Sold as a “family sports car,” the Studebaker Golden Hawk was hugely powerful, able to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 8.7 seconds, however, its time was short lived and after just one year of production and 4,000 cars, it was pulled.
Yet, looking at it now, one thinks that it epitomises the style and grace of its era. Now, this 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk is for sale with H&H Classics at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford on October 19 for a £60,000 to £80,000 estimate, a price for this beauty that those who pulled the plug on this model would have been amazed by.
Subject to a bodywork restoration and repaint by Hanstons of Cheshire, and a mechanical overhaul by American specialist E.G Wright, it has 83,541 recorded and credible miles. It is the original Packard-powered Hawk and comes to sale with the original factory build-sheet and a collection of invoices and a photographic record of the restoration.
Studebaker’s 1956 Golden Hawk featured subtle fibreglass tailfins, grafted to the steel "Loewy Coupe" bodywork, and borrowed a 275hp, 352 cubic-inch V-8 from Packard, Studebaker’s corporate partner. Its engine growl is as heart-warmingly distinctive a sound as any Elvis vocal.
The Golden Hawk was advertised as a ‘family sports car’, and that was not far off; with more horsepower per pound than any other American production automobile, it could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 8.7 seconds. The original Packard-powered Golden Hawk proved a “one year wonder,” and only 4,071 were built.
Maybe because of their looks, power and rarity, they have a very strong and committed following in the United States where many of the 4,000 made have been found and saved and are now driven by their passionate admirers.
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