The Packard Hawk was the fastest car the company ever produced though it was the final year of production. The Packard plant located in Detroit, Michigan had been leased to Curtiss-Wright and was later sold to them and all Packard models were rebadged and retrimmed Studebaker products.  Mismanagement, price wars waged by Ford and GM in 1953 and other factors contributed to the precarious financial positions of some independents like Studebaker. A merger between Studebaker and the rather smaller but more solvent and stable Packard Motor Car Company provided temporary hope in 1954. The woes of Studebaker were realized by its new owners though was too late. In 1956, Studebaker-Packard needed immediate assistance to survive and the Eisenhower administration gave a suggestion of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. The deal seemed lucrative for C-W and was supposed to rescue S-P was approved.

Part of the deal stipulated that C-W would help in running the affairs of Studebaker-Packard which put its president, Roy Hurley in a position of a consultant that yielded substantial power. Under Hurley fast restructuring came along. Amongst the changes made was the closure of the Los Angeles Studebaker plant, Packard production ended, and ‘Packardbakers’-Studebakers fitted with Packard styling cues were introduced for the 1957 model year. Hurley also tagged along with Mercedes –Benz cars to Studebaker-Packard showrooms. The Packard Hawk was a product of Hurley’s desire to be seen in a Packard that had a similar look to one of his favorite European models.