1958 Packard Starlight

1958 Packard Starlight

The 1957 and 1958 Packard lineup of automobiles were based on Studebaker models: restyled, rebadged, and given more luxurious interiors. After 1956 production, the Packard engine and transmission factory was leased to the Curtiss-Wright Corporation while the assembly plant on Detroit's East Grand Boulevard was sold, ending the line of Packard-built cars. However, Studebaker-Packard executives hoped to keep the Packard name alive until a fully restyled model could be funded, developed, and produced. These cars were built in hopes that enough would be sold to enable the company to design and build a completely new luxury Packard. In this story I then give you the 1958 Packard “Starlight”

This 2-door hardtop known informally to the factory as the “Starlight” comes to us on consignment originally from New Mexico. A rare bird if you will as only 647 were produced prior to the demise of the Packard line. Styling cues from Studebaker, and the rush to put a model together, led to this amalgamation of 2 company's designers, and available parts.

Save for the double fins (after all 2 IS better than one?) the back of this Packard has a striking resemblance to the '57 Chevy. This is where it ends though, as the remainder of the car takes on the parent company's look in that being Studebaker. With the dual “frog eye” headlamps, traditional Packard “cusps” framing the headlights, and giving the scooped hood a happy landing. The grille, widely thought to be that of a catfish with its oval opening, big bumper, and mini Dagmar's complete the styling (or lack thereof) for the body. This car restored and draped in a dark maroon that shows some crazing on the hood and trunk, and a few other faults throughout. The tan hardtop, and a gold textured mylar and chrome framed belt line, presents all well, with panels slightly misaligned.

Consigner stated “all new” interior dripping with late 50's motifs like basket weave vinyl, padded stitching, and bolsters that touch the floor. Creative use of camel, tan and browns adorn the inside, and it feels new. Golden carpeting floods the floor and is in good condition. The padded dash with its white stitching, and brushed aluminum fronting, houses a gauge cluster in all circular forms, a radio, and hanging from below air conditioning. A traditional and original steering wheel, turns the car effortlessly through a curve.

A newly restored small block 289ci V8, sits in a restored engine bay. It appears the supercharger has been taken off and replaced by a newer carburetor and air cleaner configuration. Automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes are seen, along with an AM radio with a rear speaker option installed.

Not something seen every day, and a bit of automotive history here, due to the changing times, and names of the Packard/Studebaker merger. Overall presentation is good, with new interior, and rebuilt engine. Certainly, an eye catcher due to its odd but striking exterior design.

Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 150 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. A 450 barn find collection is currently also on display.
This vehicle is in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.