The number of Packard Hawks which were equipped with the no-cost, optional Borg-Warner T85 three-speed manual transmission with overdrive at the factory was 26. A Hawk that was originally fitted with the Flightomatic, would be better if installed with 1958 T85 with overdrive, and the addition of an aftermarket Hurst floor-shifter would also make it function better. We have an example of Bill Burcher of Brookville, Pennsylvania, with whom we will check the revered side of Packard Hawk’s side of the love/ hate equation. He had purchased his Midnight Black model from his friend in 2008 and owned a few Studebakers years ago.
Bill added wire wheels with American Classic Radials, halogen headlamps, signal-seeking radio with a rear speaker, and long-lasting stainless exhaust making it a more luxurious and durable vehicle. Bill’s car has a luxurious leather upholstery bench seat, clutch, and a brake and after turning the ignition key the V-8 engine responded right away. The car has very informative, elegant, easy to read and, a very simple cluster of Stewart Warner dial needles. For the car to move you all need to twist and push the handle to release the emergency brake and you will be on the driveway. The supercharged Hawk model also had a vinyl carpet to rest your feet on. From under the hood, a pressure gauge will build and the Hawk will push forward with a muted whine to ensure the engine picks up.
Its acceleration was brisk for a car of its age and class, although not muscle-like car spine compressing. The transmission of this car shifts smoothly, through its non-stick Hurst handle and linkage clutch action that isn’t too heavy, and an exhaust note that isn’t obtrusive at any speed. The Hawk feels much smaller from the driver’s seat than its physical appearance. Its suspension would handle road troubles well. The power steering made driving effortless, and the wheel, though large was comfortable for a driver. The roof design made visibility ample from all directions. The fender-mounted parking lamps in the front and rear fins made parking easy since you could see all four corners of the car.