1957 an 1958 Packards
The 1957 an 1958 Packard lineup o automobiles wur actually Studebakers: mildly restyled, rebadged an gien slichtly mair luxurious interiors. Efter 1956 production, the Packard ingine an transmission factory wis leased tae the Curtiss-Wright Corporation while the assembly plant on Detroit's East Grand Boulevard wis sauld, endin the line o Packard-biggit caurs. Houever, some Studebaker executives still saw value in the Packard name. Thir caurs wur developed in hopes that enough wad be sauld tae enable the company tae design an big a completely new luxury Packard.
1957 Packard Clipper eedit
For the 1957 model year, Studebaker-Packard teuk its tap-o-the-line model, the President, an addit a revised grille an taillichts alang wi a machine-turned leuk dashboard an cawed the caur the Packard Clipper. Twa models wur produced in 1957, a fower-door Town Sedan an a station wagon Clipper Country Sedan. Taillights wur borrowed frae the 1956 Clipper, while the headlicht 'eyebrows', hubcaps, dashboard an interior wur aw Packard styled (In fact, maist wur merely styled tae gie the "Packard look" while fittin ontae a Studebaker, but a few actually wur leftower Packard pairts).
When Packard dealers saw the resultin caur at regional previews, the response wis quick, angry an loud. Mony dealers felt the Clipper wis too seemilar tae the Studebaker on which it wis based an dropped Packard completely. Sales wur a law 4,809, amaist aw o which wur the Town Sedan. Critics bestowed the less nor positive name "Packardbaker" on the caurs.
In order tae produce an ingine o appropriate pouer for a Packard, a McCulloch-supercharged version o Studebaker's 289 in³ (4.7 L) small-block V8 wis uised, givin 275 bhp (205 kW), equivalent tae the Packard ingines in uise the year afore (an likwise uised in the Studebaker Golden Hawk). Syne the Studebaker-bodied caurs wur quite a bit lichter than the previous year's Packards, the 1957 Packard range actually haed quite exceptional performance for the time.
Writer an auto historian Richard Langworth haes notit that while thir caurs warna truly Packards, thay wur, houever, vera guid Studebakers.
Final Packards eedit
1958 saw the Packard line reduced tae twa models an fower body styles; a 4-door sedan, a 2-door hardtop coupe (whiles referred tae as the "Starlight", a name uised bi Studebaker), a 4-door station wagon which simply bore the Packard name, an the Packard Hawk, a modification o Studebaker's Golden Hawk wi a "fishmouth" Packard grille.
Restyled bi Duncan McRae, Studebaker-Packard's finances dictatit that the changes for 1958 be made as cheaply as possible. Quad heidlichts wur achieved bi affixin fiberglass pods tae the previous year's front fenders designed for twa headlights. In the rear, McRae attemptit tae follae the tailfin craze established bi Chrysler's 1957 "Forward Look" bi craftin ootward cantit fiberglass fin extensions that wur mountit tae the tops o the existin vertical rear fenders. 1956 Clipper taillicht units continued tae be uised. Packards an aa adoptit a law, wide "fishmouth" grille tae further distinguish them frae thair Studebaker cousins.
Despite McRae's efforts, the caur that emerged appeared cobbled thegither, rather than as a cohesive design. Auto reviewer "Uncle" Tom McCahill remarked that frae the rear it looked as if the caurs haed been left in the sun too lang an the cantit fiberglass fins haed startit tae melt doun the straucht rear fender sides.
Anly 2,034 o the three standard models (sedan, hardtop an station wagon) wur produced; an additional 588 Packard Hawks wur biggit as well. The rarest o aw '58 Packards is the station wagon, wi ae 159 produced. The last Packard rolled off the South Bend assembly line on Juli 13, 1958.
In 1962 the Studebaker-Packard Corporation offeecially dropped "Packard" frae its name.