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HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1958 Packard Sedan

Pick of the Day: 1958 Packard Sedan

The Packardbaker bids America adieu

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To folks younger than Baby Boomers, it may be hard to believe that Cadillac was not America’s luxury sweetheart — Packard was. Though Cadillac had been a strong luxury brand for most of its tenure, it was Packard that played the role of America’s most popular luxury brand. After World War II, Cadillac began to overtake Packard, with our Pick of the Day, a 1958 Packard four-door sedan, demonstrating the magnificent marque’s ignominious end. It is listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Hobart, Indiana. (Click the link to view the listing)

The origins of the 1958 Packard can be found in the 1953 Studebaker. While the two brands had yet to merge at the time, the heavily restyled Studebaker sedans from 1956 served as the basis for the 1957-58 Packard. These Studebaker sedans lost much of their “Loewy look,” but the stylish Loewy coupes evolved into the Hawk series starting in 1956, with the Packard Hawk joining the fray for ’58.

Though a curiosity as a badge-engineered Studebaker, the 1957 Packard wore its styling well. For 1958, the translation wasn’t as successful, with “dual headlights in a distinctive jet-type nacelle” on each side being a major change. Out back, “tasteful fins and beautifully crafted taillight assemblies” was another way of describing the fin on top of a finned taillight — quite unique for the time. Hardtop coupes and wagons used a 116.5-inch wheelbase, but four-door sedans used a 120.5-inch wheelbase only shared with Studebaker and Packard Hawks. They were powered by Studebaker’s 225-horsepower 289 four-barrel V8. Flightomatic automatic transmission was standard, with overdrive an option.

This 1958 Packard four-door sedan is one of 1,200 built before the marque was discontinued. The Canyon Copper paint is complemented by two-tone brown bench seat interior with a tan stripe that “is pristine and looks amazing,” says the seller. “Beautiful dash pad has no rips or tears or sun bleaching. Two-texture and two-color door panels look great,” he adds. “A slightly rust/brown color carpeting creates a nice contrasting look.” A unique stainless steel gauge cluster plate surrounds a complete set of gauges. Power steering and front brakes make the drive much more manageable for today’s conditions.

While a far cry from the Packard Caribbean from just two years previous, the 1958 Packard was a fine demonstration of Studebaker’s creativity in tough times. And, being the last of the line, this 1958 Packard makes twice the impact. The double-edged sword of uniqueness is that parts may be difficult to find, but remember that this is a Studebaker underneath, which means you have several strong clubs able to support your driving and maintenance needs. If your inclination is to find the un-Chevy, it doesn’t get much better than this collectible $30,000 Packard.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The 57 Packard models, the Town sedan and station wagon were actually decent looking models especially considering the underlying chassis of the 53 Studebaker.

    The 58 models with tacked on fiberglass pods for dual headlights and the rear dual fin within a fin, not so much.

    But at least this one pictured is excellent example and has the very rare factory a/c accessory.

    I’d like a 57 Packard Wagon with overdrive and a/c; this would allow me to attend both Packard and Studebaker meets. And, as you point out, because it’s Studebaker based, upgrades like front disc brakes are available and some body panels are easily available.

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