1957 Studebaker Silver Hawk

In 1957 the three lesser Hawk models (Sky Hawk, Flight Hawk, and Power Hawk) were discontinued, and the single Silver Hawk was introduced to replace them. The Silver Hawk was available with either a six, a 259 cid V8, or a 289 cid V8. The Silver and Golden Hawks were very similar stylewise, with a few exceptions. The Silver Hawk did not have the Golden Hawks 'hood bulge' to accomodate the supercharger (the Silver Hawk was not supercharged. There were some differences in the fins and the Silver Hawk was a coupe whereas the Golden Hawk was a pillarless hardtop. Although the Golden Hawk was discontinued in 1958, the Silver Hawk lived on, virtually unchanged, until 1961.

Source -
Debuting in 1957, the Studebaker Silver Hawk was produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana. Its production lasted until 1959. Four versions of the Hawk were introduced, the Power Hawk, the pillared Flight Hawk, the hardtop Sky Hawk and the Golden Hawk. 1956 was actually the first year for the Hawk's, but the silver Hawk wasn't produced in this first year. Since 1959 onwards, no other Hawk models were sold, and the same basic vehicle was produced for 1960 and 1961, simply the Studebaker Hawk.

The Silver Hawk was a good-looking, peppy car with a very lively performance that was also much more reasonably priced than previous models. Unfortunately the downsides of the Silver Hawk were its lack of a hardtop, and the usual rust and oil leak problems commonly found in Studebakers. The simplified successor to the Golden Hawk, the Silver Hawk came with an optional four-speed gearbox in 1961. The Silver Hawk had a wheelbase of 120.5 inches had an overall length of 204.0 inches and weighed between 2,795lbs and 3,207lbs. When priced new it was ranged from $2,360 to $2,650.

The Silver Hawk, much like it predecessors, the Flight Hawk and the Power Hawk, was a two-door pillared coupe in the US market that came in two differently-engined models with either the Champion six or the 289 cu in President V8 engine. The Silver Hawk wasn't as flashy as the Golden Hawk and featured less chrome, no hood bulge or supercharger and came with a simpler two-tone paint scheme, one color below the chrome belt line and one more above. Lower color was included on the fin, and some dealers painted the fin only. The Golden Hawk was dropped following a disappointing recession-year performance in 1958, the Silver Hawk which had a more promising sell-history continued on in the lineup.

For the following year, the Silver Hawk was the only Hawk model in production, mainly due to Studebaker dealers wishing for a more glamorous flagship model. The Silver Hawk was the only non-Lark model left. For 1959 the Silver Hawk featured new tailfins with the 'Silver Hawk' script placed on the fins rather than on the trunk lid and a new Hawk badge placed in between the two words. The lid featured the words ‘STUDEBAKER' spelled out on individual block letters. Chrome moldings were placed around the windows, similar to the Golden Hawk and the parking lights were moved to the side grilles from the front fenders and the interior was modeled closely in between the two former models' luxury levels. All US orders discontinued two-tone paint, though export models still offered it.

1959 was the best year in six for Studebaker, mostly due to the Lark and the lift in sales aided the Silver Hawk and a total of 7,788 models were sold. For 1960 the U.S. Silver Hawk came with the option of the newly-reduced in size 90 HP 169.6 cu. in. (2.8L) six or the 259 cu. in. (4.2L) V8 of either 180 or 195 HP depending on the choice of carburetor. For this year the 289 was no longer offered.

The ‘Silver' part of the name was dropped in 1960, leaving the ‘Hawk' as the only name. Not much was changed from the previous year except the return of the 289 cubic inch (4.7 L) V8 engine from 1958. For both 1960 and 1961 this would be the only engine available for the U.S. and this would also be the final year of the finned Hawk. For export markets some 6-cylinder and 259 in³ (4.2 L) V8 models were produced.

For 1961 the Hawk was available in a very limited offering of a second paint color, beige, in a stripe along the base of the fin between the two lower moldings. On the inside, the option of wide, comfy bucket seats and the option of joining the 289 V8 to a new four-speed Borg-Warner manual transmission. This was the same model used in the Chevy Corvette.

Unfortunately the Hawk was replaced by the Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk in 1962.

By Jessica Donaldson

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