Image credits: © Studebaker.

1956 Studebaker Flight Hawk

The Flight Hawk was the least of the Hawk series in 1956 and was powered by a Champion 6. The Flight Hawk had limited chrome trim and a single tone paint job. The Flight Hawk was offered only as a coupe in the US, but some pillarless hardtops were built as exports.
Unveiling in 1956, the Studebaker Flight Hawk had the distinction of being the company's lowest-priced model in the four-model Hawk family sports vehicle line. Based entirely on the Champion two-door coupe, the Flight Hawk was introduced 3 years after the Champion.

Similar to other '56 Hawks, the Flight Hawk received a brand new hood, decklid, grille and a new instrument panel. The Flight Hawk also received a minimum of exterior chrome and hubcaps rather than full wheel covers being ordered from the factory or optioned from the dealer.

The Flight Hawk did come with Champion's 185.5 cubic-inch inline six-cylinder engine, rated at 101 hp. This was intense in comparison to the other Hawks that were all powered strictly by V8 engines. The engine could be mated with either the standard three-speed manual transmission, the same with overdrive or a three-speed automatic transmission; also known as Flight-O-Matic.

A two-door pillared coupe, the Flight Hawk was priced at $1,986. Studebaker made a pillar-less hardtop model that was available for Canada and several other foreign markets. A total of nine out of 560 hardtops were constructed in the U.S. though the price when new is unknown.

From the four available Hawk models for 1956, the Flight Hawk was the second most popular. It followed behind the Power Hawk. Only last one solid year, the Hawk line was simplified and the Flight Hawk was deleted in 1957 and the Power, Flight and Sky Hawks were combined into the new Silver Hawk series.

By Jessica Donaldson

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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1956 Flight Hawk
$1,985-$16,795
1956 Studebaker Flight Hawk Base Price : $1,985

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

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