In gearhead lore, the 1958 Packard Hawk was created almost by accident. Roy Hurley, the Curtiss-Wright CEO who was in charge at Studebaker-Packard in the final days of the Packard brand, asked chief designer Duncan McRae to create a customized vehicle for his personal use. As this single custom car was completed, somehow the decision was made to add it to Packard’s meager production lineup for 1958. As a result of this unusual provenance, the Packard Hawk is sometimes referred to by S-P enthusiasts as the Hurley Hawk. (For more on the final Studebaker-based Packards of 1957-58, see our feature, The Packardbakers.)
From time to time, automotive writers have been known to observe that the Hawk failed to save Packard. In truth, that was never in the cards as the brand was essentially already dead. The 1958 Packard line was offered mainly to satisfy the few remaining dealer contracts, so the automaker would not be compelled to take back the remaining parts, tools, and inventory. A mere 2,622 Packards were produced in 1958, and 588 of them were Hawks.