in person before making a bid but it looks like it might be worth restoring. It’s not the prettiest 1950s car out there, but it looks unique, it comes with a hot-rodded engine, and it’s one of the rarest production cars built that year.

And despite not being an authentic Packard, the Hawk can be quite the expensive item when in excellent condition. These cars have been auctioned off for as low as $29,000 and as much as $137,000 in recent years.

Offered by eBay seller “horsepowerenterprisesllc,” this Hawk has attracted just one bid of $4,000 as of this writing. Reserve hasn’t been met, but the listing will be up until August 13. Would you give this rare classic a go? 

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