1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk

History

The Studebaker Golden Hawk was produced from 1956 through 1958. The styling was influenced by Raymond Loewy's design studio who used the shape of the Champion and Commander of the early 1950's as its beginning point. The Golden Hawk had an eggcrate grille and a pointed front end nose. In the rear were tailfins with integrated tail lights. The brake light and backup-light were stacked in the rear. The rear window was wrap-around. There were a variety of colors to select from, including the popular two-tone color schemes.

Under the hood was a Packard 352 cubic-inch V8 engine rated at 275 horsepower. With its low body weight and powerful engine, the Golden Hawk could race from zero-to-sixty in around 7.8 seconds and reach top speed at 125 mph. A McCulloch supercharger was later added which raised horsepower to 275. A fiberglass overlay on the hood was added which provided extra room for the supercharger.

In 1956 there were four Hawk models to select from, the Golden Hawk, Flight Hawk Coupe, Power Hawk Coup, and the Sky Hawk hardtop.


By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2006
A two-door pillarless hardtop coupe type vehicle, the Studebaker Golden Hawk was produced in South Bend, Indiana from 1956 through 1958. This was the final Studebaker until the introduction of the Avanti that had its styling influenced by industrial designer Raymond Loewy's studio. The Golden Hawk featured the basic shape of the 1953-55 Champion/Commander Starliner hardtop coupe but featured a large, nearly vertical eggcrate grille and raised hoodline rather than the previous vehicles swooping, pointed nose. The rear of the vehicle featured a raised, squared-off trunklid instead of the earlier sloped lid and new vertical fiberglass tailfins were added to the rear quarters.

To give room for a larger engine, the raised hood and grille were added to allow for Packard's large 352 in³ (5.8 L) V8 which delivered 275 bhp (205 kW). Because the Golden Hawk was so light, this big, heavy engine gave the vehicle an amazing power-to-weight ratio for the time period. The Golden Hawk was second only to the Chrysler 300 B in 1956 American car production, and the pricy Chrysler was a road-legal NASCAR racing car. Much like the Chryslers, the Golden Hawk could be considered a precursor to the muscle cars of the 1960s.

The Golden Hawk with its heavy engine came with a bad reputation for poor handling and being nose heavy. Many of the road tests were done by racing drivers, and found that the Golden Hawk could out-perform the Ford Thunderbird, Chevy Corvette and the Ford Thunderbird in both 0-60 mph acceleration and quarter mile times. The fastest reported time in magazine testing was 7.8 seconds while top speeds were quoted at 125 mph.

A large variety of colors that included two-tone were available for this year. Initially two-tone schemes involved the front upper body, while the roof and a panel on the tail were painted the contrasting color while the rest of the body was the base color. For 1956 the upper body above the tail-line, including trunk were painted the contrast color with the tail panel in 1956 while the roof and body below the belt line trim were painted the base color.

To keep the prices down, an increased options list and reduced standard equipment were used in comparison to the earlier year's Studebaker President Speedster which was replaced by the Golden Hawk. Turn signals were even an option, technically. In 1956 the Golden Hawk was matched with three other Hawk models and was the only Hawk not technically considered a sub-model within one of Studebaker's regular passenger car lines. The Flight Hawk coupe was a Champion, the Sky Hawk hardtop was a President and the Power Hawk coupe was a Commander.

For 1957 and 1958 the Golden Hawk continued on with minor changes. Eventually sold to Curtiss-Wright, Packard's Utica, Michigan engine plant was leased during 1956 and marked the end of genuine Packard production. For two more years, Packard-badged vehicles were produced, though they were basically dolled-up Studebakers.

The Packard V8 was no longer available and was replaced by the Studebaker 289 in³ (4.7 L) V-8. A McCulloch supercharger was also added to the lineup and gave the same 275 horsepower 205 kW) output as the Packard engine. The cars maximum speed was improved and now the best-performing Hawks (before the Gran Turismo Hawk) was improved and was now available with the Avanti's R2 supercharged engine for the 1963 model year.

For the 1957 model year, the Golden Hawk featured some updated styling. A new fiberglass overlay was added to the vehicle and now covered a hole in the hood that was needed to clear the supercharger, which was placed high on the front of the engine. The tailfins were now made of metal and were concave and swept out from the sides of the vehicle. Normally painted a contrasting color, the fins were outlined in chrome trim, though some solid-color models were built.

A luxury 400 model was unveiled halfway through the 1957 model year. It featured a fully upholstered trunk, unique trim and a leather interior. Only 41 models were ever produced and today only a few models are still believed to be in existence.

The Golden Hawk received 14-inch (356 mm) wheels in place of the 15-inch (381 mm)
And due to this the car now rode slightly lower. The 15 inch wheels were still available as an option though. A new, round Hawk medallion was mounted in the lower center of the grille and new contrasting-color paint was available as an option in both the roof and tailfin application.

For 1958 a few minor engineering updates were made for the Golden Hawk that included revisions to the suspension and driveshaft that now allowed designers to create a three-passenger rear seat. Previous models had only featured seating for two passengers in the rear due to the high driveshaft 'hump' that necessitated dividing the seat. A fixed arm rest was also placed between the rear passengers in earlier models, and was later made removable due to customer requests.

Unfortunately in the late 1950's, sales were drastically hit much like many of the expensive vehicle. The model was discontinued after only 878 models were ever sold in 1958. The only Hawk model was the Silver Hawk and was renamed simply the Studebaker Hawk for the 1960 model year.

By Jessica Donaldson

1956 Vehicle Profiles

1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk vehicle information

Hardtop

These Studebaker's were styled by the industrial designer, Raymond Loewy and were considered trend-setters in their day. This vehicle has been restored in its tri-level Studebaker original colors of Mocha-Doeskin, one of the most popular colors for ....[continue reading]

1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk vehicle information

Hardtop

Raymond Loewy designed the body of the Studebaker Golden Hawk and power was from a 352 cubic-inch Packard V8 engine offering 275 horsepower. The 1956 models were the first examples created after the merger of Studebaker and Packard. The Golden Hawks ....[continue reading]

1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk vehicle information

Hardtop

Chassis Num: 6031833

This 1956 Golden Hawk is the only model to use the powerful Packard 352/275 HP V8 engine with 380-ft/lb of torque. This car is restored example that has a powder coated frame with custom leather interior. The paint and glass are in show quality. The ....[continue reading]

1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk vehicle information

Hardtop

In 1736 three hardy Staudenbecker men sailed from Germany for Philadelphia in search of a better life. A descendant, John Studebaker, settled in South Bend, Indiana and in 1852 began what would become a prosperous wagon-making business with his five ....[continue reading]

Hardtop
 
Hardtop
 
Hardtop
Chassis #: 6031833 
Hardtop
 


Concepts by Studebaker



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1956 Golden Hawk
$3,060-$16,795
1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk Base Price : $3,060

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Studebaker
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)59,713
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)120,465
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)126,156
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)44,759
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)63,101
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)69,593
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)116,333
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)68,708
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)151,576
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)167,662
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)246,195

Related Automotive News

One of the Three Final Cars Built by Famed Italian Engineer Giotto Bizzarrini To Be Offered at Russo and Steele's Highly Anticipated Monterey Auction

One of the Three Final Cars Built by Famed Italian Engineer Giotto Bizzarrini To Be Offered at Russo and Steele's Highly Anticipated Monterey Auction

Monterey, California – As the engineer responsible for the design and development of some of the most successful and innovative racing and GT cars ever conceived, Giotto Bizzarrini remains one...
Raw Power Has a Stamp of Its Own Muscle Cars Roar at Spring Classic Auction

Raw Power Has a Stamp of Its Own Muscle Cars Roar at Spring Classic Auction

What do you get when you bring the U.S. Postal Service and Dana Mecums Original Spring Classic Auction together at the State Fairgrounds — a Muscle Car Extravaganza! Since it began 26 years ago,...
Eleanor of 'Gone In 60 seconds' Will Cross The Block At Mecum's Indy Auction

Eleanor of 'Gone In 60 seconds' Will Cross The Block At Mecum's Indy Auction

The Opportunity to Own the Original Movie Hero Car is this May 18 in Indianapolis A true movie star will make its way down Mecums signature red carpet this May in Indianapolis. Known by most...
RICHARD PETTY DEDICATES MUSCLE CARS FOREVER STAMPS

RICHARD PETTY DEDICATES MUSCLE CARS FOREVER STAMPS

Raw power gets a stamp of its own today as seven-time NASCAR National Champion Richard Petty helps dedicate the America on the Move Muscle Cars Forever stamps. Petty, his son Kyle and Postmaster General...
1963 Corvette Pilot Car to Cross the Block at Vicari December New Orleans Auction

1963 Corvette Pilot Car to Cross the Block at Vicari December New Orleans Auction

The Vicari Auction Company announces its 3rd annual New Orleans Classic Auto Festival Dec. 1, 2012, at the famous Mardi Gras World in New Orleans, La. More than 200 classic and muscle cars...

© 1998-2020. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

Conceptcarz.com
© 1998-2020 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.