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1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk news, pictures, specifications, and information
In 1956, the 'Loewy Coupes' evolved into the Hawk series consisting of the Flight Hawk (coupe with Champion 6), Power Hawk (coupe with 259 V8), Sky Hawk (hardtop with 289 V8), and Golden Hawk (hardtop with 352 Packard V8). Although the Golden Hawk was the most powerful, the big Packard engine made it perilously nose-heavy. The next-in-line Sky Hawk was much lighter and had much better handling. In 1957, the Golden Hawk got a supercharged Studebaker V8, just as powerful as the Packard engine but much lighter. The three other Hawk models were dropped and replaced by a single model, the Silver Hawk.
A pillar-less two-door hardtop coupe, the Studebaker Sky Hawk was introduced for one year only, 1956. Produced by Studebaker-Packard Corporation, the Sky Hawk was considered to be part of the Studebaker President series. The Sky Hawk was one of four models of Hawks that was available for 1956 and it was positioned nestled between the flagship Golden Hawk and Power Hawk pillared coupe.

The Sky Hawk was different from the Golden Hawk because it featured less chrome trim and also lacked the Golden Hawk's fins. Less garish, the Studebaker Sky Hawk featured hardtop styling. The inside was also quite a bit less luxurious and they were powered by the President's 289 cubic inch V8 with 210 hp standard and 225 hp optional. The Sky Hawk featured an overall length of 203.9 inches, a wheelbase of 120.5 inches and it had an overall weight of 3,215 lbs.

Set at a base price of $2,477, additional options added to the price. A total of 3,610 units were produced during the 1956 model year. The Sky Hawk featured good styling for the 1950's, along with adequate handling, fine performance. The Sky Hawk also featured a decent low-production appeal and was quite highly sought after. The major downside of the '56 Sky Hawk was Studebaker's usual rust and oil leak problems.

By Jessica Donaldson
Chassis Num: 7811411
Sold for $19,800 at 2008 RM Auctions.
Sold for $19,250 at 2015 RM Auctions.
Studebaker's coupes that appeared in 1953 wore styling courtesy of Bob Bourke, of Raymond Loewy and Associates. In 1956, he was given the task of creating an all-new appearance, this time on a very tight budget. The four new models of the 1956 Studebaker Hawks had modern styling with small fins at the rear, two-tone colors, a bold front grille, and sculptured sides. The Sky Hawk came without fins and was equipped with the 289 cubic-inch Studebaker V8.

This particular example was delivered new by Lathrop G. Hoffman, the dealer on Beverly Hill's Wilshire Boulevard. It is believed that its original owner retained the car for four decades. The next owner was Art Astor. Currently, it is a sympathetically restored example that has been refinished in its original two-tone white and blue color combination. The chrome has been recently replated, and the stainless trim is original. Inside, the blue and white two-tone interior is original, the dashboard and steering are original, and the carpets are new.

The car has a radio, clock, power antenna, dual chromed exhaust tips, wide whitewalls, and original documentation.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2015
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