Supercharged Flyer: 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk

The Hawk was a series of 2-door sporty cars offered by Studebaker-Packard between 1956-64. They used several prefixes over these years but the Golden Hawk from 1956-58 were perhaps the most interesting. That’s because the last two years of that model came with a supercharged V8 engine. One of those cars is this 1957 edition located in Chicago, Illinois and it looks to be a tidy automobile that’s available here on craigslist for $20,000 OBO. Another great tip from Ikey Heyman!

During the last half of the ‘50s and the first half of the ‘60s, you could go into your Studebaker dealer and order a Flight Hawk, Power Hawk, Sky Hawk, Golden Hawk, Silver Hawk, Gran Turismo Hawk, or a plain old Hawk, depending on the model year. The cars took the shape of the 1953-55 Champion/Commander/ Starliner and added a nearly vertical grille and raised hood along with a squared-off trunk lid. While the 1956 Golden Hawk used a Packard engine, that source dried up when the manufacturing plant was leased and then sold off. So, for 1957-58, the Golden Hawk used a smaller V8 with a supercharger, and it became even more of a speed demon.

The 289 cubic inch McCulloch-supercharged V8 under the bonnet of the seller’s Golden Hawk was good for 275 hp when new. The car’s power-to-weight ratio was excellent and the only production car that would be faster in stock trim was the Chrysler 300 C-series. But the cars were considered front end heavy, so handling wasn’t one of their strengths. The seller’s Golden Hawk comes with a 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive and a twin-traction rear end. We’re told this is a running and driving vehicle, but the seller does not say how well it does this or whether any key components need any help. But some work no doubt has been done previously given that the car is said to come with a trunkload full of NOS parts. The odometer reading is just under 65,000 miles.

Both the body and interior look to be in remarkable condition. The blue and white paint combination looks particularly striking. The addition of the supercharger didn’t exactly create a rush to showrooms as Studebaker only sold 4,356 Golden Hawks in 1957 and just another 878 the following year. Those disappointing results, combined with the economic recession of 1958, caused Studebaker to pull the plug on the Golden Hawk going into 1959.

Excepting the Gran Turismo Hawks of 1962-64, the Golden Hawks seem to command the highest resale value of all the Hawk cars. Hagerty pegs a Concours example at $60,000, while one in good/excellent condition is roughly half that. Unless the seller’s car needs work, we don’t know about or there are issues not revealed, the asking price could be considered a bargain.

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Still a bigger fan of the ’53s but this is really a slick looking car.

    Like 7
    • Larry Leuallen

      I had a 53. Best looking production car ever.

      Like 3
  2. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Still a bigger fan of the Gran Turismo, but this looks great and liking the color. Looks like buyer will have to reattach at least the passenger window cranks.

    Seeing I too am a ’57 MY, I am trebly intrigued!

    Like 5
  3. Vince H

    It is missing a lot of trim pieces. Some of them hard to find. This car still needs a lot of work. 878 GH production is US built cars. There were 20 built in Canada for a total of 898.

    Like 7
  4. Vance

    Very nice vehicle, it makes you wonder why didn’t these sell better? I know that by 1957 things were looking badly for Packard and Studebaker, and that there was a recession. But these were good looking cars, striking looks, sharp interior, and a real fun motor as this one has. I am not sure how the build quality rated on these, or if they were prone to breakdowns. It really is a shame because these were beautiful cars.

    Like 7
  5. DON

    I’ve always thought they didn’t sell better was that they still basically looked like 53 Studebakers. In a time where a lot of car companies were turning out something that looked different every year or so , Studebaker was just tweaking an old body style , and sales only got worse as this style went into the early 1960s. Look at Chevy , and you know the changes , for example 1953 to a 1955 to a 1958 ,1959 ,1961 , and the Hawk looked pretty much the same throughout that time.

    Like 3
  6. Bob

    Lets not forget that there was also the Packard Hawk with the supercharged 352 ci V8 – looked very similar.
    https://www.hemmings.com/stories/article/polarizing-packard-1958-packard-hawk.

    Like 2
    • Vince H

      @Bob The Packard Hawk had the same supercharged 289 as the Golden Hawk. The 56 Golden Hawk used the 352 but it was not supercharged.

      Like 3
      • Bob Roller

        The Packard 352 was a great engine and using the 289 with a supercharger was the only way the power could be had,I had a Lark with the 289 and no supercharger with a 3 speed and overdrive.Good drive line but the rest of the car left much to be desired.I suppose quality control was as poor in South Bend as it was in Detroit.Wall to wall standardized mediocrity.

    • Vince H

      Bob the Packard Hawk used the supercharged 289 the same as the 57-58 Golden Hawk. The 56 Golden Hawk used the 352. It was not supercharged.

      Like 1
    • WayneC Member

      The Packard Hawk had the same engine that the Golden Hawk. 1956 was the only year that used the Packard 352 inch engine. None had a supercharger. 57 & 58 were the only years that used the supercharger.

  7. hilton hanson

    prettiest car ever made in my humble opinion

    Like 4
  8. Eric

    Ad must have been changed to $18,500 FIRM. If I was stateside, I would fly up to Chicago and take a look at this one. Looks like a great car for the money. It will sell quick.

    Remember, you can cash out up to $100,000 of IRA or 401k money without penalty THIS year only. Only pay the tax on the income over three years if you don’t replace it. This would be a great car to convert IRA money into a much cooler investment.

    Like 4
  9. Howard

    The Packard Hawk (1958 only) did NOT have the 352″ Packard engine. It had the same 289″ Studebaker V8 as the 1957-58 Golden Hawks. I had one in the early sisties.

    Like 2
    • Ed P

      None of the Packard v8’s were available after production of the 56 Packard ended.

      Like 1
  10. Bob Roller

    At the end of the 1966 model year Studebaker announced that none would be made for 1967,They had a really good looking sedan projected for that year but it did not materialize.Too bad,it might have saved them from extinction at least for a while.Once the buying public loses confidence in a car maker that maker will have a hard time in restoring itself to acceptance in the market.
    Packard’s problematic transmission sealed their fate and the design/cleanup
    on the upper end Patrician and the Executive helped not at all.

    Like 1
    • Terry

      The car you mentioned was called the Scepter, and one was built. Unlike most prototypes, it was not destroyed but survives today in a museum.

      Like 1
  11. John Manders

    all baubles and bangles have to be addedm, lots of trim not to be seen in pictures. I had one with 18k gold plate……. Check frame for cracks behind front crossmember, USA produced frames used thinner gauge frames than export models. And be sure to service the supercharger according to manual !!!!!!!!!!!

    Like 1
  12. steve sammut Member

    With a huge array of Hawks, I’m surprised to not find the much maligned Chicken Hawk. Pay attention to me son when I’m talkin to ya…

    Like 2
    • Boothguy

      I ‘m sure “thats a joke son” but if you really love great car stories google Studebaker Chicken Hawk, but only if you have a couple hours to spend, you will be amazed

      Like 2
  13. Bob Roller

    The Packard 352 was a great engine and using the 289 with a supercharger was the only way the power could be had,I had a Lark with the 289 and no supercharger with a 3 speed and overdrive.Good drive line but the rest of the car left much to be desired.I suppose quality control was as poor in South Bend as it was in Detroit.Wall to wall standardized mediocrity.

    Like 1
  14. KKW

    Only thing faster in 57 was a Chrysler 300? I don’t think so. But I do like these ole Studes.

    • Kenny

      Actually, depending on which period road test you read, it was 1956 in which the Golden Hawk was King of the Road. The Packard-powered Golden WAS the fastest, and quickest, car you could buy in ‘56 (some publications said the Chrysler). I own 4 Hawks, including a ‘56 GH, and I can assure you, these are fast cars, even by today’s standards. Studebaker had to make next year’s product sound better, or at least as good, as last year’s, right? So since the big Packard power plant was no longer available, putting a blower on the 289 and claiming it was the same power as the outgoing 352 was the solution. I don’t personally know of anyone who has ever dyno’d a ‘56 and a ‘57 in as-new tune to determine the veracity of Stude’s claim, but the seat of my pants tells me they were telling a “stretcher” as Mark Twain used to say…
      But ALL Golden Hawks were certainly Muscle Cars…

      Like 1
    • Kenny

      Oh, and just out of curiosity, which other car(s) do you wrongly imagine WERE faster in ‘57?

      • KKW

        The supercharged T-Bird, fuel injected Corvette, even the “hot” Rambler Rebel, which was also labeled as the fastest sedan of 57. Just to name a few. All assuming you’re referring to 0-60 performance

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